Equanimity can be sold for at least RM500 million: Sivarasa


KUALA LUMPUR: The super yacht Equanimity linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, which allegedly cost RM1 billion, could be sold for half the price, said lawyer R Sivarasa.

Speaking at the International Malaysia Law Conference here today, Sivarasa said the price was his personal view because the asset would depreciate in value just like a car.

“We are not getting that much, the yacht is just like a car, when you buy today, tomorrow the price will be less. The yacht was bought probably at RM1 billion, we will be lucky and probably hope to get RM500 million,” he said in his speech during the last plenary session entitled “Equanimity: Perspectives of Handling Criminal Investigations Relating to Government Corruption and Abuse of Power”.

Sivarasa, who is also Deputy Rural Development Minister, said the yacht is currently docked at Pulau Indah, Port Klang, waiting to be sold and the RM500 million cash proceeds will be used to pay the massive 1MDB debts.

On Tuesday, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had said that the yacht will be sold within three to four months if there was no claim of ownership.

Sivarasa during the question-and-answer session said that the criminal proceedings involving 1Malaysian Development Berhad’s fund (1MDB) would take some time because it was a complicated case which dealt with various agencies.

“I am not here to speak on behalf of the Attorney-General but speaking as a lawyer and looking at the circumstances of the 1MDB saga, the prosecution would be more complicated and we need to prepare the case properly,” he said.

He said looking at how the scandal took place, it not only involved Jho Low, but also other individuals and other companies.

Sivarasa, however, said recovering all assets and monies belonging to the 1MDB would not take a long time as the assets had been frozen in Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission S Thangavelu, who shared the same view as Sivarasa, said the criminal proceedings over 1MDB would take some time because for criminal matters the prosecution will have to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt in court in order to win.

“If you don’t have the full picture how are going you to present the case to the court and how is the judge going to appreciate such assembly of facts which are incomplete, until and unless we can get all the witnesses, the exhibits, the evidence, hard evidence. I think it will take some time and it’s not going to happen very quickly,” he said.

Another speaker, Ho Kay Tat, who is the publisher and group Chief Executive Officer of The Edge Media Group also agreed with them that Malaysia will recover the assets soon.

“If you look at the DOJ report they have done a lot of work and they know exactly where the assets are ...how the money flowed and every single of transaction. I think it will be quite fast (recovery of assets),” he said.

The four-day conference with the theme “Raising the Bar: Innovate, Integrate and Emulate”, which was held in a hotel here, ended today.—BERNAMA © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd