KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Goh Gaik Kim, maternal aunt to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, remains the company secretary at TRX City Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of scandal-riddled sovereign investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
TRX City’s management confirmed that she is still its secretary, but claimed to have no knowledge of her being Low’s aunt, The Edge reported today.
“Honestly I don’t know, I don’t know if she is Jho Low’s aunt,” the senior management personnel was quoted saying.
The local financial daily cited unnamed sources saying Gaik Kim is the younger sister to Low’s mother Puan Sri Evelyn Goh Gaik Ewe.
The Edge said Gaik Kim had been the company secretary of TRX City since the end of March 2011, and was also appointed then as company secretary of TRX City’s then parent company 1MDB.
The Edge said she was likely no longer part of 1MDB in early April 2016, when she was replaced by Chen Kai Hong as company secretary.
The paper quoted an unnamed observer as saying that there could be an issue of conflict of interest.
“While Goh (Gaik Kim) may be qualified for the job — TRX City’s website says she has over 20 years of experience as a company secretary — the question of conflict arises because her sister (Gaik Ewe) and brother-in-law (Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng) are wanted on allegations that they were involved in the shenanigans at 1MDB, and her nephew is deemed the architect of the scam that is 1MDB,” the observer was quoted saying.
Evelyn, Larry Low, Jho Low’s close associate Eric Tan Kim Loong and a Singaporean fashion designer alleged to be previously favoured by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are listed as wanted by Malaysian police to assist in the 1MDB investigations in relation to money-laundering offences.
Malay Mail’s checks 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”.
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 (RM12.5 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 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.
Just before 4pm this afternoon, Jho Low’s spokesman via his lead US lawyers issued a statement to deny that 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 via Australia-based public relations firm Wells Haslem Mayhew.