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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mahathir and Opposition fake news tactics


Salleh Said Keruak

Yet again, the Opposition have seized upon unverified and unproven allegations regarding a yacht named The Equanimity. Amongst others, it is alleged that the yacht is owned by Jho Low, and that it was purchased with funds from1MDB. This is yet another failed attempt to mislead Malaysians, using fake news.

The reality is that the source of the allegations is contained in the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) civil lawsuit, which in fact has been put on hold since August 2017. Until today, apart from bare allegations contained in the law suit, the US DOJ has not shown any tangible proof that Jho Low is the actual owner of the yacht or that it was purchased with funds from 1MDB. Furthermore, the US DOJ has yet to prove any of its allegations in a court of law, despite nearly 2 years passing since its sensationalised press conference of July 2016.

The Opposition has failed to reveal that the alleged source of funds in the DOJ lawsuit is from Aabar BVI, which according to the DOJ lawsuit, had alleged business dealings with Jho Low. The directors of Aabar BVI were Khadem Al Qubaisy and Mohammed Al Badawy, formerly senior employees in the IPIC group.1MDB has repeatedly clarified that whilst it did have business dealings with Aabar BVI, 1MDB has not had any business dealings with Jho Low and more importantly, 1MDB is not a party to the DOJ lawsuit.

The Mahathir-led, DAP-dominated Pakatan Harapan is using fake news as their primary political weapon to garner votes for the coming general election. Right thinking Malaysians will recall how Mahathir started the fake news attack on 1MDB, by wrongly stating that "RM 42 billion was missing", only to be proven wrong time and time again. In their desperation, it is sad to see that Mahathir and the Opposition are now mindlessly recycling unproven allegations and irresponsibly spreading fake news.

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