1MDB issue: Umno leaders challenge tycoon to return

KUALA LUMPUR - Several Umno division chiefs have challenged a Hong Kong-based Malaysian businessman, who is known to have close links with the prime minister's family, to come home and face investigations.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that he will call up Mr Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, if investigations show a link between him and the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), The Star reported yesterday.

Tanjung Malim division chief Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia yesterday: "We urge Jho Low to return to Malaysia and give an explanation to PAC on the 1MDB issue. We want to see if he is involved or not. If he really wants to help, come home and give an explanation."

But Datuk Nur Jazlan said that he could not yet indicate if Mr Low had links to 1MDB, which has debts of up to RM42 billion (S$15.3 billion).

The Umno leaders' call comes on the heels of similar statements by MP Reezal Merican Naina Merican and Umno Youth's Ibdillah Ishak on Wednesday for Mr Low to come clean on his relationship with 1MBD, according to The Malaysian Insider.

Mr Low has been accused of profiting from alleged dubious transactions of the 1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, father of Mr Low's good friend Riza Aziz.

The 33-year-old tycoon, who runs investment consultancy Jynwel Capital in Hong Kong, vented his frustration at Umno "spin masters" trying to pin all the blame on "this young Chinaman" in a recent interview with Euromoney, and added that he is not afraid of arrest when he returns to Malaysia.