Malaysia Dateline

Seizure of The Equanimity makes Low Taek Jho loses his cool

Now that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad and some of his cabinet colleagues, among which includes Minister of Defense Mohamad Sabu and Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng, have boarded and inspected “The Equanimity,” which means ‘calmness and composure in any crisis,” there is a sense that they are on rock solid legal ground.

To begin with, the previous administration of Najib Razak has refused to claim “The Equanimity,” despite the fact that it was worth RM 1 billion.

Since its seizure and discovery by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Indonesian police off the coast of Bali Island in June 2018, only Low Taek Jho – otherwise known as Jho Low – has issued statements claiming that the detention of the luxurious yacht was illegal by US and Indonesian laws.

As Tun Dr Mahathir said, “If he (jho low) says the luxurious liner is his, then come and claim it.”

Otherwise, the top of the range vessel would have to be auctioned off granted the permission that has been given to the US Department of Justice.

Indeed, now that “The Equanimity” are in the hands of Malaysian authorities, the whole of the country can literally see and witness the depths of the Najib kleptocracy. Not only is the yacht considered the top 35 most expensive ships ever built, but it needs a maintenance of RM 3 million a month. At that rate, all forms of hedonistic parties can be conducted each night.

“The Equanimity,” to be sure is built for the supreme comfort of Jho Low and his elite circle of friends and money laundering backers. There is a lift that can go to the top deck.

The “master bed room,” according to Tun Dr Mahathir, even has a sun roof that can open and shut as befitting the occasion. At night, the owner can keep it open to look at the sky. And, in the afternoon if it is too hot, the lid can be closed.

Regardless of the functions of the ship, which is managed and maintained by up to 35 crew members, it is clear that Jho Low is extremely attached to it. He has issued statements through his legal representatives that “The Equanimity” has been seized by Malaysia without any respect to the “rule of law.”

There are three reasons, beyond Jho Low’s fetish of the ship, why he has lost his ‘cool’. To begin with, at RM 1 billion, Jho Low has lost a huge portion of the money laundered by his team. If he keeps losing such items to Malaysian authorities, as indeed he has, it implies that the Interpol would be encouraged to take the 1MDB case even more seriously, as the Interpol is keen on scoring major victories against kleptocratic regimes.

Second, Tun Dr Mahathir has insisted that “The Equanimity,” is bought with the tax payers’ money, albeit with the sleight of hand of laundering the money of 1MDB. If this money trail is confirmed—-as it seems more and more likely—–then the RM 18 billion worth of GST collection that has gone missing is another slipper that is about to drop, potentially, linked once again to Jho Low in some form.

Third, Tun Dr Mahathir has taken to insisting that all monies laundered by 1MDB, which could be in the upper bracket of RM 45 billion must be discovered. If another RM 18 billion from GST is missing, then the case just gets bigger and bigger, all of which necessitates the hot pursuit and capture of Jho Low to end the legal and financial fiasco.

If protected by China and any authorities related to China, Jho Low must now be feeling the heat under the collar, as his “strategic,” criminal value has gone up and up without fail; all of which makes him vital as a state to state barter to get him arrested.

Come what may, the seizure and potential auction of “The Equanimity,” have now become major game-changer. Malaysian authorities now possess the yacht and the communication log between the captain and Jho Low to establish a clear pattern of ownership and instructions. By zooming in on the communication protocol alone, Malaysian legal experts can build an air tight case against Jho Low and the pilferers of 1MDB, potentially, GST too.