Malaysia is keeping tabs on Jho Low but is unable to employ drastic measures to bring him home to face justice, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
“We can go to war, but we will lose the war and we will lose Jho Low.
“We are conscious that we are not a very strong nation. Sometimes people are nice to us, sometimes they are not. We have to accept (it),” Mahathir said.
The premier maintained that Malaysia remained in pursuit of Low despite obstacles.
“We are working hard on it, (we are) trying to get information but information is not easy to get.
“I am told he may carry several passports. I am also told he may have undergone some alterations to his face and all that.
“All these things are rumours, I have no proof.
“But it could happen and that makes it difficult for us to trace him,” he said.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador previously said that police were aware of Low’s whereabouts and accused his host country of refusing to cooperate with Malaysia.
He also brushed off claims from the country, which he did not name, that Low was hard to track down as he had undergone drastic plastic surgery and now had animal-like features.
Today, Mahathir clarified that the IGP briefs him about Low periodically but not constantly.
This was in response to an apparent dissonance between him and Hamid on whether Malaysia knew where Low was.
He said that the difference between Hamid’s statements and his could have stemmed from the fact that they didn’t speak the same language.
“I do not speak the same language as IGP. IGP is the IGP. If you give me all these (police) medals on my shoulder, I would speak like the IGP.
“He has told me where he has found him. I would not know but it is not every time when he knows where Jho Low is supposed to be, and he rings me up. Once in a while, he tells me,” said Dr Mahathir.
It was recently revealed that Low had in 2015 obtained a Cypriot passport after investing in property in the Mediterranean island state.
Cyprus is revoking the passports of several individuals, including one Malaysian believed to be Low.
Last year, Mahathir said Malaysia had embarked on “private attempts” to repatriate Low from China.