SHAH ALAM: Former prime minister Najib Razak on Thursday (Nov 22) admitted that Low Taek Jho, who is wanted by the authorities in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, had cheated the previous Malaysian government.
In an interview with Malay language newspaper Sinar Harian, Najib - who was also finance minister and chairman of 1MDB during his tenure as prime minister - said he had a professional relationship with the controversial businessman, commonly referred to as Jho Low, but was not aware of his actions at 1MDB.
The government had appointed lawyers, auditors and investment bank Goldman Sachs to monitor 1MDB and protect Malaysia’s interests, but they had failed to play their roles, Najib said.
“If that is the conclusion (that the government was cheated by Jho Low), if we take into account what we know today, then that’s the truth,” he said during the live interview.
Najib was responding to a question on whether the previous administration had been cheated by Low.
Najib also said that action must be taken against Low if he is found guilty of criminal breach of trust.
“If he (Jho Low) commits an offence and if he commits a criminal breach of trust, he is violating the law, so action must be taken,” Najib said.
READ: Goldman Sachs bankers 'cheated' Malaysia over 1MDB: PM Mahathir
Najib added that he had trusted Low during their professional relationship and that he had been confident of the businessman’s capability to bring in foreign investments to Malaysia, especially from Middle Eastern countries.
“I looked at him from that point of view ... If we could use his relationship with those countries, we would be able to enhance our diplomatic and economic cooperation. On how he lived his personal life, I don’t know. I found out about that much later.
“If they say he has a superyacht, a jet ... or if he likes to party, I have nothing to do with that. In fact, I have no idea what he was doing,” Najib said.