PORT KLANG, Aug 11 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today revealed he has heard of rumours of rich buyers wanting to purchase the Equanimity.
“We have some idea that some people are interested in buying the ship. However, they must be very rich.
“Perhaps (buyers on the level of) Arabs or Bill Gates,” he said after visiting the Equanimity in Pulau Indah earlier.
When asked if there were any parties interested in bidding for the ship, Dr Mahathir said it was “not really an auction”.
“If you want to make a bid, you are welcome to do so, but I also offered to buy it at my price, but of course, they said no,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said the government was looking to sell the superyacht as soon as possible due to costly maintenance expenses.
“For now, we have to spend at least RM2 million a month to keep it in good shape,” he said.
He said the government had not specified a timeline for any party to lay claim to the luxury superyacht yet.
“Anyone is welcome to come forward and claim the vessel.
“If no one comes forward, then we will sell it as soon as possible,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir and several Cabinet members conducted an inspection for over an hour on board the ship.
The US$250 million (RM1.02 billion) yacht is currently docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre Terminal after arriving from Indonesia on Tuesday.
The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity was seized by Indonesian authorities on February 28 in Bali at the request of US authorities as part of a multi-billion-dollar corruption investigation launched by the US Department of Justice related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad.