PETALING JAYA • Controversial businessman Low Taek Jho, said to be living abroad, reached out to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad after he was sworn in last month to offer his assistance on matters related to the scandal surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) sovereign wealth fund, the Malaysiakini news website said on Friday.
"Soon after Tun (Mahathir) became PM, Low sent out feelers that he was willing to cooperate in the 1MDB case," the website quoted a government source as saying .
"The feelers were sent to people close to Mahathir. I think this led to Low being formally summoned by the authorities," the source said.
Mr Low, popularly known as Jho Low, is seen as a central figure in the 1MDB scandal.
Tun Dr Mahathir had told reporters on Friday that the government was trying to arrest Mr Low but he was not in the country.
"We are trying to arrest Jho Low, but he is not in the country, and we don't have extradition rights in the country where he is staying," Dr Mahathir told reporters. He did not say which country Mr Low was in.
Dr Mahathir's comments came after media reports that the anti-corruption authorities on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Mr Low.
Mr Low said through his lawyers on Thursday that he had instructed them to respond to the anti-graft agency, adding that he would cooperate with the investigation.
Mr Low never held any official role in the fund but had advised on investments and helped to negotiate deals.
1MDB, founded by then Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009, is the subject of multibillion-dollar money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the US, Switzerland and Singapore.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS