Mahathir's China visit can boost KL-Beijing ties — Foreign Minister

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PUTRAJAYA (July 12): Ties between Malaysia and China will be given a boost with the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to China next month, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

"During the visit, we will surely look into our ties. Our relationship with China has been always good," he said in response to a claim that businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, who is being sought to assist in the probe into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has gone to China from Macau and whether that would affect business contracts between Malaysia and China.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun was reported as saying that authorities in Kuala Lumpur had received an email from the Macau authorities on July 9 that Jho Low had left the gaming hub for an unknown destination.

Yesterday, the South China Morning Post quoted a Chinese official as denying that Jho Low had left Macau for China.

Speaking to reporters after hosting Wisma Putra's Aidilfitri celebration here today, Saifuddin said the ministry would leave it to police expertise to seek Jho Low with their international protocol standards and security measures.

"They are the leading agency, while Wisma Putra will continue to facilitate. This is a legal matter, and we (Wisma Putra) will stand by for advice from the authorities," he said.

Asked if Malaysia has a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) pact with other countries to assist in apprehending Jho Low, Saifuddin said his ministry would adhere to police advice on the matter.

It was reported that Jho Low and his family were allowed to leave Hong Kong for Macau, because neither Singapore nor Malaysia formally requested his arrest.