KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho has reportedly offered the Malaysian government a sum of around RM1.5 billion to settle the charges against him for his alleged role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
The Edge reported that an anonymous source divulged to the financial newspaper that the proposal was negotiated with Putrajaya by former attorney-general Tan Sri Apandi Ali. It was however ultimately rejected by the government.
Apandi did not respond to The Edge's questions over the matter at the time of writing.
Apandi was appointed attorney-general in 2015 under Datuk Seri Najib Razak's tenure as prime minister before his service was terminated in June 2018 following the change in the federal government to Pakatan Harapan. He sued Putrajaya for RM2.23 million over this termination and in April this year, a settlement was reached.
He had in 2016 announced he was satisfied that no criminal offence has been committed by former prime minister Najib involving 1MDB. Najib was later found guilty in 2020 of abuse of power and misappropriating over RM42 million from 1MDB's former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.
This comes as law firm Messrs Valen & Oh — who had represented Low and his father Larry Low Hock Peng in the lawsuit filed by 1MDB against Low, his family and acquaintance — discharged itself from representing the father and son duo earlier this month.
In 2021, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin told the Parliament that despite Singapore, the US, and Malaysia all having issued Red Notices to the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) for the capture of Low, all three nations are still in the dark over his exact location.
Low, a Penang-born businessman, has been on the run since the change of governments in 2018.
The fugitive financier has been alleged as one of the masterminds behind the billions of ringgit siphoned from former sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
Low is also said to have been a close confidant of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who himself has been convicted and is on trial for more than 25 charges related to alleged abuses related to 1MDB funds.