FORMER Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has vowed to hunt down the main player implicated in the embezzlement of billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), saying he will not give up his search “until the end of the earth.”
The now-opposition MP said the need to bring Jho Low to justice goes beyond politics and is needed so the country can finally heal from the corruption scandal.
“It has nothing to do whether you are from the opposition or the government, this is about justice,” he told reporters at on Monday, as reported by The Star Online.
“I will go after him until the end of the world.
“I will do my utmost to make sure he faces the music, then only can the country find closure and move forward,” he said.
The sovereign wealth fund – chaired by former-prime minister Najib Razak – was set up in 2009 to finance green energy and tourism projects in Malaysia. Instead, over the course of the next five years, a reported US$4.5 billion was allegedly funnelled out of the fund into the private bank accounts of Najib and his associates. The alleged mastermind of all this is Jho Low, a young adviser to the prime minister.
The 37-year-old has allegedly been on the move since Najib’s shock election loss in May. He is believed to be in China after crossing out of Hong Kong in July after a two-month stay in the opulent and expensive Pacific Place Apartments.
Hishammuddin offered to use his personal contacts and links with the Chinese government to try to track Jho Low down and return him to Malaysia.
Jho Low has denied any wrongdoing in the case. According to the Straits Times, Low even reached out to new prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to offer his assistance in the case.
But the Malaysian courts have issued an arrest warrant for both Jho Low and his father on charges of money laundering.
The police are working with Interpol to try to locate him.
While admitting that no one “can prove his [Jho Low’s] direct involvement” in the 1MDB case, Hishammuddin did say he was crucial to uncovering what really happened.
“I think all Malaysians want to know the truth. If they want to know the truth, we need to bring him back to face justice.”