Thanks to Equanimity, Port Klang is drawing the crowds

KLANG: Today is Alvin Chen’s day off from work. Instead of attending to personal matters or watching a movie, he spent two hours driving down to Port Klang with a friend – just to see the super-yacht Equanimity.

“Curiosity is what drove me to come here,” said Chen of Kuala Lumpur.

And it is curiosity that also brought many others to Port Klang to get a view of the yacht that has been in the news lately, even though, from where they were standing the ship looked no bigger than a thumb.

“It is the controversial ‘Jho Low’s ship’, related to 1MDB, so who does not want to see it?” Chen asked, referring to Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho who is said to be the owner of the luxury yacht and who, the US says, is the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal.

“We managed to come here with the help of a few locals who showed us the direction to the ship,” he said, adding that he wanted to see if it looked anything like what he had seen on the internet.

Ahmad Irsha’ Omar, 56, who was also there, was hoping to board the yacht to see its interior. “If given a chance, I would want to have a tour of the ship, to see how luxurious it is.”

He said it was fascinating to see the ship right in front of him, even though only at a distance, as he had only seen pictures of it on the internet.

Ahmad, who came during his lunch hour to see the ship, as his workplace is just 3km away, said: “I found out about the ship’s arrival watching television. I am planning to go to Pulau Lumut tomorrow, to have a better view of the yacht.”

Stall owner Omar Hashim, 59, has been receiving loads and loads of questions from customers about the location of the yacht since yesterday.

“It is such a hot topic among the customers here. Many people have been asking me which is the best place to go to see the ship, how to go there and all. I look like a tour guide now,” he laughed.

Omar said he planned to take some time off to see the vessel himself. “At first, I did not have any plan to see it, but seeing how people talk and ask around, it makes me want to see it too,” he said.

Meanwhile, Syuhada Khairil, who stays in Gombak, said this was her first trip to Klang and it was just to see the ship.

She came with several friends and all of them gleefully took selfies with the yacht in the background.

She described Equanimity as a classy yacht. “It still looks huge although we can only see it from far. I wonder how extra-classy it is inside. If only we could get the chance to see what is inside.”

The 91m luxury yacht Equanimity arrived at about 12.15pm yesterday at the Boustead Cruise Centre terminal in Pulau Indah. It was escorted by marine police patrol boats.

The US$250 million yacht, which is at the centre of a US investigation into 1MDB, earlier travelled from Tanjung Benoa port in Bali to Batam island before leaving for Malaysia yesterday.

It is believed that the Indonesian government, which seized the yacht at the request of US authorities early this year, decided to hand it over to Malaysia following a visit by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Jakarta last June.

Lawyer Jeremy M Joseph who was part of (the) 1MDB legal team appointed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to represent both the investment firm and Putrajaya yesterday had described the yacht as “classy” with its combination of timber and marble finishing.