Hornbill Unleashed

October 25, 2010

Taib in a quandary over ‘partyless’ Sng

By Joseph Tawie

Pelagus state assemblyman Larry Sng, who was expelled from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) last year, seems unperturbed by his “partyless” status despite the state election being only eight months, or less, away.

He continues to go around doing his duty as an elected representative as well as an assistant minister.

By spending most of his times in the constituency, Sng is giving the indication that he wants to defend his seat.

“My heart is always with BN. I will join the right party at the right time and of course through consultation with other BN leaders,” he said.

Sng has however told many of his friends that his “partyless” status will soon be over.

But on whose ticket is he going to contest – BN, as an independent or PKR? This is the question many are asking.

Even though he says that he will be return to a party within BN, going back to PRS is out of the question.

PRS president James Masing has made it clear that the door to the party is “permanently closed” to Sng.

“We are adamant in keeping Sng out,” Masing said, expressing hope that leaders from other BN component parties will respect this decision.

Joining SPDP or SUPP?

In the meantime, remarks made by Sng have prompted observers to speculate that he is joining Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) or Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

Rumours of him joining SPDP have been circulating in Julau since early this year. But SPDP president William Mawan has dismissed this.

“No such thing. Where did you hear such rumours?” he retorted when asked by newsmen.

Lately, there are strong rumours that Sng has applied to join SUPP where he may be given the Meradong seat to contest or even the Padungan seat.

Sng’s famous father-in-law, Ting Phek Khiing, comes from the Meradong constituency. And the incumbent for the Meradong seat is DAP’s Ting Tze Hui.

In Kuching, rumours have it that Sng’s name is one of the three mentioned as possible candidates for the Padungan seat. The other two are Lily Yong, a former state assemblywoman and Kuching mayor James Chan.

But Sng himself denied that he has been knocking at the doors of SUPP. “I have not submitted my application to SUPP,” he said.

On the SUPP front, its leaders appear reluctant to accept Sng into the party.

“We have our own people groomed to be candidates in the two constituencies (Padungan and Meradong),” said SUPP secretary-general Sim Kheng Hui when asked about the rumours.

PKR or direct-BN candidate?

Speculation is rife that Sng may contest as an independent candidate in Pelagus or even as a candidate of PKR.

His father, Sng Chee Hua, has a close relationship with PKR leaders. They say that the senior Sng is opening the way for the junior Sng to join the opposition. It is only a matter of time, they claim.

But if Sng insists on remaining in BN, his future lies in the hands of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. Only Taib has the “power” to determine his candidacy and under which party Sng will contest.

Taib may even allow Sng to contest as a direct-BN candidate.

But if Taib insists on Sng contesting in the Pelagus seat as a direct-BN member, he is not only going to set a precedent but also undermine Masing and PRS in the constituency which has over 90% Dayak voters. There are bound to be complications and repercussions.

Certainly, Masing will put up a candidate of his own, and it is certain to cause a split in BN. In which case, the opposition will stand to gain from this.

The other possible implication is that Masing may pull out of BN at the eleventh hour of the election. Masing has eight state representatives and his withdrawal from BN is sure to deal a blow to the ruling coalition.

For the time being, everybody is watching what Taib is going to do with Sng.

If he drops him he is likely to incur the wrath of tycoon Ting Phek Khiing, his ally. If Taib retains Sng he may be accused of undermining the spirit of BN.




    With the elections coming (unless they declare a State of Emergency)- it is worthwhile to read a summary of CM Taib’s corruption as publihed in Wiki. The Taib company Sakti (Suckti) International owns the Abm Liclon Bldg which houses the FBI. It is a short walk for the FBI if it cares to investigate Taib’s ex-employee’s Ross Boyert mysterious death/”suicide”.

    “Alleged corruption”
    [edit] Logging industry

    The excessive logging in Sarawak and Sarawak’s forest policies has drawn international attention and criticism since 1987 where various foreign governments and international organisations protested against the dramatic rise in timber production from Sarawak. The political insecurity of Taib Mahmud from 1986 to 1991 has enabled him to accelerate the pace of logging in Sarawak.[11]

    The involvement of Taib and his family in logging industry is specifically mentioned in a report published by Forests Monitor. According to the report, the chief minister reserves his right to revoke timber licenses while no legal challenge is possible against the chief minister. This is to ensure that the anyone with logging interest is loyal to the chief minister. The report also notes that in general, mutually beneficial relationship between political elites and logging companies often results in corruption, bribery, and transfer pricing, where the financial details of transnational logging companies, including Malaysian ones, are difficult to track.[28]

    In 2007, The Japan Times reported that nine Japanese shipping companies, which transported timber from Sarawak, had allegedly failed to report some 1.1 billion yen in income over a period of up to seven years. The report claimed the money was paid as kickbacks to Sarawak officials via a Hong Kong agent linked to Taib’s family.[29] Taib, however, denied totally the Japan Times allegations by presenting a 10-page clarification in the state assembly. He said that he had no knowledge about the bribes given to Sarawak officials and the evading of the income from timber production.[30]

    In 2008, Indonesian newspaper Tribun Pontianak revealed that around 30 shipments of illegal Indonesian logs was imported into Sarawak and re-exported to other countries every month. Chief minister Taib Mahmud and the company Hardwood Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of state agency Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), was implicated in this timber scam.[31][32][33]

    In 2009, the Malaysian 2008 annual auditor-general’s report labelled the forest management in Sarawak by state government as unsatisfactory. However, Sarawak’s Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan questioned the validity of the report as he claimed that the auditor-general’s department did not have the expertise in forest management.[34]

    The results of the logging industry under Taib is that less than 10% of Sarawak’s primary forests remain, logging many of the ancestral lands of many of Sarawak’s indigenous communities, despite their continued petitions and road blockades, where forceful dismantling has led to several deaths and regular violent coercion by the Malaysian army, police and logging industry enforcers.[35][36]
    [edit] Nepotism

    Taib’s son, Dato Sri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, was appointed as Group Executive Director of Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB) on 23 January 1995. He is currently the Deputy Group Chairman of CMSB.[37] Abu Bekir Taib’s siblings, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib, Jamilah Hamidah Taib, Hanifah Hajar Taib and his late mother Laila Taib are substantial shareholders in the company.[37] Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib joined the board of CMSB when his brother Abu Bekir Taib, first became the Group Executive Director of CMSB. Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib was the Group Chairman of CMSB from May 2002 until June 2006, the former Non-Executive Director of CMSB,[38] and the former RHB Bank chairman.[39]

    In the 2008 general election, Taib’s son Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib won the Kota Samarahan seat in the Malaysian parliament previously held by his father[40] and became Deputy Tourism Minister in the new cabinet.[41] Prior to this, he did not have any political experience. On 14 December 2009, he resigned his deputy minister post due to personal reasons.[42]

    Taib’s sister Roziah Mahmud is one of the most powerful businesswomen in Sarawak with extensive holdings in property and timber business. Besides than that, she is also appointed as the Hononary Consul of the Republic of Poland to Sarawak (as Taib’s late wife Laila Taib was a Polish descendent).[citation needed]

    Taib’s brother, Mohd Tufail bin Mahmud is the co-owner of Sanyan Group, one of the Sarawak’s biggest timber companies. In 2001, the Sanyan Group completed its construction of the 28-storey Wisma Sanyan in Sibu where the state government took up 8 office floors.[5]

    Achi Jaya Shipping is owned by Onn Mahmud and his immediate family. Onn Mahmud is Taib Mahmud’s brother. Achi Jaya Shipping is alleged to continue demand payment from Japanese log carriers for transporting wood from Sarawak although the payments are actually kickbacks as stated in 2007 timber kickback scandal.[43]

    Taib’s brother, Mohamad Arip bin Mahmud was appointed as a director of Jaya Tiasa Holdings Berhad (controlled by Rimbunan Hijau Group) on 13 April 1995. Taib’s sister is also one of the Tiong’s business partners.[44]

    Taib’s cousin, Abdul Hamed Sepawi is the chairman of Naim Holdings Berhad, Sarawak Energy Berhad,[45] and Ta Ann Holdings Berhad. He was also on the board of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp and Sarawak Plantation Berhad.[46]

    Taib’s brother-in-law, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Abdul Aziz Bin Dato Haji Husain, was appointed state secretary by Mahmud in 2000 and when he retired in 2006, he was appointed as the group managing director of Sarawak Energy Berhad since 2007.[47] He also holds directorships for Eksons Corporation Berhad, Mlabs Systems Berhad, Syarikat SESCO Berhad and other companies.[48]

    Taib Mahmud, denying any wrongdoings, told Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) that he did not ask anybody to do his sons a favour for the positions in CMSB and other companies.[46] He also insisted that his family made money through their own hard work.[10]
    [edit] Economic domination

    Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB), the company controlled by Taib’s family, was awarded various government contracts including the maintenance of Sarawak’s roads over 15 years, constructions of roads, supplying roofing materials for low-cost housing units, building hospitals, and upgrading airports. It also has a near monopoly of the supplies of concrete in Sarawak. In 2001, the Malaysian federal government allowed the CMS Group’s banking unit Bank Utama to acquire RHB Bank to become one of Malaysia’s 10 core banks.[5] The company, PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, which is 51% owned by CMSB, recently completed the construction of the New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building in 2009.[49] CMSB is currently under the joint venture with leading aluminium producer, Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) to develop aluminium smelter in Similajau as part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).[50]

    A doctoral thesis written by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) lecturer, Dr Neilson Mersat, alleged that Taib’s family wealth comes mostly from Sarawak state government contracts without tender, and profits were sent overseas to hide them.[51] Another lecturer in the faculty of Social Sciences at UNIMAS, Andrew Aeria, wrote a thesis which claimed that CMSB takeover of Bank Utama and other companies is an example where highly-profitable business are only favoured between well-connected individuals. The privatisation of state-owned companies deprived the state government of sources of income, thus raising the burden of taxpayers.[6]

    In 2000, the Sarawak cabinet had approved RM 551.02 million state contract to be awarded directly to Titanium Management Sdn. Bhd. Taib’s son, Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib is a major shareholder in the company. This contract allowed Titanium to repair or replace 384 old bridges in the state in 7 years. The Malaysian 2006 auditor general report stated that agreement in the contract was favouring the contractor. There was a cost overrun of 72% from the original cost. A survey conducted by auditor-general department on 12 sites of the bridges discovered that the design of bridges over narrow rivers do not meet actual needs and were not built economically.[52][53]

    In 2008, the Sarawak government planned to build 12 dams in Sarawak in order to meet the future energy demand of industrialisation. These dams are scheduled to be completed in 2020 although they need to be approved by environmental impact assessment. A memorandum of understanding was already signed between the Sarawak Energy Berhad and China Three Gorges Project Corporation on Murum Dam project.[54][55] A total of 51 dams may be constructed by the year 2037. This controversial hydroelectric project is receiving fierce criticism because of catastrophic disasters that they may cause and the possible displacements of native communities. The opponents of the plans cited this project as corruption and capital cronyism because CMSB is expected to be benefited indirectly by supplying concrete material for the construction of dams and building of aluminium smelter that consume much of the generated electricity.[56] In March 2009, Al Jazeera’s ‘101 East’ English programme was aired where the Sarawak’s 12 dams issue and economic domination by Taib’s family was discussed in great detail. Minister of Land Development, Dato Sri Dr. James Masing accepted the interview on this issue but the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud declined the interview invitation.[52]

    James Masing, in an interview with Al Jazeera English, maintained that the contracts were awarded in a transparent manner either in open or closed tenders. He said that the state government give the contracts based on the previous good track record of the companies, not because of the alleged political connections.[52]
    [edit] Wealth

    Taib owns a mansion in Demak Jaya which overlooks the Sarawak River. According to photos in the July to December 2006 newsletter of Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd, Taib’s living room is decorated with gilt-edged European-style sofa sets.[46] Taib Mahmud is said to wear double-breasted suits, driving around in Kuching in his cream-coloured Rolls-Royce car.[57] Laila Taib and her children are the majority shareholders of Sitehost Pty. Ltd., Australia, which owns Adelaide Hilton Hotel, according to Aliran Monthly, the reformist Malaysian magazine.[6] Taib was described as “flamboyant with expensive tastes” and had reportedly purchased a piano once belonged to late American showman Liberace for US$2 million.[58] He also wears a ring with a walnut-sized red gem surrounded by small diamonds.[10]
    [edit] Allegations by Sarawak Report

    In the latest expose, Taib is alleged to have established a real estate empire, Sakto Corporation in Canada worth a few hundred million dollars, under the name of his son-in-law, Sean Murray. This company was founded by Taib’s brother Onn Mahmud, Taib’s daughter Jamilah, and Sean Murray.[59][60] Sean Murray and Taib’s daughter has successfully won the trust of Canadian government departments to move into the their office spaces after an open and competitive lease search. The ORC briefings stated that the facilities owned by Sakto Corporation was “built to high energy and environmental specifications” and “building is green in a number of ways”.[61] Sarawak Report also alleged that Sakti International Corporation in United States which is also managed by the same couple, owns Abraham Lincoln building which houses the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) facility.[62][63] Taib family is also alleged to own property portfolio in London.[64]

    Comment by Abang — October 26, 2010 @ 2:40 PM | Reply


    Are the PBB BN parties the private clubs of the rich & privilege- that they can swop around as they please?

    What is shows is that all these corrupt parties have the same policies so it does not matter which one you join! They exist as vehicles for private plunder by their corrupt leaders….and collect fat pay cheques & benefits for doing little for the people they represent…

    Comment by Abang — October 26, 2010 @ 7:30 AM | Reply


    KUCHING: DAP wants Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president George Chan to explain how his daughter Elisa Chan Wai Kuen @ Anisa Hamidah Abdullah received 12% of 269 acres of prime land near BDC Stampin, Kuching.
    Sarawak DAP secretary-general Chong Cheing Jen said he has “solid evidence” of Elisa Chan’s shareholding.

    “I have solid evidence that his daughter was given 12% of the shares which are worth about RM70 million.

    “Chan must explain as the people have the right to know,” said Chong, who is the Bandar Kuching MP.

    He said Chan and SUPP have been telling the people that they were looking after their interests as far as land was concerned.

    “But if you look at the Bako land issue where 3,000 acres of people’s land have been acquired by the government without giving satisfactory compensation and explanation and the land given to his daughter, it is obvious that Chan and SUPP are not looking after the people’s interest, but only their own interests.

    “He must explain how his daughter got the state land so easily,” said Chong, adding that SUPP appeared to have adopted a new slogan — cronies first, people last.

    Elisa Chan is the wife of Sulaiman Taib, the son of the Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, and her 12% shares are being listed in a company known as Monarda Sdn Bhd.

    Registered in November 2008, the company’s 100 shares have been divided among four persons. Taib’s son Mahmud Abu Bakir holds the majority 52 shares.

    Other shareholders are Taib’s daughters’ Jamilah Hamidah and Hanifah Hajar who each hold 12 shares, Anisa (12) and Chung Soon Nam (12).

    Although the market value of the land is around RM500 million, Monarda paid only RM78,647,112.00.

    This again is being paid in kind.

    Campaign against tower

    Chong, who is Kota Sentosa assemblyman, also urged Sarawakians, especially the Internet users, to support the facebook campaign against the construction of the 100-storey high Warisan Mernara building.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — October 25, 2010 @ 9:12 PM | Reply





      Comment by Head Hunter Spirit — October 26, 2010 @ 1:38 AM | Reply

  4. More and more reasons why UMNO dominated BN must be replaced and kicked out in GE13. The PM thinks he can camouflage our national debts and deficits by misleading all Malaysians. He has totally forgotten that we are educated. His mischief has been exposed by the Auditor-General.

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Malaysia’s national debt for 2009 rose to RM362.39 billion or 53.7 per cent of GDP, its highest level in five years, according to the Auditor-General’s report released today.

    The Auditor-General said in the report that this was the first time the debt to GDP ratio had breached the 50 per cent mark.

    This contrasts with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reply in Parliament in June that Malaysia’s total debt had been reduced in 2009 to RM233.92 billion from RM236.18 billion in 2008.

    Najib had also said that the debt to GDP ratio for 2009 was only 34.3 per cent, up from 31.9 per cent in 2008.

    But today’s Auditor-General’s report said that the national debt had actually risen beyond what was announced by Najib, largely due to domestic debt.

    “The debt ratio to GDP at the end of 2009 is 53.7 per cent, the highest level in five years and over 50 per cent for the very first time,” said the report.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — October 25, 2010 @ 6:53 PM | Reply

  5. There have been constant talks of the terrible conditions at Kuching Int Airport- tiles cracking up and snapping broken in a row; the runway caused greater bounce to aircrafts beyond acceptable limits due to inadequate settlement; TV monitors dropping from ceilings; ceiling panels tearing; and leakages among some.

    If the Auditors Report recently published say anything credible at all, the Kuching Int Airport condition won’t suprise anyone – until, hopefully not, a catastrophe comes.

    Looks like our friend spent too little on a project 3 times its normal construction costs.

    Looks like the earth may swallow up a few if a Boeing 747 were to skid and, god forbid, burst into flames.

    Comment by Ah Phek — October 25, 2010 @ 6:47 PM | Reply

  6. If Taib drops him, no more diamond studded gold Rolex’s from Ting Pek King on his Taib’s birthday. I hope PKR is smart enough not to accept him.

    Comment by fcukbn — October 25, 2010 @ 5:56 PM | Reply

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