See More on Facebook

Business, Politics

Fugitive Jho Low says no connection between 1Mdb and China

Jho Low rubbishes Wall Street Journal report about China’s alleged role in 1MDB probe.


Written by

Updated: :54+00

Fugitive businessman Jho Low has dismissed a report by the Wall Street Journal linking China to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB as “a continuation of a trial by media” led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The Journal said in a report on Monday (Jan 7) that senior Chinese leaders offered in 2016 to help bail out 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB, which is at the centre of a swelling, multi-billion-dollar graft scandal. The report cited minutes from a series of previously undisclosed meetings.

Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try to get the United States and other countries to drop their probes of allegations that allies of then Prime Minister Najib Razak and others plundered the fund, the report said.

In return, Malaysia offered lucrative stakes in railway and pipeline projects for China’s One Belt, One Road programme of building infrastructure abroad. Within months, Najib – who has denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB matter – signed US$34 billion (S$46 billion) of rail, pipeline and other deals with Chinese state companies, to be funded by Chinese banks and built by Chinese workers.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) had said that US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by top Malaysian officials and their associates. The financier in the case, Jho Low, also known as Low Taek Jho, was charged in federal court in New York late last year in connection with the theft and money laundering.

The financier responded to the Journal report via a statement issued by his spokesman on Tuesday, The Star Online reported on Wednesday.

“The Wall Street Journal’s latest story is simply a continuation of the Mahathir regime’s trial by media,” said Low.

“The article is a selection of half-truths, mixed in with fiction, to create a misleading and oversimplified narrative that has been peddled by a morally bankrupt Mahathir regime to advance its failing political cause.”

Najib and the Chinese embassy in Malaysia have also dismissed the Journal’s allegations as “groundless”.

Low said the claims were politically motivated by the administration of Tun Mahathir, who came into power after sweeping general elections last May.

“Extraordinary and serious claims require extraordinary evidence, and the Mahathir regime has failed to provide any legitimate evidence to support these politically motivated accusations,” Low said.

“It is the journalistic responsibility of the Wall Street Journal to have approached such claims with scepticism and suspicion, and it is unfortunate that these baseless political accusations are passed off as legitimate reporting.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Business, Politics

Apple says Korea should not interfere in issues with telecom operators

The tech giant says that regulators should leave its interactions with local telecom companies alone. South Korea’s top antitrust watchdog should not interfere in business dealings between Apple and local mobile carriers, which should operate by market rules, Apple’s legal representative in Korea said. “The FTC should not waste its resources on business dealings legally made by the market mechanism and based on long negotiations between Apple and Korean telecom companies (SKT, KT and LG Uplus),” Oh Keum-seok, a partner at Seoul’s BKL law firm that represents Apple, told The Korea Herald. “If Apple faces sanctions from the FTC, this will set a bad precedent for foreign companies doing business in Korea,” he said.


By The Korea Herald
January 15, 2019

Business, Politics

What does Vietnam’s new cyber law mean for online dissent?

Will Facebook kowtow to the Vietnamese government to keep its market share. Facebook is in violation of a Vietnamese new cybersecurity law by allowing its users to post content critical of the communist government on its platform, the Ministry of Information and Communication announced on Wednesday of last week. The news came just days after the law went into effect on Jan. 1. The new legislation requires internet companies to comply with government demands to remove user-posted material it doesn’t like. The law also stipulates that information technology companies—Facebook and Google for instance—may be required to set up local offices and store customer data domestically, a feature which human rights advocates worry might make it easier for the government to track and charge dissidents for their online activities. This new legislation follows a pattern of increasing digital scrutiny by th


By Quinn Libson
January 15, 2019

Business, Politics

Huawei to end employment of staff arrested in Poland for spying

Huawei has been accused by countries of spying for Chinese government. Huawei announced on Saturday evening that it would terminate employment of Wang Weijing, who was detained in Poland on suspicion of spying, CCTV reported. Wang’s alleged actions have no relation to the company, according to Huawei. “In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute,” said Huawei. “Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based,” said Huawei.


By China Daily
January 14, 2019

Business, Politics

Xi: Step up fight against corruption

The president calls for more measures to be taken against corruption. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called on Friday for all-around efforts to fight corruption and improve the nation’s oversight system to secure even greater strategic outcomes in full and strict governance over the Party. Xi, China’s president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing. The sweeping victory that has been secured in the anti-graft campaign must be consolidated by strengthening deterrence so that officials “don’t dare to, are unable to and have no desire to” commit acts of corruption, Xi said. To this end, anti-corruption efforts in financial fields should be stepped up, particularly in key projects, areas and posi


By China Daily
January 14, 2019

Business, Politics

Talks calm trade climate for Beijing, Washington

For the trade war, more talks means less tension. The latest round of vice-ministerial level trade talks between China and the United States, which concluded on Wednesday, have laid a foundation for addressing each other’s concerns, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. Both sides have actively implemented the significant consensus reached by their heads of state and conducted extensive, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern, Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman, said at a news briefing on Thursday. The meetings between China and the US began on Monday in Beijing. According to a statement released by the ministry on Thursday morning, the two sides improved mutual understanding. Both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact, the statement said. On Dec 1, the top leaders of China and the US met on the sidelines of the


By China Daily
January 11, 2019

Business, Politics

Korea seizes Japanese companies asset over wartime forced labor

Japan has summoned Seoul’s ambassador in protest. The seizure of Korean assets of Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal over Japan’s wartime use of South Korean forced labor went into effect Wednesday, prompting the Japanese government to summon South Korean ambassador to Tokyo in protest. The Daegu District Court’s Pohang branch approved the seizure last week, as the firm has refused to follow the Oct. 30 ruling by the top court here to compensate four South Koreans forced into labor during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation of the Korean Peninsula. The assets of Nippon Steel have been frozen as the company received the documents ordering the seizure. Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba summoned South Korean ambassador to Tokyo, Lee Su-hoon, on Wednesday in protest and expressed regret over the decision. After the 10-minute talks with Akiba, Lee told reporters


By The Korea Herald
January 10, 2019