PETALING JAYA: PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin has described the government’s reported move to close the file on investigations related to Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, as an irresponsible act.
He said the statement by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday that the Malaysian police had shut the file and there had been no more requests by Interpol on the case, needed to be clarified.
The former deputy prime minister, who was sacked from his post in June 2016, said Zahid’s two apparently contradicting explanations on Jho Low’s status yesterday, were confusing.
He said it was necessary to ascertain if the federal government, the home ministry or the police had made an official request to Interpol to arrest Jho Low and bring him to Malaysia so that he could be tried in the case said to be linked to 1MDB.
Yesterday evening, Zahid’s office issued a statement refuting reports based on his Parliamentary reply in the morning that the Malaysian police had sought help from Interpol to trace Jho Low’s whereabouts.
It said Zahid, who is also home minister, had clearly stated during the Dewan Rakyat sitting that there was no case for conviction.
It said he had mentioned this in reply to a supplementary question by PKR’s Gombak MP Azmin Ali, who is also Selangor menteri besar.
It said the issue on the search for Jho Low having been resumed, as reported by certain media, was “completely untrue”.
Muhyiddin however, said Zahid’s assertion in Parliament had turned out to be an embarrassment.
“This matter should be clarified,” he said.
“The Interpol investigation was said by Zahid to have been completed, with no findings made whatsoever and therefore the case was closed. That was a very irresponsible action,” he said.
Zahid had said in a Parliamentary video recording of his reply to Azmin: “We have indeed forwarded a request to Interpol to find where the person meant by YB Gombak (Azmin Ali) is, and we are confident that Interpol will act professionally.
“The Malaysian police have still not obtained any specific details from Interpol. However we are confident that what has been done by several parties at the international level, especially the intelligence agencies, has been finalised and the case is no longer relevant except when it is raised by dissatisfied politicians.”
Azmin today said he would hold a discussion with his Pakatan Harapan colleagues on whether to refer Zahid to the Rights and Privileges Committee for retracting his statement on Interpol’s assistance to locate Jho Low.
Penang-born Jho Low has been implicated by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in the alleged misappropriation of funds linked to 1MDB.
Prosecutors in Singapore have also named him as the central figure in probes linked to 1MDB, adding that he used money traceable to the state fund for his own benefit.-FMT NEWS-