Hornbill Unleashed

August 16, 2014

Flight data shows gov’t jet traipsing in Europe

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Koh Jun Lin

Publicly available flight information appears to back website Asia Sentinel’s claims that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak went on a European holiday, after a working visit to Netherlands to deal with the Flight MH17 issue a fortnight ago.

Information from the popular flight tracking website FlightRadar24 shows that the Royal Malaysian Air Force VIP transport plane 9M-NAA had been seen at several European airports, including at some of the locations named in the report.

However, there is no public data on who was on board the aircraft. (more…)

August 3, 2014

Banknote graft injunction to protect senior leaders, says Australian government

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Employees from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s subsidiary companies – Securency and Note Printing Australia – were alleged to have bribed foreign officials in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam from 1999 to 2004 to win banknote printing contracts. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 2, 2014.TMI

A superinjunction obtained by the Australian government in the banknote scandal was the best way to protect senior political figures from disparaging remarks, the Australian embassy in Indonesia said.

In a statement, the embassy said the naming of prominent Southeast Asian leaders in the order last week does not imply any wrongdoing on their part.

“The orders are to prevent publication of information which could suggest the involvement in corruption of senior political figures in the region. (more…)

Pakatan leaders vow to strengthen troubled pact


Top Pakatan Rakyat leaders today pledged the strengthen the opposition coalition amid strains within its component parties, which are at odds over whether to replace Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

In a joint statement today, it said the rise of Pakatan was a product of the rakyat’s support and the coalition will work to ensure that its members remain together.

“The spirit of understanding and camaraderie in Pakatan Rakyat is the basis of its strength and integrity to bring political, social and economic change and reform in this beloved country. (more…)

August 1, 2014

Najib, Pak Lah and Mahathir also named in banknote graft case, says WikiLeaks

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Mahathir (2nd left) and Najib are both named in the injunction obtained by the Australian government which bars Australian media from reporting on a case involving the payment of bribes to secure currency printing contracts in Malaysia. - The Malaysian Insider pic, July 30, 2014.TMI

Mahathir (2nd left) and Najib are both named in the injunction obtained by the Australian government which bars Australian media from reporting on a case involving the payment of bribes to secure currency printing contracts in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his two predecessors and several former ministers have been named in the gag order obtained by the Australian government that censors the media there from reporting about a multi-million dollar corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, whistleblower website WikiLeaks revealed on 30-07-2014.

The case involves the Reserve Bank of Australia’s subsidiary companies Securency and Note Printing Australia. (more…)

Probe role of M’sian PMs in banknote graft case

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The Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4), is profoundly appalled at the revelations by WikiLeaks on a gag order and super injunction invoked by the Australian government on a multi-million dollar international banknote graft case, involving the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), with no less than three generations of Malaysian prime ministers mentioned.

This case came to light following leaks on Australia’s gag order on allegations of multi-million dollar inducements to officials in Malaysia and other countries made by subsidiaries of RBA, Securency and Note Printing Australia, in the supply of RM5 polymer notes. (more…)

July 29, 2014

M’sian oil palm linked to disgraced PR firm


Disgraced UK-based FBC Media, a firm accused of producing fluff content on major television networks under the guise of genuine programmes for those who would pay, had purportedly also offered its services to the government backed Malaysian Oil Palm Council (Mpoc).

This is according to whistleblower site Sarawak Report which released what is said is “a dossier of damning proposals” made by the discredited FBC Media to Mpoc to improve Malaysia’s tarnished oil palm industry image.

“It confirms the strategy of ‘greenwash’ to deliberately mislead the world’s public about the true nature of this massive agribusiness, which is tearing up the Borneo jungle and displacing its inhabitants. (more…)

July 21, 2014

Legality of Marina Park project in Miri questioned

Dukau Papau

Sarawak PKR today questioned the legality of the construction of a multi-billion ringgit Marina Park City project in Miri by Samling Group, which is closely linked to those in political power.

It also accused some Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) leaders of being involved in the project, which has become a very ‘hot’ issue in the city.

“Documents made available to our Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng indicate that the original planning and engineering approvals will take away the existing approved car parks at Jalan Sri Dagang or the Miri Waterfront Commercial Centre,” state PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said. (more…)

June 26, 2014

Taib’s son bought Ferrari for eight-year-old, divorce trial told

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Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib arrive Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court, October 11, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow FengSYED JAYMAL ZAHIIDJUNE

Sarawak tycoon Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir told his divorce retrial today that he had bought a Ferrari Modena worth RM950,000 for his son when the boy was only eight, in a testimony meant to counter allegations of negligence by his ex-wife.

The son of Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud said the used Ferrari was one of the assets provided to Shahnaz Abdul Majid and their son, Raden Murya Abdul Taib Mahmud, now 20, after they were separated in 1999. (more…)

June 25, 2014

Bekir in tears while testifying on divorce

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Ahmad Fadli KC

Former Sarawak chief minister’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib testified in the Syariah High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that he only filed for divorce against his former wife Shahnaz A Majid after 12 years because he did not want to see her living alone.

“I did not want to see her living alone and not have any husband when I did not return home (to Damansara),” he said in testifying over his former wife’s RM100 million mutaah (gift) claim from him.

Abu Bekir halted his testimony after saying this, as he found it hard to control his tears. (more…)

June 13, 2014

Low: Taib no royal, graft probe continues


Former Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud did not gain immunity from corruption investigation when he was appointed governor of Sarawak, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low said today.

In a written reply to Parliament, Low said that Taib will also not be charged in the Special Court for any offence as the position he holds does not equate him to being the monarch of Sarawak.

“Even though the Yang di-Pertua Negeri performs the functions of a ruler in a state, he does not fall under the definition of a ruler under Clause (2) Article 181 (of the third and fifth schedules of the Federal Constitution). (more…)

June 12, 2014

Bekir: RM191mil for child maintenance is madness

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The Sarawak governor’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib today described the RM191 million child maintenance claim made by his former wife Shahnaz A Majid as “madness” and “unprecedented”.

“There is no sense and sensibility to all her claims in our divorce,” added Mahmud Abu Bekir in a statement released today.

Last week, when testifying at his former wife’s mutaah (gift) claim of RM100 million, Mahmud Abu Bekir told the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court that allegations of his wealth had been hugely exaggerated following forged documents Shahnaz allegedly obtained from a private Canadian investigator. (more…)

June 11, 2014

I didn’t grab land in Serian, says Manyin

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Winston Way 

The minister accuses the opposition of making ridiculous accusation

Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Michael Manyin Jawong has dismissed the opposition’s charges that he grabbed land in his rural constituency, saying that despite the accusation, he still managed to win “handsomely” during the last Sarawak state election.

He said both he and his Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) colleague, Roland Sagah, who is the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker, had been charged by the opposition of grabbing three-quarters of the land in Serian. (more…)

June 4, 2014

Crony capitalism in Malaysia has to go, son of YTL founder says

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YTL Corporation Bhd Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh speaks during Pemandu's Global Malaysia Series programme at Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, June 3, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaMELISSA CHI

Malaysia has to free itself from the constraints of “crony capitalism” and stop racial and religious rhetoric in order to compete on the global stage, business tycoon Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said today.

The group managing director at YTL Corporation and eldest son of founder, billionaire Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay said 85 per cent of YTL’s business are in Britain, Singapore and Australia because these countries do not tolerate corruption, practice meritocracy and stand for the rule of law.

“For example in Singapore, we own a third of Singapore’s electricity, there is no subsidy of any kind, there is no cronyism of any type. (more…)

Filthy rich? I was framed, Taib’s son tells court

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Ahmad Fadli KC

Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib testified in court today that his wealth has been hugely exaggerated through documents forged by a Canadian private investigator.

Testifying in a divorce case, Mahmud Abu Bekir shot down allegations that he had billions of dollars worth of assets.

Abu Bekir was answering questions from lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court today. (more…)

May 31, 2014

Governor Taib’s shadow still looms large in Sarawak?

Francis Paul Siah

As a writer and a Sarawakian, I’m mindful to accord the utmost respect and reverence to the highest office of my home state and its holder — the office of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak and the current occupant in the Astana, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Responsible journalism dictates that we give due respect to the dignified office of the Head of State and its holder who is and should be “above politics”. Editors and journalists are duty-bound to exercise utmost care and decorum when writing about the Head of State who, in most cases, perform largely ceremonial duties.

But here’s the tricky part – what if the Head of State or governor (as in the case in Sarawak) is allegedly still engaged in politics or is believed to be actively involved in political manouverings in the state? (more…)

May 28, 2014

Sarawak ex-CM’s son had RM9 million in bank accounts, court told

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 Shahnaz Majid is seeking some RM400 million from her ex-husband Mahmud Abu Bekir as settlement for their divorce. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 26, 2014.DIYANA IBRAHIM

A bank employee today testified that Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir, son of former Sarawak chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, had RM9 million in four bank accounts.

CIMB Customer Resolution Department assistant vice-president P. Magendran Pillai was testifying in the suit by Mahmud’s ex-wife Shahnaz Majid, who is seeking some RM400 million as settlement for their divorce, including matrimonial property and “mutaah” (Islamic conciliatory payment).

Earlier, Mahmud’s lawyers Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din failed in their bid to stop Magendran from revealing details of the bank accounts, saying it contravened the Banking and Financial Institution Act (Bafia) 1989 that protects privacy of bank clients. (more…)

May 24, 2014

Terengganu crisis resolved at the expense of democratic principles

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Najib (Left) and Ahmad (Right) greeting each other at Ahmad's daughter's wedding reception recentlyAbdul Aziz Bari

Najib (Left) and Ahmad (Right) greeting each other at Ahmad’s daughter’s wedding reception recently
Terengganu crisis resolved at the expense of democratic principles

If we were to draw an analogy between the recent Terengganu political crisis and a football match it would be like a match that was wrongly prolonged in order to allow the preferred team to score the winning or the equalizing goal.

In any case that was not the only occasion when Umno-BN was given the advantage by the keepers of the system who are supposed to be neutral and should only have democracy and the Constitution as their guiding principles. (more…)

May 21, 2014

No more bailout, allow MAS to fail

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Medecci Lineil

In market economy, there are always firms and families struggling to make ends meet. MAS, a government–linked company, is no exception to this rule.

Now here’s the thing. For years with each bailout, Malaysian taxpayers were told this was in the best interest of the nation. And we were told this bailout was necessary to save the jobs of thousands of Malaysians in MAS. That is what MAS and government would have the public believe.

And I don’t believe that.

Something has to be done now. (more…)

May 16, 2014

What In The Devil’s Going On In Tasmania?

What In The Devil’s Going On In Tasmania?

Sarawak Report

The Australian Government has just given a foreign-owned company yet another in a series of huge subsidies to cut down the Tasmanian forest.

Sarawak-based Ta Ann has received a $7.5million hand-out, making almost $45million in total over the past 7 years, even though the Malaysian company can’t seem to turn a profit on the business.

So, what is the next thing we see?

Well, the next thing we see is $136,000 dollars of the Ta Ann budget disappearing into a lump-sum purchase of home grown wine, produced by Ta Ann’s own local Chief Executive – one Evan Rolley, formerly of the Tasmanian Forestry Department! (more…)

May 15, 2014

Only 28pct believe gov’t can tackle corruption

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Lawrence Yong

The number of people who believe that the government can tackle corruption has shrunk to its smallest in five years, the latest survey by Transparency International (Malaysia) shows.

The survey, in which face-to-face interviews were conducted with about 2,000 Malaysians from all 13 states, revealed that 45 percent of them were asked for a bribe in the past 12 months.

Conducted in March and April this year, it indicated that only 28 percent believe that the government is effective in tackling corruption.

In a similar 2013 survey, 31 percent said they agreed the government was effective. (more…)

May 12, 2014

Stop Baram, fully utilise Bakun, Murum, Batang Ai

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Athi Shankar

Sahabat Alam Malaysia wants the Sarawak Government to heed Baram’s protesting natives.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wants the proposed Baram hydroelectric project stopped.

SAM president SM Mohamed Idris urged the state government to listen to the demands of protesting natives.

He said Batang Ai, Bakun, Murum and other dam-affected communities around the world had described and relived the perils of forced relocation on human well-being. (more…)

May 10, 2014

US law firm says misappropriated ‘family money’ backed ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

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wolf-partyJohn Berthelsen

A Los Angeles-based law firm is charging that embezzled or misappropriated funds from a foreign nation – apparently Malaysia – were used to fund the Hollywood movie production and financing company Red Granite, which made the Oscar-nominated movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese.

The charge, by the law firm of Freedman & Taitelman, alleges that “family money” from Riza Aziz, the son of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor, was used to create Red Granite. The company was founded in 2009 by Riza, whose full name is Shahriz bin Abdul Aziz, and Christopher “Joey” McFarland. (more…)

May 6, 2014

GST: Najib & Co delusional

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Zainal Ajamaingst-300x199

It is no good claiming that other countries are imposing the same GST without really studying holistically the economic structure of those nations especially their wage model.

gstPrime Minister Najib Razak is of the opinion that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is important for the government and good for the country.

But GST is a regressive consumption tax. This means that the more a person consumes the more tax that person has to pay.

This type of tax has been imposed by other countries throughout the world with diverse consequence. (more…)

May 5, 2014

How 1MDB Bankrolled Jho Low’s Private Equity Splash!

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How 1MDB Bankrolled Jho Low’s Private Equity Splash! FURTHER EXCLUSIVESarawak Report

Following our earlier exclusive expose Sarawak Report has unearthed further exclusive evidence proving the links between the mystery tycoon Jho Low and Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It shows that in 2011 1MDB bankrolled a multi-million euro debt buy-out in Ireland, which formed a key plank in Jho Low’s strategy to get a controlling share of a London Hotel chain for his Wynton private equity group.

This new evidence flies in the face of denials as late as last month by Low that he has had any involvement or received any benefit from the public fund. (more…)

Governor Taib to sink teeth into onshore oil and gas next?

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Hazlan Zakaria

While officially retired from active politics in Sarawak, after having alleged to have sucked dry the riches from its lands and forests, state Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, apparently has no plans to let go of the Borneo state’s natural resource jugular.

I know I named him as the Last King of Sarawak, but that was done more in relation to Idi Amin’s “Last King of Scotland” moniker than of any real royal intent but perhaps there is some regal right royal ‘bone’ in him, after all.

Some say that he still rules the state executive. This, by proxy of Tan Sri Adenan Satem, seen by many of his detractors to be a weak leader who will lean heavily on what Taib says. (more…)

April 30, 2014

Taib linked to money-laundering in Canada

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FMT Staff

BMF said it unusual for a highly-reputed Canadian financial services provider to conduct multi-million-dollar transactions with “unusual” terms.

In the latest twist following the HSBC scandal, Canada’s largest insurance and finance provider Manulife Financial seems to have landed itself in a mess over its ‘unusual’ mortgage transactions with the Taib clan.

Manulife president and CEO Donald A. Guloien will on Thursday have to explain to company shareholders why it  provided six ‘unusual’ mortgages totalling Canadian $146 million (RM438 mil) to Sakto. (more…)

April 8, 2014

Mystery Thickens Over Missing Millions Meant For Schools

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Mystery Thickens Over Missing Millions Meant For Schools

Sarawak report

The company cited as the vehicle for SUPP leader Peter Chin’s pre-election plan to build 15 Sarawak schools has categorically denied any involvement in the project.

The KL based developer See Hoy Chan has told Sarawak Report that it had no knowledge of the RM559million proposal, which was rushed through and approved by the PM and Deputy PM’s offices in the weeks just before the election.

Details revealed in our original expose cited a list of 15 badly needed schools in Sarawak and Peter Chin recommended the consortium One BU Redha Services, comprising the Taib crony company Redha Services and One BU Sdn Bhd to build them. (more…)

RM45 million wasted in Ipoh airport upgrade as potholes prevent bigger aircraft landings

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An RM45 million upgrade for the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh is now subject of a state Public Accounts Committee probe after it was discovered that the runway extension was done shoddily. Potholes are preventing larger aircraft from landing there. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 7, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

An RM45 million upgrade for the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh is now subject of a state Public Accounts Committee probe after it was discovered that the runway extension was done shoddily. Potholes are preventing larger aircraft from landing there.

Some RM45 million of public funds had been spent to upgrade the Sultan Azlan Shah airport in Ipoh so that bigger aircraft can brings loads of tourists to the silver state.

The problem: the finished product does not meet safety standards and only propeller aircraft can now use the ‎runway pockmarked with potholes. (more…)

April 3, 2014

‘Little to show for RM16bil spending on defence’

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DAP’s Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Abd Aziz has demanded answers why Malaysia has not sent its two Scorpene submarines to assist in the search and recovery operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370.

Mohd Ariff - who blogs under the handle ‘Sakmongkol 47′ – raised questions as to what the country has to show for its expenditure on defence, which has gone up from RM13.8 million in 2011 to RM16.1 billion in 2014.

“How is our defence spending structured? Is it structured to enrich a few Umno cronies or is it structured to strengthen our defences?” (more…)

March 8, 2014

Balingian set to cement Taib’s Melanau legacy

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Hazlan Zakaria

With the Balingian by-election set for March 29, PBB looks set to deploy a Melanau candidate for the state seat, a move observers see as a means to cement former chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s legacy.

The Melanau-majority seat located within the Mukah parliamentary constituency has long been a PBB stronghold held by the former strongman and should continue to serve as a bastion for the party.

It is seen to be a loaded seat, and whoever gets picked to stand on the BN/PBB ticket will certainly play an important role in shaping the political landscape of Sarawak in the future. (more…)

Taib: The last king of Borneo

Hazlan Zakaria

One must admit that newly minted Sarawak Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has struck quite a romantic pose. He can be considered the last remaining symbol of Borneo sovereignty, amidst the crashing tide of federal arrogance from the peninsula.

Romance as in the hypnotic draw that surrounds him, not necessarily of the romantic love kind. Nevertheless the “dashing” Taib did dazzle a younger woman to agree to be his current wife.

And dashing too Taib seems to be — to many Sabahans and Sarawakians, even those politically opposed to him, who flock to his banner when he announced that rule over Sarawak is for locals and Umno should stay the hell out, in sentiment if not the same words. (more…)

Top lawyer under probe for statutory declaration on Altantuya’s murder

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Senior corporate lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham is being investigated by a three-man Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board (ASDB) committee for professional misconduct for allegedly preparing a statutory declaration (SD) for the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam (pic), who was not his client.

The contentious SD was to counter Bala’s first sworn statement which had incriminated Datuk Seri Najib Razak and several other personalities in relation to the 2006 murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the ASDB decided to hold the proceedings after finding there was a sufficient prima facie case against the lawyer for professional misconduct. (more…)

Taib to be spared DAP attacks, but state to remain under scrutiny

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Anna Chidambar

With the recent stepping down of Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as Sarawak chief minister, opposition parties in the state are hopeful that it will weaken BN’s footing in Sarawak.

Whether it is mere wishful thinking or otherwise, they rationalise that “It cannot be denied that Taib’s political strategies and acumen are quite exceptional and a very hard act to follow.”

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said: “As the governor, Taib can still advise Chief Minister (Tan Sri) Adenan Satem. However, when it comes to politics in Sarawak, money still plays a big part. Taib’s family has immense monetary clout to strengthen their political power. (more…)

Half a Billion Ringgit! The Turnover On Taib’s Latest Foreign Property Venture

Half a Billion Ringgit!  The Turnover On Taib’s Latest Foreign Property Venture

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Report can reveal that the turnover on the Taib family’s latest foreign property venture in the UK has been over half a billion ringgit (100 million pounds sterling) so far and it is still rising.

The Ridgeford Properties development in Bolsover Street, Central London, which comprises several flats, has now sold most of the units in its current 2nd stage of development for a price totalling £98,145,182 (RM537,000,000), according to research by the Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fund into the UK property register.

Some of the most expensive penthouse flats are yet to have been sold, meaning that the final sum will go well over the hundred million pounds mark. (more…)

March 7, 2014

Taib’s son escapes contempt charge

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Ahmad Fadli KC 

Sarawak governor’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib today escaped contempt of court proceedings brought by his former wife Shahnaz A Majid.

Syariah High Court judge Azzeman Omar delivered his verdict after hearing Bekir’s explanation.

This follows the court’s order for Bekir to pay more than RM900,000 as interim child maintenance for the couple’s only son.

“The court accepts the justification of the respondent and the committal application (for contempt of court) is rejected,” Justice Azzeman said. (more…)

Taib to relinquish interests in commercial enterprise?

Anna Chidambar

The High Court’s advice to Sarawak Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to relinquish all his commercial interests is seen as an indirect acknowledgement of his involvement in commercial enterprise and thus a small victory for those opposing his appointment.

This advice was made by Sabah High Court judge Chew Soo Ho when dismissing an ex-parte application on Feb 27 by Padungan state assemblyman Wong King Wei for an injunction to stop Taib from accepting his appointment as the governor. (more…)

Low: ‘People-sanctioned’ Taib is rightful governor

Lawrence Yong

Governance and Transparency Minister Paul Low said today that he saw no reason to stop Abdul Taib Mahmud from becoming state governor after 33 years as chief minister, despite allegations against him for corruption and abuse of power.

In the week before he resigned as Sarawak’s chief minister, two NGOs and a news weekly alleged that he had used his position to enrich his family. Taib has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Low also said that he sided with the GE13 voters, who found no fault with Taib. (more…)

Taib knew united Sabah, S’wak dangerous to Umno

taib mahmud sabah sarawakZainnal Ajamain

With one single bold announcement Taib Mahmud turned Malaysian politics on its head and broke the hidden agenda to “isolate” Sabah from Sarawak.

Taib Mahmud set the “benchmark”, to paraphrase Sabah’s Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, for his brave rejection of Umno from Sarawak and to uphold the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Within days of his bold announcement at the PBB Supreme Council meeting last month, political players, observers and analysts knew a historic moment had occured in Borneo. (more…)

March 6, 2014

Wretched Umno, Mustapha and Taib

taib tun mustapha umnoZainnal Ajamain

Never in the history of Malaysia has a head of a state acknowledged that Umno is NOT as good as it advertises itself to be.

Taib Mahmud stepped down as the Chief Minister of Sarawak after holding the reign for 33 long years. He outlasted Mahathir Mohammad, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, by more than a decade.

His length as CM speaks volumes of the politician who stayed in office longer than any other leaders in Malaysia and his insight into Umno’s character. (more…)

March 5, 2014

Taib’s family in 400 firms worth billions, says The Edge Weekly

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Ho Wah Foon

Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has just stepped down as Sarawak chief minister and become the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (state governor), had led the state imperiously for 33 years; and during these years, his family members have amassed billions of wealth.Ruling with a tight fist, Taib had allowed his immediate and extended families to control 400 companies in every sector in Malaysia and hold overseas assets worth more than RM800 million in four countries, according to the 8-page special cover story in The Edge Weekly.

Under the state constitution, the Chief Minister shall not hold any office of profit and shall not actively engage in any commercial enterprise, but according to the research findings of The Edge Weekly Taib might have broken this state law while he was ruling Sarawak. (more…)

Is return of the prodigal son coincidental?

Winston Way

First public appearance of Taib’s son, Sulaiman, has spawned rumours of him standing in Balingian.

Prodigal son, Sulaiman ‘s unexpected presence on Friday to welcome his father Taib Mahmud’s return from Kuala Lumpur as Sarawak’s new Governor has fired up the rumour mill here.

Speculations are divided over whether his return is linked to Balingian or the Taib business empire.

Of the two sons – the other is Mahmud Bekir – Sulaiman was his father’s ‘chosen one’ until he went AWOL in 2010 following his mother’s death. (more…)

March 4, 2014

Taib: When the Devil wins

James Chai

There was a slight pause called by Najib between Taib Mahmud’s resignation as Chief Minister of Sarawak and his accession as the Governor (Yang di-Pertua Negeri) of Sarawak.

The delay gave us some hope. Would Najib take this opportunity to cut off the “untouchable” Taib Mahmud once and for all and take this benefiting political token, or will he concede (yet again)?

This was not much of a surprise. Najib never dared anyway.

I’ve got things in proper sequence” – Taib (more…)

How Taib’s family could have hidden their wealth

Filed under: Kleptocracy — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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The Edge

The family of Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud may have used a number of exempt private companies (EPCs) to hide their wealth from public scrutiny, according to the financial weekly The Edge Malaysia.

This is because EPCs are exempted from submitting its balance sheet when filing its annual returns to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).

Typically, according to the report, these EPCs linked to Taib’s family would invest in other companies, numbering at over 400 involving a wide range of industries.

“When the EPC receives dividends from its subsidiaries… the money trail disappears because EPCs are not required to file their financials. (more…)

March 3, 2014

TIME MAGAZINE THREATENED? ‘Halt all negative comments against PM Najib’

TIME MAGAZINE THREATENED? 'Halt all negative comments against PM Najib'wfol.tv

Time Magazine, which came under scrutiny last week for an article depicting the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Najib Razak apparent failure to deal with race relations and growing religious intolerance, will have to watch its columns.

The international weekly is said to be under ongoing scrutiny, with the matter of the article written by Zoher Abdoolcarim still under investigation by a unit tasked to monitor foreign publications at the Home Ministry.

A source said a handler at the ministry is preparing a report that will be submitted to the Ketua Setiausaha (Chief Secretary) of the ministry, soon and it is only then a decision will be taken on Time article. (more…)

Balingian by-election barometer to gauge PKR’s strength in next state election – Baru

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:54 AM
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The Borneo Post

The Balingian by-election will be an interesting barometer to gauge  PKR strength in the next state general election.

State PKR chief Baru Bian said the Balingian by-election will determine whether there was support for the change in guard (of the state Barisan Nasional leaders) and secondly it can gauge the change in the support of the people for the present government, especially in the context of the rising cost of living.

“The increase in the price of goods will be the main issue and we will be taking the issue to the ground and it will be very interesting,” he told reporters at a press conference after the party’s state liaison committee’s final meeting here yesterday. (more…)

Balingian: Who’s the secret Melanau graduate?

Filed under: Kleptocracy — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Alan Ting

Political observers believe that PBB will likely field a Melanau-Christian as part of the traditional arrangement inherited by the party from its predecessor Barjasa.

Following Taib Mahmud’s retirement from active politics, the predominantly Melanau based Barisan Nasional (BN) stronghold of Balingian has become the focus of political pundits.

With the dust settled on who will be replacing Abdul Taib as the Chief Minister, all eyes are now on Balingian that could serve as the proving ground for the new chief minister and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president Adenan Satem. (more…)

In Balingian by-election, Pakatan to gauge support for change of guards in Sarawak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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With the dismal performance in the 2011 state election still fresh in their minds, PKR Sarawak is realistic but hopeful when it comes to their chances in the soon-to-be-called by-election for Balingian, a coastal Malay-Melanau majority state seat.

“We admit and we concede we are the underdogs,” state PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) told a media conference after chairing the party’s state leadership meeting in Kuching, today.

“(The Balingian seat) is probably one of the toughest Barisan Nasional seats (to win). (more…)

‘Taib must answer for sins of corruption’

Cynthia Gabriel


It is bewildering for the MACC to claim that there is no evidence of corruption and abuse of power by the former Sarawak CM, says C4 director Cynthia Gabriel.

Former Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud should be cleared of his sins of corruption by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) before being appointed as Sarawak’s Governor.

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) director Cynthia Gabriel quoted several ‘sordid tales of corruption’ such as the Japan transport scandal in 2007 and the Gunung Munung Park scandal. (more…)

March 2, 2014

Taib Plans To Commission A Better Reputation

Taib Plans To Commission A Better Reputation

Sarawak Report

Taib has grabbed the Governorship, but now he is worrying about his reputation.

In his outgoing speech as Chief Minister he chose to focus on the international bad publicity over his destruction of the rainforest; his rolling out of oil palm plantations and his self-enrichment in the process.

Clearly, this matter has spoiled his promotion party and it is preoccupying his mind.

As usual, he blamed “malicious attacks” by NGOs and he called on Malaysia’s “envoys” to repair his reputation across the globe.

Then he came out with some claims that have produced gasps and astonished laughter. (more…)

A surprise presence and puzzling absence

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 3:08 AM
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Winston Way

Taib Mahmud’s triumphant return to Sarawak as the new governor was marked by his son, Sulaiman’s first public appearance in years, and the non-attendance by a former CM contender

Controversy-ridden Abdul Taib Mahmud arrived here last night as Sarawak’s new governor and was greeted by a 500-strong waiting crowd including family members, the state Cabinet and senior government officials.

Earlier yesterday, Taib received his instrument of appointment from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, at the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

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