Come back, Jho Low


I HAVE never written about Jho Low before because of embarrassment. He is a Penang boy and that just fills me with deep shame. We Penang boys are cool. We don’t do things like blow hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of dollars to propose to a woman and then fail. Twice.

Women are naturally drawn to our strange accents and beach tans. We don’t need money to be a failure. We can do that for free. This chap has done something that will make any self-respecting Penang person shudder with disgust – spend money and get nothing in return.

And now he has gone and done something worse – playing the victim.

Come on, man. Is there no end to his despicable effort to stain the good name of Penang? We are tough island folk. We don’t play the victim. And even if we do, it’s only so that we can get a refund or something.

Anyway, this Jho Low fellow is in hiding somewhere. By the way, what is with the name? It sounds like a really sad attempt to sound cool. Seriously, you are either cool or you are not cool. The guy on the road to Batu Ferringhi who dances while he makes your burger, he’s cool. When you look like a plump spoilt brat but you give yourself a name that sounds like a cross between a Latina diva and some rapper, that is not cool.

Back to my story. He is a victim because according to him, the Malaysian government does not believe in the rule of law.

Well, this may have been true at one point. But there is a new go­vernment and as far as I can see, they are trying to comply with the rule of law. If they are not, some of Jho Low’s closest friends would be in jail by now.

He thinks he will not get a fair trial because the public has already made up their minds about him. Gosh, poor chap. All this while he has been keeping such a low profile, diligently doing his work and not spending money on celebrities like some attention-craving loser, is it?

If he is such a victim and he has not been pilfering the money of Malaysians, come and face trial. Many of us have had to face trial in this country. Many of us did not run away. Come home, Jho boy, come home and prove your innocence.

But I doubt he will. Firstly, because he thinks that the money laundering charges against him are merely a distraction to keep the public eye away from the injustice of his boat being seized.

That is a really brilliant argument. It is the most self-deluded line of reasoning I have ever heard in my life. Kudos to Jho Low for getting a lawyer who has a mind that can think in a way that normal people need certain banned substances to achieve.

Anyway, the little guy may be a blight on the good name of my state, but he is no fool. He will be hiding away in some luxury place in a country with no extradition treaty with Malaysia. Without such a treaty, it is very hard to get him back here.

There are ways, but they need government-to-government agreements and this chap is as slippery as a well-fed eel. He will wriggle away, I am sure.

Personally, I want him back. To face a fair trial, sure, but also so that I can get a movement going to formally reject his status as a Penangite. He can always make Pekan his new hometown.

Azmi Sharom (azmi.sharom@gmail.com) is a law teacher. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

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