KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today he will auction off Jho Low’s yacht Equanimity to recover as much money as possible from the luxury boat worth US$250 million (RM1.02 billion).
He said selling off the yacht belonging to the fugitive financier, who is allegedly a central figure in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal, would be the best option as the cost to maintain its docking would be high.
“As the Finance Ministry, we want to realise this asset so we can at least get something back.
“Leaving it there every day means we would have to pay the high maintenance cost. It would also just deteriorate, diminish and depreciate in value.
“If we sell it off, it can benefit Malaysians. It costs RM1 billion but I don’t know how much we can get back,” he told a press conference at Dewan Rakyat lobby here today.
Upon the yacht’s arrival tomorrow, Lim said the Attorney-General Tommy Thomas will ensure that the relevant paperwork are in order before the government decides if the infamous Equanimity would be open for public viewing.
“The AG will ensure all the papers are in order, that proper controls are imposed, and to make sure that there is a proper inventory of assets inside.
“We hope that public can also view maybe some portions of ship, not entirely though, because there are a lot of valuables inside. There must be some sort of control,” he said.
Lim added that the AG would have the final say whether or not Malaysia gets to permanently keep Equanimity.
“Let the AG explain in details tomorrow. The fact that the yacht is here speaks for itself. It will temporarily be under the custody of the Malaysian government.
“The Ministry is not interested (in custody)...we are only interested in how much can we realise from the value of this asset,” he said.