KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Former Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein today said that he is still trying to track down fugitive billionaire Low Taek Jho, to aid in the government’s investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The Sembrong MP admitted though that it has not been an easy task.
“I want to find the truth with regards to 1MDB. I have been consistent on that and if Jho Low is critical, I will do my part but it’s not something that can be done by just one man.
“It’s not easy as it involves third parties, it involves governments,” he said when met by reporters in Parliament.
“My contacts are wide and I will deal with the IGP,” Hishammuddin said, referring to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
Hishammuddin renewed his pledge to do all he can to find Low, popularly known as Jho Low, despite coming under close scrutiny recently over some dubious land deals.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu last month said that the ministry incurred a startling loss of RM500 million from several land swap deals valued at RM4.75 billion.
In a statement, he said his ministry received the report from the Governance, Procurement and Finance Investigating Committee headed by former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang on the land swap deals.
“The committee investigated 16 deals involving 2,932 acres of land belonging to the ministry. In addition to the land value, the cost of the projects is estimated to be RM4.88 billion,” Mohamad Sabu said.
He said the ministry was informed that a majority of the land swap projects were implemented without detailed planning and the selection of the developer companies not done with due comprehensive diligence.
In early April last year, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz publicly alleged that land belonging to the Armed Forces had been swapped by a company supposedly under the control of three key individuals.
Shortly thereafter the ministry, led then by Hishammuddin, responded with a statement, denying this was the case and saying various measures were used for the development projects, which include privatisation through land-swapping deals.