KUALA LUMPUR: The government has spent RM3.5 million on the Equanimity super yacht, which purportedly belongs to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, in just the last two months since it arrived in the country’s waters.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the amount included the legal fees involved and the cost to maintain the ship.
“Up to Oct 10, the total amount spent on the yacht is around RM3.5 million which, among other things, comprise the port service cost, payment made to the crews, as well as maintenance and legal costs,” he stated.
Lim said this in a written reply to Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang) who had asked for the current status of the yacht and the overall amount that has been spent by the ministry on it.
The billion ringgit Equanimity, which was allegedly bought by Low using funds embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), arrived in Malaysia on August 7 and was docked in Port Klang.
Lim had previously said the government was looking for buyers, and that the money from the sale of the yacht would be returned to the country.
On Aug 25 the Admiralty Court, had granted 1MDB and the government – which has also since been declared the rightful owner of the Equanimity – an application to sell the super yacht.
Meanwhile, Lim said a judgement in default on the case regarding the yacht has been filed in court and the date of the hearing would be set by the court soon.
He added that the sale of Equanimity was expected to be finalised by the end of the year, following the court’s appointment of Burgess as the sole broker last month.