PETALING JAYA: Malaysia may be working on a deal with the Chinese government that could see the fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho repatriated to Malaysia, claims a report by former Wall Street Journal reporter Bradley Hope
According to Hope, multiple sources said the arrangement is being "hotly debated" inside the Malaysian government in the wake of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's trip to China in March.
"Such a deal would involve recalibrating Belt and Road Initiative projects in Malaysia to be economically feasible and beneficial to Malaysian infrastructure needs and also handing over Jho Low himself.
"This would be huge, fascinating and mark the end of the main storyline of the 1MDB scandal – from its founding in 2009 to collapse amid scandal in 2015.
"It could also mean a big cash recovery for Malaysia, too, because Jho – by our estimates and sources who have followed the case closely – still controls a multibillion dollar cash hoard," he claimed in his report.
The claim is published in the latest entry of the newsletter "Whale Hunting", which Hope runs with fellow journalist Tom Wright.
The duo are co-authors of the book "Billion Dollar Whale" about Low's role in the 1MDB scandal.
Hope also claimed that the deal was an exciting one for Malaysia.
"This is an incredibly delicate and challenging deal to work out.
"I'm just speculating, but I imagine both sides will want to make this a positive announcement," he said.