PKR wants Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and the related agencies to clarify how Ample Agro received a provisional license for an NCR land in Julau.
KUCHING: If Chief Minister Taib Mahmud had “no intermediary” for the sale of state land and logging licences and wanted “everything got to be done according to government procedure”, then how did his cousins Fatimah and Norlia Abdul Rahman Yakub secure a provisional licence to government land?
“This is the question on everyone’s lips now. How did the two sisters’ company Ample Agro acquire their licence in the first place?” asked Baru Bian, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman and Sarawak PKR chief.
Bian was commenting Taib’s statement last week that he does not believe in deals and that that he had made a public declaration in 1981 and had “never allowed” anyone to be his intermediary.
“I thank the Chief Minister for his noble statement that he believes in proper procedure.
“We beg the Chief Minister, the Director of Lands and Surveys and all the authorities concerned to clarify to the public how Ample Agro was awarded the provisional licence as this matter has now become of great public interest,” he said.
Referring to the video – Inside Malaysia’s Shadow State, Bian said Fatimah and Norlia had clearly stated that their company Ample Agro “already owned the provisional lease licence” to a piece of land in Julau.
“There was also black and white evidence of the licence shown as proof of this ownership (in the video).
“Although Taib asserted he has never allowed anyone to be his intermediary for sale of state land and logging licences, how did the sisters’ company acquire their licence in the first place?
“We are perplexed at how this is done. We in the opposition do not deny that this Global Witness exposé has vindicated what we have been alleging all this while, and it is perhaps the fact that credible individuals in the video clip have unwittingly collaborated our allegations by their unashamed declarations that have made a lot of ‘interested parties’ deeply uncomfortable,” he said.
Taib must clarify allegations
On Taib’s accusation that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim might be involved in the covert video production, Bian said Taib can assert whatever he wishes but “without proof it is only an assertion that the opposition had brought outsiders to be involved in the political affairs of Malaysia and Sarawak.
“Before Taib points fingers at Anwar Ibrahim, he should be gently reminded by one of his aides that his own Prime Minister (Najib Tun Razak) has brought in APCO, a respectable international consultant to support him in beefing his waning political support and image.
“We also remind the Chief Minister that he and his coterie of sycophants too may be blamed in the matter,” he said referring to Sarawak Report, an online whistleblower site, that had published “strong evidence” of Taib’s use of external expertise to burnish Sarawak’s image abroad.
Taib had alleged that Anwar’s actions, in relation to Lahad Datu incursions, could open the door for others to colonize Malaysia and disunite the people.
“We beg Taib to clarify in unambiguous terms and detail how this could happen in a sovereign country like Malaysia which claims to be democratic, but which track record has not been the best in recent years for true democratic principles of transparency, freedom of the press, accountability and good governance.
“Instead, Malaysia has recorded one of the highest outflows of illicit monies globally,” he said.
On Taib’s claim that Permatang Pauh as being comparable to Mukah 20 years ago, Bian said that such a statement is laughable one.
“We need to look at Long Lama, Belaga, Kapit, Lubok Antu, Tarat, Ba’Kelalan, and many other interior towns.
“Have they changed very much in the last 20 years compared to Mukah?” Bian asked.