KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 – A book on the capture of the Equanimity yacht and how the Malaysian government regained what belonged to it, is expected to be launched in April, according to its author, Sitpah Selvaratnam.
Sitpah, a co-founder of Tommy Thomas Advocates and Solicitors, the legal firm of former Attorney General Tommy Thomas, was the ace shipping and maritime lawyer who was part of team that handled the successful case where the government regained its claim on Equanimity, alleged to have been bought using money said to be siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
A highly regarded authority on shipping laws, Sitpah was instrumental in both the arrest and regaining of the vessel for the government. She was chosen along with two other leading shipping lawyers, Jeremy Joseph and Ong Chee Kwan, by the former AG to join the team that represented the Malaysian government’s case to claim the luxury vessel.
Apart from the title of the book, “The Arrest of the Superyacht Equanimity – How Malaysia reclaimed what was hers”, no further details on the book were disclosed by Sitpah.
Sitpah, who has a Master of Laws from Cambridge University, is highly regarded as an authority on shipping laws and has been involved in over 100 vessel arrest cases. She is also a court member for Malaysia to the ICC International Court of Arbitration.
Ownership of the controversial vessel was awarded to the Malaysian government in December 2018, by the then High Court judicial commissioner (now High Court judge) Datuk Khadijah Idris.
The US$250 million vessel was formerly owned by Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, from the 1MDB funds, was first seized by Indonesia and handed to Malaysia in August 2018.
In January 2020, Bernama reported that the government had completed the sale of the vessel to Genting Malaysia Bhd for RM.05 billion. Genting subsequently renamed the vessel Tranquility.