Controversial businessperson Jho Low seems to have become more important than Umno or the government’s accountability, said former information minister Rais Yatim.
“Looks like the issue of whether ‘can reprimand or not’ and ‘can investigate or not’ is still a polemic.
“If it is like this, Low appears to be more important than Umno or the government’s accountability.
“Likely this is what Jasa (Special Affairs Department) and its officers want,” Rais, who is now special adviser to the government, said in a posting on his Twitter account today.
He has recently been exchanging barbs with several Umno ministers as well as Jasa advisory panel member Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz over the 1MDB-linked Low (photo).
Rais had previously tweeted about the apparent support shown by certain quarters for Low, prompting Tun Faisal to say that “persons with ministerial rank” should use “proper channels” to air their grievances or quit their positions.
A special adviser to the government holds the same rank as a minister.
Rais replied that he would only quit his position if the prime minister asks him to do so and not upon the urging of a “stooge”.
Aside from Tun Faisal, Rais had also panned Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak earlier this month for defending Low and labelling reports about his ownership of mega-yacht Equanimity as “fake news”.
Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz also entered the fray when he criticised Rais and former minister Rafidah Aziz for speaking out on 1MDB, claiming they harboured a grudge against the current government for being dropped as ministers.
The US Department of Justice is seeking to seize US$1.7 billion in assets it claimed were acquired using the stolen money.
1MDB has denied any misappropriation of its money while the government and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak have consistently denied any wrongdoing.
1MDB transactions are being probed in at least six different countries, with individuals from several foreign banks already being convicted.