21 February 2011

PANAS! Aset Taib Mahmud & Keluarga bakal dibeku

KUCHING: Governments in eight countries have been urged to freeze assets belonging to Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and his family members following a disclosure today that 49 companies over there were linked to him.

Anti-corruption and anti-money laundering authorities in the eight nations were also urged to launch investigations into Taib-linked businesses.

Revealing the names of the 49 companies, the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) said: “The Bruno Manser Fund has today released a blacklist of companies related to the family of Abdul Taib Mahmud, the long-serving Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

“The blacklist contains the names and company numbers of 49 companies in eight countries which are thought to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of US dollars. A considerable number of the companies are active in the real estate and property sector.”

The list included 13 Malaysian companies and firms in Australia (10),Canada (nine), Hongkong (seven), US (four), British Virgin Islands (three) and Jersey (one).

(The list can also be viewed under: stop-timber-corruption.org/resources.)

Among the Malaysian companies, the most notable is the Taib family-owned Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) which incidentally is the state’s largest private company, and the Ta Ann logging group.

The other companies listed are Sakto, an Ottawa-based property developer and London-based Ridgeford Properties which deals in high-end realty. Also on the list is Wallysons Inc, the owners of the FBI Northwestern Regional Headquarters building in Seattle.

FMT previously reported that Wallysons Inc was believed to be co-owned by Taib’s son and Kota Samarahan MP Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib and son-in-law, Sean Murray.

CMS was involved in the construction of the Bakun hydroelectric dam and the RM300 million parliament building in Kuching.

Prosecute the Taibs

BMF’s list confirms extensive reports, which have been circulating on the web in recent months, about Taib’s colossal wealth in Sarawak and abroad derived from corruption and the destruction of the state’s rainforest through logging and oil palm plantations.

“The blacklist’s intention is to help the listed countries’ anti-corruption and anti-money-laundering authorities identify and freeze illicit Taib assets in their countries.

“Corruption has been identified as one of the main drivers of deforestation in Sarawak,” BMF said, adding that in 2007, the Tokyo tax authorities had uncovered a massive corruption scheme involving kickbacks to the Taib family.

In return for payments to Taib’s family, nine Japanese shipping companies had received export licences to carry logs to Japan, Sarawak’s largest timber export market.

Described as one of the most corrupt politicians in Southeast Asia, Taib’s illicit wealth has also been blamed for the state’s poverty status.

Land grabs and illegal logging have deprived Sarawak’s indigenous communities of their land and livelihood.

“Taib and his family members have illegally acquired assets worth billions of dollars in Malaysia, Canada, the UK, Australia, US and other countries.

“These assets should be restituted to the people of Sarawak, and the Taib family should be prosecuted for corruption, abuse of public funds, fraud, money-laundering, tax evasion and other related crimes” a posting on the BMF site stated.

Global pressure

BMF is also mobilising international political pressure against Taib and his family and had launched an online signature petition against timber corruption.

Taib, who has helmed Sarawak since 1981, holds three key portfolio as Chief Minister, Minister of Finance and State Planning and Resources Minister.

Together, the three portfolios collectively give him a RM38,000 a month salary and allow him “god-like” powers over every aspect of Sarawak life.

Online newsportal Sarawak Report has in recent months exposed Taib’s billion dollars worth of foreign properties in Australia, Canada, the US and London, native customary rights (NCR) lands being leased to his crony companies and members of his family and land grab issues.

Meanwhile, DAP has also accussed Taib of failing to account for a staggering RM4.8 billion of Sarawak’s funds over the past three years alone.

Several parties have lodged reports against Taib through the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), but no action has been taken todate.

Taib, too, has not responded to any one of these allegations. - FMT

1 comment:

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