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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ON THE RUN, JHO LOW TAUNTS HSIEN LOONG IN BID TO TAKE THE HEAT OFF NAJIB, ROSMAH: ‘SINGAPORE IS PLAYING POLITICS’

THE elusive Low Taek Jho has lashed out at Singapore after it accused the Malaysian financier of victimising 1MDB, accusing the city state of being motivated solely by politics in its campaign against him.
In a statement issued early today, the close friend of the Najib administration and the first family said that any attempt to link him and recent guilty pleas by parties who allegedly made secret profits was “based on unfounded assumptions”.
Low, more popularly known as Jho Low, did not refer to Yeo Jiawei, the former Singapore banker who was sentenced yesterday to 54 months in jail for money laundering and offences linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Yeo is reported to have called Low his “boss”.
Singapore prosecutors said that about US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) purported to invest in a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd was diverted to a bank account beneficially owned by Low.
He was named as the central figure in the probe into the Malaysian-government owned entity.
In response, Low’s spokesman said: “This is an example of overreach with a politically motivated act and selectively chosen narrative alleging 1MDB as a ‘victim’, when it has been clearly stated by the Malaysian authorities that there has been no misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
“No wrongdoing has been proved in any jurisdiction relating to the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds, and this development in Singapore does not change that.
“Mr Low is confident that any impartial party presented with the complete facts will see that the allegations are flawed, biased and create an inaccurate picture.
Low has not been seen in Malaysia and his sightings have been as rare as the Loch Ness monster‎ since Singapore and the United States began their probes into alleged wrongdoing at 1MDB.

He has also shied away from making public statements about 1MDB.
But in doing so today, he has stuck to the narrative of the Najib administration that no offence of misappropriation of funds were committed at 1MDB and that any authority or country that says otherwise is motivated by a political desire for regime change in Malaysia.
The fact that Low’s spokesman stuck to the Putrajaya script is meaningful for this reason: it is aimed at demonstrating that the Malaysian financier has no intention charting a course independent of the man who occupies Sri Perdana.
There have been rumblings in Umno circles that Low could throw the administration under the bus if pressure is ‎exerted by Singapore or American authorities in their continuing probe into 1MDB.
His statement appears aimed at killing off that talk. Expect several ministers to hit the ground running today and accuse Malaysia’s “enemies” of being politically motivated in their 1MDB campaign.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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