Hornbill Unleashed

December 9, 2011

Taib Hit By UK’s Bell Pottinger Scandal!

Sarawak Report 

Taib hired UK PR giant Bell Pottinger to puff himself and smear Sarawak Report!

Once again Taib’s dirty tricks against Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak have spectacularly backfired!

In the past few hours it has emerged that the Chief Minister, along with his son-in-law, Sean Murray, was one of the clients who hired Bell Pottinger to alter Wikipedia entries about themselves, their companies, Sarawak… and, of course,Sarawak Report/Radio Free Sarawak!

Bell Pottinger is the PR giant that has been at the centre of a scandal that has been gripping the UK since Tuesday.  The company, which first achieved fame as Margaret Thatcher’s favourite agency, has developed a reputation for professional ruthlessness and a willingness to do business with unpleasant clients.

Video sting

They demonstrated these questionable ethics when they were exposed earlier this week in a sting by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, posing as representatives of Uzbekistan, which has been condemned for promoting the slave labour of children in the cotton industry.

Bell Pottinger staff were caught on camera saying they would be willing to work on improving the country’s image, even though reform might be minimal.  They would charge a million pounds a year (RM5million) or a hundred thousand a month.

At the same time the company was exposed for bragging that it had special access to UK Prime Minister David Cameron for clients wishing to lobby the British Government, which has been hugely embarrassing for the Conservative Party.

Taib was a client!

Sarawak Report has been dragged into the affair

Now the scandal has rolled into its 3rd day with further exposes about Bell Pottinger’s willingness to engage in ‘Dark Arts’, such as the secretive alteration of people’s Wikipedia entries.  The story is splashing around UK newspapers, but is being led by The Independent and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

After the details of ten pseudonyms used by Bell Pottinger to alter information about their clients were released by Wikipedia a few hours ago, it emerged that one of the key users of this service was none other than Taib Mahmud and his son-in-law Sean Murray!

The list of Wikipedia entries altered by the Bell Pottinger pseudonym ‘Biggleswick’ includes Abdul Taib Mahmud, Sean Murray, Ridgeford Properties (the Taib family company in the UK), Christopher Murray (Sean’s cousin and the Director of Ridgeford Properties), Sakto (the Taib family company in Canada), Sarawak (which Taib largely owns in Malaysia) and… Clare Rewcastle Brown, the Editor of this blog and the Radio Station Radio Free Sarawak!

Intriguing connections. Ridgeford properties signed up Bell Pottinger to a retainer in early 2011. Subsequently the company altered Ridgeford’s site on Wikipedia – and also Taib Mahmud’s, Sarawak’s and Clare Rewcastle Brown’s!

Radio Free Sarawak is Smeared!

The UK press have noted that while Taib, Sean Murray, Chris Murray and their companies have received positive changes thanks to ’Biggleswick’, the alterations on Clare Rewcastle Brown’s Wikipedia entry consisted of negative information about Radio Free Sarawak.

The alterations sought to emphasise the ‘illegality’ of the Radio Station, the Iban-speaking which has campaigned for the past year to bring information to ordinary folk in Sarawak about land rights and rural problems.

Radio Free Sarawak broadcasts daily in Iban and Bahasa mixing traditional music and news for the rural folk

“Threat to Taib”

Radio Free Sarawak was set up to enable native people in Sarawak to receive news that is suppressed by Taib-controlled state broadcasters.  It focuses on rural problems, land grabs for logging and plantations, the lack of development and health.  It also provides the only platform where opposition politicians can speak out and inform their voters about alternatives to BN policies.

‘Papa Orang Utan’ (Peter John), has had to suspend his Sunday Show and is hiding in exile

Because of this, the two hour daily programme is clearly hated by Taib Mahmud.  During the last state election Taib spokesmen, such as Karim Hamza, went on record to say that the programme makers should be hunted down and arrested.  The original DJay Peter John Jaban (known as Papa Orang Utan) is now currently hiding from the Sarawak authorities in exile, having suspended his Sunday Show.

Today the opposition PKR leader of Sarawak, Baru Bian, explained that Taib Mahmud sees the Radio Station as a threat to his control over communications in the rural areas, which are vital to his retaining control in the state:

“Radio Free Sarawak is a threat to BN, because it gives a voice to those people who have been cheated by BN policies and has raised the issue of landgrabs to a centre stage.  The station has reached out to the rural folk and allowed them to share their stories with each other and it has raised the issue of corruption and poor governance under the last 30 years of Taib’s rule” ,

Baru Bian told the Radio Station today.

Longhouse listeners – people can tune in daily at 6pm to hear Radio Free Sarawak, despite past attempts at jamming, funded by Taib

The programme has been flourishing with a daily show, broadcast via shortwave out of London, and it will be continuing its broadcasts over the Christmas and New Year period, with daily interviews with local Sarawak people about their problems and interests.

DJay, Michael Ngau and his team have announced that they will also be joined by a new celebrity Iban broadcaster when the programme ‘re-vamps’ in the New Year.

Smears

The changes that Bell Pottinger made to Wikipedia included the following excerpts from a pro-BN Malaysian publication:

“On 25 February 2011, the Malaysian Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang announced that Radio Free Sarawak [founded by Rewcastle Brown] was not licensed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, and was therefore operating illegally. At the same time, RFS was accused of inciting racial hatred in Sarawak through its daily broadcasts.”  [politics scrapbook]

The Bell Pottinger campaign, which has exposed the sort of tactics that Radio Free Sarawak and other campaigners for freedom and democracy in Malaysia face every day, is just the latest in a series of PR ‘dirty tricks campaigns’ against Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak.

Earlier in the summer we exposed how Taib hired the discredited FBC Mediato provide him with illegal PR on global news shows.

Following that expose FBC Media was axed by the BBC and CNBC and subsequently went into administration in the UK.  We have also revealed how FBC, like Bell Pottinger, was also involved in taking work from another infamous regime, Uzbekistan.

‘Biggleswiki’ (Bell Pottinger) focused on adding comments attacking Radio Free Sarawak

Sean Murray and Taib

The unfolding Bell Pottinger affair has also highlighted the close working relationship between Taib Mahmud and his family abroad, headed by his key helper, son-in-law Sean Murray.

Ottawa high society – Sean and Jamilah Murray are known in Canada for their lavish socialising

Sean (Hisham) Murray is married to Taib’s daughter Jamilah and lives in Ottawa, Canada.  However, he is the director of numerous Taib-linked property companies, including Sakto (Canada), Sakti (USA), Sitehost (Australia) and Ridgeford Properties, based in the UK and run by Murray’s cousin, Chris Murray.

Sean has denied that he has any business links with Taib or interests in Sarawak.  However, he is presently a Director of the company Premier Cottage, which has been given the driving role in the latest Kuching Isthmus development project.  Murray was also the key figure behind the so-called Kuching Tower project, which has been planned as Sarawak’s tallest building.

It can now be seen that it was Sean Murray’s Ridgeford Properties that in fact sealed the retainer with Bell Pottinger earlier this year that then led to all the changes on not only Ridgeford’s wikipedia entry, but also Taib Mahmud’s, Sean Murray’s, Sakto’s, Chris Murray’s, Sarawak’s and also Clare Rewcastle Brown’s websites.

We therefore once again challenge Sean Murray over his claims that he does not involve himself in Taib Mahmud’s business matters and suggest that he is in fact a key agent for the Chief Minister in the management of his property interests worldwide.
Bell Pottinger secured a retainer with Ridgeford, which then resulted in Wikipedia changes for Taib Mahmud

When, we ask, is Malaysia’s BN party going to stop hiring expensive image consultants and start addressing the real issues that are tarnishing their reputations at home and internationally?

13 Comments »

  1. The ghoul of Sarawak:

    Comment by Yati — December 11, 2011 @ 10:55 AM | Reply

  2. In China, Taib Mahmud would have all his and family’s assets seized. He would be charged and executed by firing squad and the cost of execution and the bullets would be paid for by his family. The PM, AG, IGP and MACC would have been implicated for not taking action. Only in Malaysia we see complaints and allegations of a few hundred or thousand ringgit graft been overzealously investigated. Our country has gone to the dogs .

    Comment by Irene Kana — December 9, 2011 @ 9:03 PM | Reply

    • Irene, we keep voting for Taib M because we are stupid, MACC is usless and Taib M is God.

      Comment by ku — December 9, 2011 @ 9:29 PM | Reply

    • OUR COUNTRY GOT CHEWED UP BY UMNO DOGS IN 1963……WE ARE PAYING FOR IT FOR 48 YEARS OF BEING RE-COLONIZED BY BROWN SKINS SAHIBS & TITLE MAD ROBBERS….

      Comment by aman — December 10, 2011 @ 8:58 AM | Reply

  3. Taib should be arrested now, the arrest is some 30 years overdue. If the M’sian Prime Minister has any moral or integrity at all; he would have done it long ago. It’s all an earthshaking shame & disgrace. God help Malaysia. I see Taib’s end coming, perhaps violently.

    Comment by Alan Newman. NZ — December 9, 2011 @ 7:53 PM | Reply

    • WE WERE ONCE HEADHUNTERS MATE!

      BUT WHERE ARE THEY?

      Comment by AYAM KURUS — December 12, 2011 @ 9:09 AM | Reply

  4. Yes, they will have no freedom in or out of Sarawak. If anyone of us see them in US, HK , Australia, Singapore, UK or Canada, We will shout at them and throw tomato at them. We should buy a big poster with their greedy faces and put then all over Ottawa where the Taib’s daughter lives.

    Comment by RC — December 9, 2011 @ 5:48 PM | Reply

  5. Taib mau potong itu pokok kat Padang Sentral. Dia tak mau rakyat rantung nya di Padang Sentral !

    Itu Polisman Wahab nanti lagi, potong pokok sana. Kita punya Datuk Bandar apa beza sama itu kaki pukul ?

    Comment by Chan Gan Tong — December 9, 2011 @ 5:13 PM | Reply

  6. Everday we hear the same story about Taib’s link with corruption in every non-mainstream press.

    But why MACC never investigate?

    Comment by yuna — December 9, 2011 @ 3:59 PM | Reply

    • Yuna, MACC is worthless and useless as a used toilet paper. It is a goon squad created by our corrupted politicians to make trouble for any potential challenger or oppostion.

      Comment by ku — December 9, 2011 @ 9:39 PM | Reply

  7. The days for the thief minister and his gang of thieves are really numbered and coming to an explosive end bigger than “C$” sensation. Taib can never sleep well or wanted to remain living in Sarawak if Pakatan takes over power at Putrajaya. Sarawakains must help ourselves to help defeat this corrupted and wicked regime of Taib Mahmud by delivering more than 15 parliamentary seats to Pakatan Rakyat..

    Comment by Asri Rahman — December 9, 2011 @ 3:50 PM | Reply

    • The Malay community from Mukah, Sibu and Bintulu will lead the Bumiputra faction to ensure Pakatan wins regardless if the party is PAS, DAP or PKR.

      Comment by Mohd Nasir — December 9, 2011 @ 6:51 PM | Reply


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