PORT KLANG: Superyacht Equanimity will not be open for public viewing in order to maintain its value and safeguard its condition, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He said the ship would be sold off as soon as possible as the maintenance costs alone would come to about RM2 million a month.
“We have to keep the yacht in good condition. But if you allow hundreds of people to come and view the yacht then it might damage the yacht and also it will give a bad impression.
“Buyers will not want to buy a ship that is exhibited like that,” he told reporters after conducting an inspection of the vessel, estimated to be worth RM1 billion, docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre here today.
The superyacht believed to be linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, arrived in Malaysia on Aug 7 after being handed over by Indonesian authorities.
Dr Mahathir, however, said the public would be able to have an idea of what the Equanimity was about as pictures had been taken of the luxurious interior of the vessel during the visit today.
“Everything that you can think of is found there and many things that you don't think about is also there. It is not really a yacht, but a huge ship,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said it appeared that several paintings had been removed from the ship.
He said the proposed sale of the superyacht would be advertised internationally.
Asked whether any party had expressed interest to buy the vessel, Dr Mahathir said he had some idea on who the interested parties were.
Nevertheless, he stressed that those intending to purchase it “must be very, very rich”.
“Maybe people like the Arabs or Bill Gates might (make an) offer,” he quipped, adding that the ship would be very expensive to maintain.
The luxury vessel is believed to be part of assets purchased using funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which is under investigation.
To a question, Dr Mahathir dared Jho Low to come and stake his claim over the ship’s ownership. — Bernama