Statements to the Media
Statement regarding Recent Books on 1mdb – 17 September 2018
Billion Dollar Whale is one of three recently and hastily published books, with the authors attempting to write ‘instant history,’ without the benefit of evidence and before the issues have even begun to be resolved.
As reviewers and commentators from the Financial Times and Australian Financial Review, among others, have pointed out, this particular book is mostly about transactions undertaken by global financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds and the managers of 1MDB - all of whom were experienced in such transactions and knew exactly what they were doing.
In fact, Mr. Low seems to disappear from the narrative when any of the alleged fraud occurs, only to then be accused – without any evidence – of having been responsible for it.
But, as The Financial Times noted, that sort of tale doesn’t sell books or get the authors a movie deal. Thus, this book is written with allegations disguised as fact and gossip passed off as legitimate reporting. The narrative is framed to allow the authors to write about celebrities, and models and parties, without ever proving any of the allegations.
Rather than wait for the full facts surrounding this case to emerge, the authors chose to publish their tale while there are ongoing and unresolved proceedings in the US, and before a single piece of evidence has been produced before any court.
Billion Dollar Whale is guilt-by-lifestyle, and trial-by-media at its worst. We simply ask that the audience bears this in mind if they choose to read this, or any of these books.
Statement regarding political charges – 24 August 2018
A spokesman for Mr. Low, through his attorneys, issued the following statement on the filing of charges against Mr. Low in Malaysia:
These charges are obviously designed to distract from the Mahathir regime’s disastrous seizure of the Equanimity yacht and their plan to sell it at auction without any attempt to verify ownership of the vessel through proper legal process.
Mr. Low maintains his innocence and is confident he will be vindicated. Mr. Low and his lawyers request that the public keep an open mind until all of the evidence comes to light. This has been a case of “trial-by-media” from the start, and unfortunately, the circus continues.
Mr. Low is conferring with his lawyers regarding what legal action he can take to address this latest political reprisal, but he stands by his earlier statements: He will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and self-interest overrules legal process. It is abundantly clear that it would be impossible for Mr. Low to get a fair trial in Malaysia, where the government has proven time and time again that they have no interest in the rule of law.
Statement regarding the Malaysian Government’s plans to sell the yacht Equanimity – 23 August 2018
A spokesman for Mr. Low, through his attorneys, issued the following statement in response to the Malaysian government’s immediate plans to sell the yacht Equanimity at public auction:
If anyone needs further proof that the corrupt Mahathir regime has no interest in following any manner of fair and just legal process, then this is it.
This is nothing more than a sham hearing as part of an unjust and arbitrary legal process subject to the whims of a vindictive regime regarding an asset whose ownership has yet to be determined.
The unfortunate part is that the U.S. government was willing to cover the cost of the Equanimity’s upkeep while proceedings were pending in the U.S. Instead, as a publicity stunt, Mahathir has unnecessarily put this financial burden on the Malaysian government and, given the illegal manner in which he took the asset, it is unlikely any bid will come close to its fair market value.
Issues related to the ownership of this asset could have been handled through proceedings in Indonesia and the United States that were underway when Mahathir’s forces illegally boarded the yacht and sailed it off to Malaysia. His politically motivated publicity stunt to prop up his fragile regime has obviously backfired: He now realizes it costs up to RM3 million to maintain the yacht, so his only option is a quick fire sale at a likely huge discount.
The U.S. government has repeatedly stated that it had no advance knowledge of Mahathir’s illegal seizure of the yacht. No doubt they had no advance notice of this brazen attempt at a quick sale either.
This illegal and costly act once again shows Mahathir’s interests are purely political and that he has no respect for the rule of law.
Statement regarding lack of a chance to receive a fair hearing – 17 August 2018
A spokesman for Mr. Low, through his attorneys, issued the following statement in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that Mr Low would be on the agenda when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir met Chinese President Xi. This report was false, subsequent statements from Mahathir revealed that Mr Low was not discussed:
Today’s Wall Street Journal article was obviously planted there by the Mahathir regime, working with these reporters towards a common goal: The Wall Street Journal reporters have a book coming out next month that they are trying to sell, while Mahathir is intent on advancing his own corrupt political agenda by assigning guilt without any form of legal process. So much for the rule of law.
This has been a case of trial-by-media from the start, fuelled by leaks from prosecutors and government officials who have little interest in the truth. For The Wall Street Journal, it is a gross breach of journalistic ethics. There is a clear conflict of interest in allowing reporters with a financial interest in a particular narrative to report on these matters. Any facts that get in the way of the themes of their upcoming book are ignored, while any source—no matter how self-interested—who advances their storyline is believed.
Before any evidence has been presented in any court, including in the United States, these reporters have passed judgment, supporting a Mahathir regime that has proven its utter disregard for anything resembling a fair legal process.
It is little wonder Mr. Low believes there is no jurisdiction where he can get a fair hearing in this matter. To reiterate: Mr. Low will not submit to any jurisdiction where guilt has been predetermined by politics and self-interest overrules legal process.
Statement regarding the yacht Equanimity, illegally taken by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments, as it arrives in Malaysia – 06 August 2018
The Mahathir regime’s illegal act today, ignoring court rulings in legal proceedings in the US and Indonesia, prove he has no interest in a fair and just process.
The yacht's owner, Equanimity Cayman Limited, had already filed a claim on this asset, which Mahathir ignores. Further proceedings have been issued today in response to this illegal act.
Mahathir has chosen to bring the asset illegally into a rigged Malaysian system manipulated by a man who only cares about his absolute political rule. It is ultimately justice that suffers.
Since his election, Mahathir has tried reinventing his public image following the appalling abuses of the rule of law he previously presided over, including the Anwar case and the 1988 judicial crisis. The reality is that he has simply continued on as he did during his previous regime and has shown that his only objectives are political: from freezing bank accounts of rival political parties, to public trial-by-media, where guilt is proclaimed before any evidence is presented.
Statement regarding the Malaysian and Indonesian governments’ illegal seizure of the yacht Equanimity – 04 August 2018
Equanimity is owned by Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd. That company is already litigating this matter in Indonesia and the United States. But given the fact that Mr Low will be inevitably drawn into the media coverage over this illegal seizure by the Malaysian government, he issues the following statement through his lawyers:
The action of the Mahathir government in illegitimately taking this asset shows just how quickly the rule of law disappears in Mahathir’s regime. It is a violation of an Indonesian law and court decision by a politically motivated Malaysian government bent on advancing its own political agenda with little regard to existing court rulings or basic legal rights.
As he did in Malaysia’s 1988 judicial crisis, Mahathir is showing the world that his new regime still has no interest in the rule of law.
Mahathir’s politically driven actions also go against recent US court orders. The USDOJ has argued that it is critical that they have possession to ensure the asset retains its value until a fair court hearing can determine final ownership and the rights of all the parties involved.
Actions like this make it increasingly clear that there is no jurisdiction where the issues in this case can be subject to a fair hearing, thanks to a global media circus fuelled by politically motivated parties whose aim is to convict Mr. Low in the public arena.