The party-loving businessman is still living it up and as nonchalant as ever, despite various investigations against 1MDB.
What’s up with Jho Low:
- Allegedly was in Phuket in May, in direct contact with Najib, anticipating Najib’s election victory
- Apparently, close ties with Najib makes him feel untouchable
- Enjoys protected status in China and around Asia
- Travels with bodyguards allegedly provided by Beijing
- Carries six phones, each for a different set of contacts around the world
- Partied with celebrities in Macau in February
With the fresh investigation into 1MDB under Pakatan Harapan, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the focus of the investigations has shifted to Jho Low, the alleged mastermind of the financial scandal.
WSJ reported that Low was in Phuket, Thailand, in May to anticipate the general election victory of his ally, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The report alleged that up until the election, Low had remained in contact with Najib, directly and through people in his inner circle, according to sources familiar with their relationship.
The sources added that Low’s close ties with Najib had made him feel untouchable.
“In China and around Asia, Low appeared to enjoy a protected status even after the scandal broke, travelling with bodyguards he said were provided by Beijing, say people familiar with his movements.
“He carries more than six phones, using each for a different set of contacts around the world, the people say,” the report stated.
It also stated that despite various investigations launched against 1MDB by several countries, Low had remained unflappable and continued to party and sail around Asia in a super-yacht.
Reportedly, Low was so nonchalant that he hosted a birthday celebration for an associate, Eric Tan, in February at a Macau hotel, which was attended by hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz and singer Nicole Scherzinger.
However, WSJ said Low left Thailand and has “struck a more careful posture” since Barisan Nasional was defeated in the recent election.
His location is currently rumoured to be in Taiwan, Macau and Shanghai.
WSJ also stated that Low’s lawyers said he declined to be interviewed or reveal his whereabouts.
Previously, Nanyang Siang Pau reported that Low was hiding in Taiwan.
Malaysia does not have an extradition treaty with either China or Taiwan.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also said that the Malaysian Government “roughly knows” where to find Low.
On Friday, Council of Eminent Persons member Tun Daim Zainuddin said he would like for Low to come home to Malaysia and assist with the 1MDB probe, citing him as the best witness to testify in the case.
Low was instrumental in setting up the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) that was later repurposed as 1MDB.