Malaysian financier Jho Low's friend remembers him as a humble guy

GEORGE TOWN They were childhood friends, and recalling their days togther in Penang, Mr Jason Ong Khan Lee remembers Mr Jho Low as a nice and humble person.

Mr Low is Malaysia's most wanted man today, and Mr Ong, 42, who knew him when he was just a toddler, said: "We were neighbours. He is five years younger than me. I saw him growing up.

"My parents know his parents, and we would play together in the old days.

"He went to SJKC Union, which is also his mother's alma mater, while I attended Penang Chinese Girls' Primary School. He continued his secondary education in Chung Ling High School and was later transferred to an international school.

"We went our different ways when both of us furthered our studies in different countries... I last saw him in 2013 before the general election. As far as I know, he never came back to Penang since then.

"Last year, I met his mother and we had a short chat but I was hesitant to ask of his whereabouts as he was a 'sensitive figure'."

Speaking yesterday after giving out hampers at the Rifle Range flats here, Mr Ong, now a Parti Keadilan Rakyat(PKR) elected representative, revealed that he had invited Mr Low's parents for his wedding ceremony in 2009 but not their son as he did not want to put him in an awkward position.

"I was a PKR assemblyman then while he was already quite close to Najib (former prime minister Najib Razak) and Barisan Nasional.

"I did not invite him but I think he understood my decision," he said.

Commenting on the government's probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Mr Ong, who is also a lawyer, advised Mr Low to return to assist in the probe.

"As a friend and a lawyer, I would advise him to come back.

"It is hard for him to avoid it as 1MDB is a high-profile case in Malaysia and internationally.

"Interpol has been alerted. If Low is put in the no-fly list, it will be even harder for him to escape the probe.

"So it is better if he comes back.

"I would also advise him to get the best lawyer," he said.