PETALING JAYA, Aug 24 ― The government might have to cough up over RM3.5 million in airport charges if it wishes to bring back the Bombardier Global 5000 jet it claims was bought by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho with stolen 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) money.
Citing a source, The Star reported today that the RM143 million plane has racked up RM3 million in parking charges at the Seletar airport since February last year when it was grounded by Singapore authorities.
“However, before the plane is allowed to be flown to Malaysia, Seletar airport has asked for settlement of the parking charges first.
“The Malaysian government would also have to fork out another RM500,000 to service the aircraft, which have been grounded and left under the sun at the airport apron,” the unnamed source was quoted saying.
The daily said the fees were conveyed by the private airport,managed by Changi Airport Group Pte Ltd, to the Singaporean authorities following Malaysia’s interest in the jet.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told reporters in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday that the government will formally request the return of the jet after it proves the Penang-born Low had bought it with money it insists was stolen from the sovereign investment fund.
The government currently has custody of the RM1 billion superyacht Equanimity, which it also said was bought by the flamboyant tycoon popularly known as Jho Low with 1MDB money.
The government and 1MDB are seeking to expedite the sale Equanimity to recover funds for its debts. The case is scheduled to be heard in court today.