Taib-Rahman row ‘just a show’, say S’wak lawmakers
Despite Abdul Taib Mahmud denying that his first cousins, the daughters of his predecessor as Sarawak chief minister, Abdul Rahman Ya’akub, acted as his intermediaries, a lawmaker says the highly publicised family dispute in the 1980s could have been “just a show”.
Making this claim, Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jien said long-serving chief minister Taib, in reconciling with Rahman in 2008, had pointed out that “blood is thicker than water”.
“They hugged each other in public and this was reported in the press. Many then suspected that Taib’s fallout with his uncle Rahman in 1987 was only a show.
“After the reported fallout, many of the timber concessions issued by Rahman were immediately cancelled and re-issued by Taib. Imagine the money collected from the two time issuance of timber concession,” he posited.
Chong also described the Global Witness report, which was highlighted by Malaysiakini and also in global TV network Al Jazeerayesterday, as damning and serious allegations on the Taib family.
No word at all on MACC probes
“Until today, there has been no outcome to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigations against Taib since 2011, we even have inkling of whether the investigations have been completed or if there is no further action.
“It brings to shame that an NGO such as Global Witness can come up such evidence (of corruption). This also shows that the MACC is not serious in its investigations.
“If an international foreign NGO can come up with this, what more can we say about Malaysia’s enforcement bodies? MACC has a lot to explain to the people on this matter,” Chong said.
It is learnt the MACC investigations against Taib are being carried put by the MACC in Putrajaya, not by its office in Sarawak.
Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyperson, was responding to theseries of exposesmade by Global Witness, which was published in Malaysiakini and aired by Al Jazeera yesterday.
The NGO’s reports also document Taib’s first cousins explaining the mechanisms of circumventing the laws of Sarawak and Malaysia to profit from logging licences to enrich themselves.
It also reported ways to evade tax and equity shareholding rules.
Baru demands in-depth investigations
PKR Sarawak chief Baru Bian said despite the denials made by Taib, there was sufficient evidence to show that the Sarawak chief minister has patched up with his uncle.
“Pictures tell a thousand words. Because of his denial, there are more reasons now for investigations to be carried out to determine who is telling the truth,” Baru (right), who is Ba’kelalan assemblyperson, said.
He called on the police, the MACC and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to step up investigations into the Taib’s extended family.
Describing the media reports “as very shocking”, Baru said Global Witness has revealed the various modus operandi of the Taib family members to evade action from the authorities.
“We (the opposition) have been making these claims for some time and feel vindicated by the revelations made by Global Witness. These back the statements and claims we have been making all these years.”
“Such revelations warrant serious investigations by the police, MACC and even the IRB on how the wealth of Sarawak is transferred to Singapore. This are very serious breaches of the laws of the country and warrant in-depth investigations,” Baru said.
The Malaysian authorities should take the complaints lightly, as they have also been highlighted by the global media.
Baru will also ask PKR Youth members to lodge police reports to pile up pressure on the authorities on the investigations into the long-time Sarawak chief minister.
If the allegations about Taib family members transferring money to Singapore were true, then the IRB should also be prompt in taking action.
“Sarawak is among the poorest states in Malaysia but is rich in resources. However, you find the Taib family to be very affluent. This is the key to the answer is the concentration of the state’s assets in the hands of a few.”
“Even the villagers whom I met today are asking Pakatan to investigate the reports about the Taib corruption,” he said, adding he would support any call for a royal commission of inquiry into the matter.
Malaysiakini has send text message and emails to MACC director of investigations Mustafar Ali and its deputy chief commissioner Shukri Abdull for the commission’s response the issues raised.