Jho Low rubbishes report China offered to bail 1MDB out

09 Jan 2019 / 14:18 H.

PETALING JAYA: Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low (pix), has rubbished a news report claiming that China had offered to bail out 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in 2016, describing it as accusations that are politically motivated.

The fugitive businessman, through his spokesman, said the report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was merely a trial by media, and shifted the blame on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his administration instead.

“The article is a selection of half-truths mixed with fiction to create a misleading and oversimplified narrative that has been peddled by a morally-bankrupt Mahathir regime to advance its failing political cause.

“Extraordinary and serious claims require extraordinary evidence and the Mahathir regime has failed to provide any legitimate evidence to support these politically-motivated accusations,” he said in a statement issued late on Tuesday night.

The WSJ report had alleged that China offered to use its influence to help resolve the 1MDB issue in exchange of securing lucrative projects, like the US$16 billion (RM65.8 million) East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the US$2.5 billion (RM10.3 billion) Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline projects.

Citing minutes from meetings between Chinese and Malaysian officials, it had said that Beijing officials had proposed to persuade other countries to drop their investigations into the state sovereign fund and to bug the homes and offices of WSJ reporters pursuing the case.

Slamming the report, Low said it was journalistic responsibility of the WSJ to have approached such claims with scepticism and suspicion, and that it was unfortunate that these baseless political accusations were passed off as legitimate reporting.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has said Malaysia would look into the claims and pursue the matter if the allegations were found to be true.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and the Chinese Embassy of Malaysia have both denied the claims.

Former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin had also yesterday “categorically stated” that the Cabinet was never informed that China deals were linked to bailing out 1MDB.

“If there is evidence of that happening, it was without Cabinet approval,” he tweeted.

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