TTF: The brouhaha surrounding Equanimity and its recent arrival at Port Klang is deliberately being fuelled by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to shift the spotlight away from the troubles our country is facing.
There was absolutely no reason for him to personally inspect the luxury cruise liner in full view of media as we have very capable marine personnel to do the job.
Furthermore, TTF maintains that the yacht, which Mahathir and Lim Guan Eng gallantly announced belongs to billionaire Jho Low, has an ownership that neither Malaysia nor the DoJ has yet determined.
On the 8th of August 2018, I wrote:
The luxury cruise liner is being held illegally by Malaysian authorities.
The illegitimacy of the seizure stems from the fact that the yacht, deemed material evidence by the United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ), is being sought by the department pursuant to a controversial loophole in American jurisprudence.
Known as Civil Forfeitures, the law allows the DoJ to file forfeiture proceedings against any company or individual suspected – not convicted – of crime or illegal activity hinged solely on complaints that imply wrongdoing on American soil.
Not only does Malaysia have no such law, the filing of forfeiture proceedings and the subsequent order issued by a US court for the seizure of the yacht concerns crime that may have been committed on American soil, not Malaysian.
Thus, not only is the seizure of the yacht by Malaysian authorities suspect, so is the timing, which seems to coincide perfectly with charges brought against Najib by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
So you see, the onus was never on Mahathir to inspect the yacht or to speak of its majestic grandeur and what he reckoned it cost.
The onus was, however, for him to explain to newsmen what business he had seizing the yacht and lying to Malaysians that the DoJ granted him the right to do with it as he pleased.
Mahathir must remember that the controversy surrounding the yacht has to do with a civil suit filed by the DoJ with a US court.
Under the circumstances, Malaysia is not entitled to do anything with the yacht until such a time that the US court decides on its ownership.
If indeed the DoJ assured him that the yacht belongs to Malaysia, it would be incumbent upon him to furnish us proof of that assurance and for the DoJ itself to make an official announcement the way it did on the 20th of July 2016.
But I can assure you that the proof will never surface, as neither the DoJ nor the Malaysian government dares publish documents to verify the ownership of the yacht, which, for your information, is currently in my possession.
What this means, is that Mahathir just told you yet another one of his big, fat classic lies to shift the spotlight further away from the troubles the country is facing.
KLANG: The controversial Equanimity superyacht remained under close guard even as it continued to attract attention not only from the public and media but even Cabinet members.
Since being escorted by the police and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) from Indonesian waters to the Boustead Cruise Centre at Pulau Indah, Port Klang here on Aug 7, the 91.5m luxury vessel was kept under close watch by several policemen.
A minimum of five policemen could be seen around the pier where the luxury ship was docked.
As law enforcers stood guard on the pier, a few members of the vessel’s 18 crew could be seen going back and forth on its outer deck, the sun shining bright overhead.
A staff member of Boustead Cruise Centre said that the vessel had been under tight guard since it arrived there on Aug 7.
Declining to reveal his name, he noted that the vessel was not only being guarded by policemen and maintained on-board by its crew, but that it was being watched by the company.
Seeming to cast a spell on the imagination of the public, media representatives had arrived as early as 10am to await the arrival of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a few Cabinet members.
Reporters, photographers and videographers were seen hanging around the pier nearest the centre’s building, prevented from advancing further up the 200-plus metre pier by a group of policemen.
The media representatives snapped to attention when Dr Mahathir and several ministers arrived at the centre at 11.30am.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Hanipa Maidin as they were led into a room in the centre.
Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun, were also seen following Dr Mahathir into the centre.
Then around 11.45am, Dr Mahathir and the other ministers emerged from the room and into the pier nearest the building, where they got into two buggies.
With Dr Mahathir’s guards running alongside, the two buggies ferried the ministers to the ship, where they were seen boarding the luxury vessel at 12.04pm.
Media representatives tried to follow them, only to be stopped by a group of policemen who operated a makeshift barrier at the pier nearest the centre.
After having inspected the plush interiors of the vessel and witnessed a bedroom with skylight, indoor gym and sauna among others, the Prime Minister and several Cabinet members were among those seen stepping-off the controversial vessel at 1.08pm.
Stepping back into the two buggies, Dr Mahathir and the ministers were ferried again across the pier towards the centre, with a group of Dr Mahathir’s guards running alongside the vehicles.
Once inside the centre, Dr Mahathir was ushered into a packed hall where he held a press conference on the inspection of the vessel.
The Equanimity is believed to be part of assets purchased using funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.
Reports had previously suggested that the luxurious vessel, capable of carrying 26 guests, has gold leaf and marble trimmings, a spa and sauna, a 20-metre swimming pool, a cinema, an elevator and a helipad.
Its owner, Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, is being sought to assist in the probe into 1MDB.
Source: NST Online