Hornbill Unleashed

July 13, 2012

Mystery Of Masing’s Million Ringgit Mansion

Sarawak Report

Profits of office? James Masing is just one of the BN YBs with unexplained wealth

The huge homes belonging to Taib Mahmud’s political allies is one of the unanswered and glaring issues in Sarawak.

How come so many ministers and YBs, who started on their political careers with no wealth at all, have ended up living in such style, when the salaries for public office are quite rightly modest?

There is no ban on a rich man seeking election. However, no one should exploit their political position to make themselves rich.  It is this form of corruption that has destroyed Sarawak.

Masing, who is the Iban leader of the PRS political party, a key constituent of Taib’s BN coalition representing UMNO’s control of the state, is by no means the only example of these flash homeowners.

However, we are entitled to ask where did he suddenly obtain the money to buy this gracious residence in the middle of Kuching’s smartest neighbourhood?

Private home in Kuching’s most expensive neighbourhood

Masing moved into the two acre site off Jalan Ong Tang Sui around a decade ago from a much more modest semi-detached house in Lorong 17 Jalan Stampin.

How had a career on a relatively modest salary of around RM8,000 a month for a member of the Sarawak Assembly and local minister paid for this grand move?

The plot, which is walled off from the road and surrounded by pleasant gardens is worth some RM2 million alone at today’s prices!

Visitors relate that the house itself is large with two impressive reception rooms and bedrooms above. They say that it is lavishly furnished with carpets and expensive leather furniture:

“the whole residence oozes wealth and opulence” one guest has remarked to Sarawak Report

So, where did the money come from?

Minister for Land Development

The key to Masing’s unexplained wealth may possibly be found in his pivotal position as the Minister for Land Development, whose primary role is the ‘development’ of NCR lands.  The top target, according to the Ministry website, is plainly to encourage NCR land owners to transform their lands into oil palm plantations and to help private companies get involved in these joint ventures.

‘New Concept’ – so called Joint Ventures to encourage local NCR landowners to hand over their land for oil palm cultivation

Masing has often made clear his enthusiasm for the conversion of forest and NCR lands into oil palm, even when it means ‘alienating’ the land from its rightful NCR owners.  Already a million hectares of Sarawak rainforest has been converted and Masing is calling for a million more to be turned to oil palm by 2020.

However, the benefits to local people have been hard to detect.  Years after giving up their lands few of the native ‘Joint Venture’ landowners have received more than laughable sums of money from these plantations and many have received nothing at all in return for their valuable lands and timber.

Naroden Majais – another minister who has been building a fine house out of his involvement “joint ventures” with NCR landowners – [Sarawak Report]

Kickbacks!

Masing and Mong – Representatives who sough kickbacks out of alienating the lands of their own constituents

Meanwhile, Masing himself has been caught out in at least one highly embarrassing attempt to profit personally out of the so-called ‘alienation’ of Native Customary Lands belonging to his very own constituents!

Sarawak Report has recently exposed this scandal, showing how he and his party deputy, Mong Dagang, attempted to secure tens of millions in kickbacks as they negotiated the ‘Joint Venture’ between their own native constituents and private companies seeking to convert their lands.

The pair were demanding RM1,000 per acre for 70,000 acres from companies interested in taking up the deal, a demand that Mong blatantly laid out in a notice for prospective company investors, which he then signed!

Masing’s interest in the deal was represented by his brother, who was to be the named recipient of the money.

Now that is the sort of profit that can buy you a grand house, although Masing has since denied that his attempt at securing this multi-million ringgit kickback was successful!

The opposition lawyer See Chee How is currently representing James Masing’s disappointed constituents who are suing in this case, because this “Joint Venture” was pushed through despite the fact that over 50% of the native land owners had voted against it.

No surprise that 6 years on and none of the native “joint venture partners” have received any profit from the development that their local YB and Land Development Minister forced upon them at the same time as he was trying to secure kickbacks for himself!:

”They tell the people ‘let the LCDA develop your land and you will get 30% of the joint venture and profit’. However the people were not told about this huge kickback. Under the joint venture that money should have been shared among the people, not paid to nominees of the very politicians who were talking them into the scheme!”[See Chee How, lawyer for the NCR landowners]

Rimbunan Hijau – top oil palm plantation company in Sarawak and sponsor of James Masing?

“I was paid with a cheque from Rimbunan Hijau”! says a contractor on the Masing Mansion

However, if Masing did not receive the money that he had been attempting to get in kickbacks from this NCR land deal, how else could he have gained the money to pay for his house?

We have of course identified the lucrative Belian concessions and Approved Permits for selling cars that have unaccountably been handed to his wife.

Also there are the equally handsome public construction contracts that have also been handed to companies in which his wife is a shareholder.

These are all profitable favours from the state, which should never have been handed legitimately over to a politically connected ally of Taib Mahmud.

On the other hand information brought by contractors on Masing’s house to Sarawak Report indicates yet another method by which the Minister may have afforded to build his luxurious new home.  They have testified that their payment for the work came in the form of a cheque from one of the largest timber and oil plantation companies in Sarawak, Rimbunan Hijau!

Rimbuanan Hijau has been one of the major converters of NCR lands to oil palm plantations in the state.

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15 Comments »

  1. DCM ALfred Jabu has a palace built behind Jalan Wan Alwi and another in Sydney and Perth. Expose these bastard BN YBs.for making use of their own community ‘s humility and ignorance to enrich themselves.

    Comment by Gabriel Umit — July 15, 2012 @ 6:08 PM | Reply

  2. “…Masing is not fighting for principles and it is certainly not for the community but for personal glory and interests…”

    Undoubtly very true indeed!
    __________________________

    PBDS debacle: It’s Masing’s fault, says Moggie
    by Tony Thien, Malaysia Kini, 6 Sep 2003

    Former Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) president Leo Moggie today put the blame squarely on the party’s former information chief Dr James Masing for the turmoil in PBDS today.

    “Masing is paranoid about becoming president and suffers from a sense of insecurity to achieve that,” he told a party gathering of branch leaders, members and supporters at his longhouse at Nanga Bejait, about 45km from Sibu.

    “He will go to any length (to become president of the party) and I think he is not prepared to compromise unless he becomes president,” Moggie said in reference to Masing, who is state social development and urbanisation minister.

    Masing was elected president by his own faction at their own triennial delegates conference (TDC) in Bintulu on July 24, along with Sng Chee Hua as deputy president.

    Daniel Tajem, who succeeded Moggie as president when the latter suddenly resigned on June 25, was returned unopposed as party chief in July when nomination for party posts closed. His running mate, Joseph Salang, was also returned unopposed as deputy president.

    Biggest longhouse gathering

    Today’s PBDS gathering, attended by Moggie, Tajem, Salang and key party leaders, was described by journalists covering the event as possibly the largest political gathering in a longhouse.

    The number was estimated at between 4000 and 6000.

    According to Moggie, several more buses carrying party members from several places in Sarawak were still waiting in queue at the nearby ferry point when the meet-the-people was already in progress this morning.

    “Many also couldn’t find their direction to the longhouse,” he added.

    At a press conference later, Moggie who is also Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia, said some newspaper reports had suggested that the PBDS’ troubles started after he resigned as president on June 25.

    “The problems within the party started long before that,” he said, reiterating that his decision to step down was for the sense of betrayal he felt after so many meetings during which Masing had made commitments and promises but failing to keep them afterwards.

    Moggie said he had after the bitter party contests at the 2000 TDC tried to bring the two factions together by proposing a new top leadership line-up after he had stepped down as president.

    Unfortunately, according to him, as he later found out, it was very clear to him that Masing had always wanted to be president right from the start.

    Plan to oust Moggie

    Tajem told the crowd that he had never reneged on any undertaking or promise as claimed by the Masing group arising from a meeting held in April in Miri last year.

    He revealed that he refused to go along with a plan hatched by the Masing group at the time to oust Moggie as president and put him (Tajem) as president and Masing as deputy president.

    “Moggie and I have known each other for a long time and we have struggled together for the last 20 years through PBDS,” he added.

    PBDS permanent chairman Edmund Langgu traced the history of the party, linking it with the original aims of the Sarawak National Party (Snap) in providing the platform to articulate Dayak aims and aspirations.

    He told the crowd that when Moggie and his supporters lost in the Snap elections in 1981 and James Wong Kim Min became president, succeeding Dunstan Endawie, they had to form a new Dayak-based party PBDS to fight for the principles they believed in. PBDS was born as a result.

    “Masing is not fighting for principles and it is certainly not for the community but for personal glory and interests,” he charged.

    Salang told party members that “there is only one party and there is only one president in PBDS.”

    He urged them to be patient and stand united behind the leadership of Tajem.

    Comment by Teddy Gumbang — July 14, 2012 @ 4:20 PM | Reply

  3. My special branch friend indicated that more than 15 Parliamentary seats out of 31 in Sarawak currently are black areas for BN and the rest have turned grey.

    Comment by Effendi Nawawi — July 14, 2012 @ 2:58 PM | Reply

  4. These would make fodder for SWP FAKE Dayaks political ambitions to rule over the Dayaks. What a shame! That SPDP Wong Judat is another piece of the puzzle to further weaken the Dayaks. He just gave his Boss the ultimatum and made known his willingness and readiness to sell his Dayak hide for the cause of the FAKE Dayaks in SNG Sweep-ARSE Party. Hows is he going to do it… by blaming others for his incompetance! He is probably a FAKE Dayak himslef!

    Comment by Brian — July 14, 2012 @ 11:24 AM | Reply

  5. Average people in Sarawak, Sabah are mostly too easy going and too lazy to think critically.
    Some smart ones have decided to be cronies, YB, Datuk. Datin….and send their kids and money oversea.
    Those who can’t stand the system have mostly left the country.

    Comment by rc — July 13, 2012 @ 11:08 PM | Reply

  6. I’m myself is a dayak n i believe many dayaks knew that BN YBs r corrupted n dishonest, and yet most dayak still vote BN…pity my people so much..

    Comment by dayak_campur2 — July 13, 2012 @ 6:44 PM | Reply

  7. Even the private residence of the governor of Sarawak Tun Sallehuddin, which looks like a palace and costing a few million ringgits to build, was “sponsored” by plantation owner, DD Plantation Shd Bhd.

    Comment by Rosli Samat — July 13, 2012 @ 4:26 PM | Reply

    • The corrupted governor whom the thief minister found to be very useful and stupid enough to make him stay in power has been known to the business circle as the runner for Taib Mahmud in converting NCR and state lands into oil palm plantations.

      Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — July 14, 2012 @ 12:48 PM | Reply

  8. looks like similiar with Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Hitler, etc….Ayoh, tumbangkan BN !!!

    Comment by Mike- Johor — July 13, 2012 @ 3:42 PM | Reply

  9. The Dayaks only need to work with trust worthy, credible, sincere, caring and committed politicians which do not exist at all in UMNO led BN. Now is the time for Pakatan Rakyat to earn the trustt of the rural Dayaks and show commitment in shouldering their plights and burdens.

    Comment by Irene Kana — July 13, 2012 @ 2:37 PM | Reply

  10. I CAN GUARANTEE U THAT I SHALL VOTE OUT PEH MOH N CRONIES.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.I AM WILLING TO GIVE PAKATAN A CHANCE TO RUN THIS COUNTRY. WILL U JOIN ME?

    Comment by VINCENT AK PAUL — July 13, 2012 @ 2:13 PM | Reply

  11. Vote the BN out and take back our land ! No wonder Masing said “I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW” after being corrupt and cheating his own Dayaks. That filthy wealth wont last !

    Comment by keluro — July 13, 2012 @ 10:59 AM | Reply

  12. While the rural Dayals suffered in silence and humility these Dayak YBs ala crooks have been patronising on their community humble disposition and political ignorance.

    Comment by Sabestian Jacob — July 13, 2012 @ 10:20 AM | Reply

  13. How did Masing so-called Dayak Leader do it? Ask his Dayak sidekick Mong!

    Dagang the Dayak ! :roll:

    Comment by Bung Bratoh — July 13, 2012 @ 9:15 AM | Reply

  14. Thank You Sarawak Report for exposing all the thieves and crooks in Malaysian politics especially in Sarawak and Sabah which are led by two two thief minister, Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman. Continue to expose theirill gotten assets, mega projects awarded to themselves and cronies, plantation ownership, timber contracts and concession, mining exploration and quarry licence, NCR land and state land grabs and realienation. Publish all the photos of these crooks and thieves in a deck of cards and their ill gotten assets and properties.

    Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — July 13, 2012 @ 8:04 AM | Reply


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