KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho today denied that the company secretary who worked for the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd is his aunt.
Just before 4pm this afternoon, Jho Low’s spokesman via his lead US lawyers issued a statement to deny that SRC International’s former company secretary Goh Gaik Kim was related to his family.
“There is no family relationship between Mr Low or any of his family members with the above mentioned Goh Gaik Kim,” the spokesman said in a brief statement sent out by Australia-based public relations firm Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs.
According to the spokesman, Low was “aware” that SRC International’s former company secretary Goh was alleged by a lawyer to be Low’s relative during the trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak involving RM42 million of the firm’s money, adding that claims of the alleged family ties are “demonstrably false”.
Malay Mail reporters covering Najib’s ongoing trial in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur have however confirmed that Goh’s name was not mentioned today during court proceedings, but was mentioned last Friday in her capacity then as SRC International company secretary and with no mention made in court then of her allegedly being Low’s maternal aunt.
Based on the testimony of a Companies of Commission Malaysia’s official during the trial, Goh was appointed as SRC International’s company secretary on March 31, 2011 and served in that position until August 22, 2011.
Low’s denial also comes hours after local financial paper The Edge Financial Daily reported Goh Gaik Kim — who is currently with former 1MDB unit TRX City Sdn Bhd as a company secretary — to be his maternal aunt.
Earlier today, The Edge cited unnamed sources as saying that Gaik Kim is the younger sister to Low’s mother Puan Sri Evelyn Goh Gaik Ewe.
The Edge also reported a senior personnel of TRX City’s management as confirming that Gaik Kim is still the firm’s company secretary, but claimed to have no knowledge of whether she is Jho Low’s aunt.
The Edge said Gaik Kim had been the company secretary of TRX City since the end of March 2011, and was also the company secretary of TRX City’s then parent company 1MDB from March 2011 until early April 2016.
Malay Mail’s checks today of TRX City’s website show Gaik Kim being listed as part of the company’s senior management, in the role of director of its secretarial and compliance department.
She is listed as being a chartered secretary with more than 20 years’ experience as the company secretary of a few listed corporations, and with her experience including “audit, tax and corporate secretarial practice”.
Low’s parents Evelyn and Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng are among four individuals listed in January 2019 as wanted by Malaysian police to assist in the 1MDB investigations in relation to money-laundering offences.
TRX City was formerly 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd under 1MDB, but the company changed in mid-December 2015 to its current name and is now parked under Minister of Finance Incorporated.
The Edge noted that 1MDB had in March 2013 issued 10-year bonds worth US$3 billion for the Tun Razak Exchange project where TRX City is the master developer, but said this amount was not used for the project as intended.
It said the funds were instead allegedly channelled to Jho Low’s accounts, where some of the money was allegedly spent on buying paintings.
The Edge highlighted that US$681 million was deposited into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank account shortly after the US$3 billion funds were raised, and that the former prime minister has alleged that the amount received was a donation from Saudi royals.
Najib had in July 2012 launched the 70-acre Tun Razak Exchange project, which was reportedly projected to generate RM26 billion in gross development revenue and expected to create 500,000 jobs by attracting over 100 top global companies to base their offices there.