Friday, February 14, 2014

PKR to provide fresh evidence of Taib’s corruption, says Rafizi

BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
FEBRUARY 13, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2014 06:51 PM
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will step down on February 28 and has indicated that he wishes to be appointed governor on the same day. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 13, 2014. Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will step down on February 28 and has indicated that he wishes to be appointed governor on the same day. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 13, 2014.PKR revealed today that it will provide fresh evidence of the rampant corruption associated with Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in order to block his intention of becoming governor.
PKR Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said that he would file a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) tomorrow and hand over the documents to substantiate the allegations.
“This report, along with documents published by the Sarawak Report, should necessitate in opening an investigation into Taib Mahmud.
“And as long as there is an open investigation, Taib cannot be considered for the post of Tuan Yang Terutama Sarawak (governor),” the PKR strategic director said in Petaling Jaya today.
Taib, who served as the state's chief minister for 33 years, will be stepping down on February 28 and he had announced that his successor would be his former brother-in-law Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
The 77-year-old is speculated to be the next Yang di-Pertua Negeri when the term of Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abang Mohammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng ends, also on February 28.
Rafizi said that the new evidence was on a timber concession company – Regent Star Company Limited – owned by Taib's brother, Onn Mahmud.
The company, he claimed, was previously under investigation in Japan for tax evasion charges after receiving 1 billion Yen (RM32.5 million) in commission.
"Taib had previously denied, in the state assembly, that he knew or had anything to do with Regent Star. The statement was used as an excuse to cover up the scandal at that time," the Pandan MP added.
Rafizi, however, noted that whistleblower website, Sarawak Report, had "clearly shown" that the company had links to the Sarawak chief minister through his daughter, Jamilah Taib.
"One document showed the transfer of US$20 million (RM66.5 million) from Richfold Investments Limited, an investment company controlled by Onn Mahmud, to Sakto Development Corporation, which is owned by Jamilah Taib and her husband," he said.
The PKR lawmaker said he learnt that the new evidence linking Taib to foreign investment companies will be handed over to Japan soon.
"This means that the tax evasion investigation in Japan will definitely involve a probe into Taib and his family's links to the commission received on the timber deal.
"Although it is a tax evasion charge, it involves taxes on the commission received from the timber concession, which is a misappropriation and corruption in the eyes of the people," he added.
Rafizi urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is responsible in advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, to make a firm stand that any candidate for the position of governor should not have any pending investigations against them.
"This is so that no one can use that position to receive immunity from being charged. I will write officially to MACC to check if Taib has any open investigations against him.
Taib's "desperation" to receive immunity, Rafizi said, stems from the numerous claims of corruption and misappropriation of funds against him along with documents linking his family members as well.
"And as long as he has not been declared clean, he cannot be considered for the governor's position," he added.
Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported that Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund has urged the governments of the United States and Malaysia to freeze US$16.94 million (RM56.32 million) worth of "illicit funds" which have been linked to Taib.
The funds, it said, are from a 2012 sale of a building in San Francisco by Sakti International Corporation, which is partly owned by Taib.
This goes against the Sarawak constitution as a chief minister is banned from actively engaging in commercial entities.
“The Sakti sale is a textbook example of money-laundering. A foreign politician who acts in an illegal and unconstitutional way should not be allowed to operate freely in the United States.
“The US and the Malaysian authorities have to act decisively and confiscate all Taib's assets for which the origin cannot be explained,” it said.
Documents revealed by whistle blower Ross Boyert in 2010 showed that 50% of Sakti's shares are held in trust for Taib by his brothers and children. – February 13, 2014.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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