Thursday, March 21, 2013

Petition urges PM to hold RCI on S'wak graft

A group has started an online petition urging Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into corruption in Sarawak following an NGO's expose on the matter.

The petition says the undercover investigation by London-based NGO Global Witness shows how Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family were "accumulating enormous wealth through his abuse of public office at the expense of ordinary Sarawakians and Malaysians".

"Too much money that belongs to Malaysia's people is being siphoned off overseas. The government must rise above partisan political interest and act in the national interest to stop this," said the group comprising three individuals.

They were responding to Global Witness' expose on Tuesday of a video clips showing how Taib's family members and associates abused logging licences.

An undercover investigator posing as a foreign investor interested in procuring land in Sarawak covertly recorded videos of meetings held with Taib's family members and associates.

The expose has prompted debate among civil society and NGOs on whether to call for an RCI into the matter or call for immediate investigation into the allegations.

The video posted on Youtube in English and Malay have collectively received 700,000 views in just two days.

The three behind the online petition, Evelyn Tawan, Linus Chung and Henry Joseph, said in the Online Malaysians Initiative: "Corruption is driving the destruction of Sarawak's forests and is making its citizens poorer as well as ruining its environment.

"The abuse of power for personal gain has gone unchecked in Sarawak for decades and can only be tackled by fundamental reforms, beginning with an RCI into corruption."

They are urging members of the public to support the online petition that at 3pm today had garnered more than 1,000 signatures.

~ Malaysiakini
To sign the petition, click here.

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