Guan Eng defends half-kept promise.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has admitted that he could not fulfil his promise for Penangites to board the Equanimity, the RM1 billion super yacht said to be bought by Jho Low.
He explained in an interview with Malaysiakini published today that the reason was to obtain a high selling price for the yacht, now under the government’s custody.
“I have never owned a yacht before, so I didn’t know that when you show it off, the price drops by more than half…because they (potential buyers) want exclusivity.
“So please understand. I fulfilled half the promise, I got the yacht back,” he said.
Lim reportedly promised Penangites the chance to visit the superyacht said to have been bought with money from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), if Pakatan Harapan won the May 9 general election, which it has.
The federal government obtained an order from the Admiralty Court on August 24 to auction off the vessel that is listed to be owned by Equanimity of Cayman Islands.
The Equanimity was first seized by Indonesian authorities on February 28.
The Indonesians returned it to Malaysia on August 7.
It is currently docked at the Boustead Cruise Terminal in Port Klang and kept under round-the-clock guard. It is off-limits to the public.
As it is currently under the jurisdiction of the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, one would need to get a court order to be allowed onto the vessel.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who visited the Equanimity on August 11, also said the government has no plans to open it up for public viewing as it intends to sell the vessel off eventually.
The superyacht has to be kept in good condition for it to be sold, and inviting “hundreds of people” to view the yacht may damage it, Mahathir said.
“Also, it will give a very bad impression and buyers may not want to buy a ship that is exhibited like that, so we cannot allow the public to view the yacht,” he had said after his visit.