PETALING JAYA: A company linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, which claims ownership of the Equanimity has claimed that it has received no legal notice on the sale of the superyacht.
In a statement issued just hours before the start of a hearing at the Kuala Lumpur Admiralty Court on a suit by 1Malaysia Development Berhad which is seeking to expedite the sale of the vessel, Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd said it had not received notice of the pending court hearing on the matter.
“For Malaysia to act unilaterally while there are pending court requests in the US would be an affront to the international rule of law,” the statement said.
The statement claimed that Malaysia’s intent to immediately sell the superyacht, which has reportedly been valued at about RM1bil, would drastically reduce its potential sale value.
“Due to the Malaysian government’s precipitous, ill-conceived, and misguided actions, the yacht is running 24 hours per day, seven days a week on generator power, which is unsustainable and harmful to the vessel.
“Moreover, Malaysia has currently docked the yacht in a hazardous environment in which toxins such as water pollution and nearby smoke are greatly damaging it.”
The statement claimed that since Malaysia apparently does not have – or does not want to spend – the necessary funds to properly maintain the vessel while it is prepared for a value-maximising sale, “Malaysia has instead proposed a 'fire sale', in which the yacht is to be sold for a fraction of its true value.”
“To move for a sale in Malaysia immediately would be a remarkable violation of due process and international legal comity, and would call into question the actual ownership of the yacht for any potential buyer,” the statement added.
It said such actions would create a cloud on the Equanimity’s ownership that could easily take years to resolve in several courts around the world.
On Friday (Aug 24), the court will hear the application for the disposal of Equanimity, a move, if successful, will mark the first effort by Malaysia to recover the billions diverted from the troubled 1Malaysia Develoment Bhd (1MDB).
1MDB and its two subsidiaries 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited and 1MDB Global Investment Limited as well as the government of Malaysia have named the owner of the ship Equanimity of Cayman Islands as the sole defendant in the suit.
It was filed by the law firm of Jeremy Joseph and partners on Thursday (Aug 23)
On Aug 6, a writ of summons was issued to the owner of the vessel as well as to Wilson Yacht Management Ltd, the company that operates Equanimity.