Jho Low one step ahead of authorities, says Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says information provided on Jho Low has to be verified. (Bloomberg pic)

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that it was difficult to track the whereabouts of Low Taek Jho, who is in the centre of the 1MDB scandal, as the fugitive businessman seems to be “one step ahead” of authorities.

The prime minister said this was despite many people providing information about Low, better known as Jho Low.

“These people have provided information but we have to verify. If you know (where he is) tell us and take action – tell us exactly where as we need to negotiate with the country concerned.

“All these things will be off the record more or less,” Malay Mail Online quoted Mahathir as saying.

He was speaking to reporters after addressing the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

When asked to confirm if Low was in China, Mahathir said: “We are told he is in China among other places. We are also told he was in Bangkok. He seems to have the capacity to learn ahead of what we are going to do.”

Jho Low and his father, Low Hock Peng, are facing charges of embezzling funds from 1MDB.

Jho Low has maintained his innocence.

The Penang-born businessman has vowed not to surrender to Malaysian authorities and accused Mahathir of conducting a trial by media against him.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) quoted sources as saying that Malaysian authorities had little success in getting China’s cooperation to locate Jho Low, who is wanted in connection with allegations that he stole billions of dollars from 1MDB.

Two days ago, Mahathir said Putrajaya would resort to private initiatives to catch Low.

Mahathir also hinted he was unsatisfied with efforts to arrest the flamboyant businessman.

“The authorities are doing their best but unfortunately, they have not yet been successful,” he was quoted as saying.