Jho Low’s family house nothing to do with 1MDB, says Penang pressure group

Jho Low’s family home in Penang is among the assets involved in a RM680 million civil forfeiture action.

PETALING JAYA: A Penang-based NGO has hit out at authorities’ efforts to seize a mansion belonging to the mother of runaway businessman Low Taek Jho, saying the house has nothing to do with state fund 1MDB.

Citizens Awareness Chant Group (CHANT) adviser Yan Lee said he had known Low’s parents, Larry Low Hock Peng and Goh Gaik Ewe, for more than 20 years.

“This home was their family home for many years and their children grew up in this house.

“Obviously if any funds are proven in an impartial court of law to have been misappropriated, they should be recovered, but how could this house be connected to 1MDB when it was built long before 1MDB existed?” he said in a statement shared by Low’s spokesman.

Low, better known as Jho Low, is fighting the seizure of the house for which he says his mother holds a certificate of occupation dated July 2000.

The authorities are seeking to seize the mansion as part of a RM680 million civil forfeiture action.

The assets include handbags, cars and cash, which the government alleges were bought using funds siphoned from 1MDB, which was set up in 2009.

But Yan said the government should follow the rule of law and “stop using this issue as an excuse”.

“Taking a family home – anyone’s family home – without any real reason is just not right.”