Hornbill Unleashed

June 7, 2012

UN reprimand for M’sia over Taib?

Keruah Usit

Could Malaysia face UN sanctions, thanks to its lack of action on graft allegations surrounding Sarawak’s entrenched chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud?

A coalition of 21 NGOs from nine countries, led by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), has called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon to reprimand Malaysia for “systematic breach of its obligations under international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering treaties”.

The coalition picketed on June 4 in front of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria, the secretariat of the Convention against Corruption, and the anti-money laundering Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.
The NGOs have also requested, in a letter to Ban, for urgent action against the Malaysian authorities. The coalition argued that the government has reneged on its commitments to both treaties, by failing to act against alleged corrupt practices and capital flight by Taib.

The letter was signed by NGOs from Sarawak, Switzerland, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Nepal, Norway and the UK. Among these were the BMF and Greenpeace, as well as Sarawakian human rights groups Brimas, Ideal, Sadia and Tahabas.

Taib, they wrote, was the “main person responsible for the unprecedented destruction of the tropical rainforests of Sarawak, one of the world’s most biodiverse natural habitats and an important global carbon sink”.

azlanThey said Taib has “not only established an authoritarian government in Sarawak but has also abused his political power…and illicitly gained assets worth several billion US dollars, including logging and plantation concessions, a monopolistic control over the export of tropical timber and a monopoly over the production of cement and other building materials”.

The NGOs alleged that the Malaysian authorities are “deliberately and actively protecting … Taib and his family members from criminal prosecution” for his “massive corruption, abuse of public office and money-laundering in third countries”.

NONETaib and premier Najib Abdul Razak are keeping a strained mutual truce, in order to keep the BN in Putrajaya. Neither has commented on the anti-Taib campaign.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reports directly to Najib. Its head Abu Kassim Mohamed made a languid announcement last June that there was an ongoing investigation into Taib’s wealth.

This coy admission followed an avalanche of Internet reports regarding the Taib family’s land deals, corporate holdings and lavish local and foreign properties.

On June 3, the first anniversary of Abu Kassim’s remarks, the MACC assured Malaysians that the case was “not yet resolved”. To date, it has failed to report any progress.

Conundrum for Pakatan

Political observers note that the MACC “probe” might be an unsubtle reminder to Taib to remain loyal to Najib, instead of defecting to the opposing Pakatan Rakyat coalition, if the upcoming general election is close.

azlan“…the MACC appears not to be independent. It has no real control, but appears to be used as a tool to keep the ruling BN coalition in power,” the NGOs said in their letter.

The NGOs pointed out they had sent complaints to the Malaysian attorney general, the MACC and inspector-general of police last December, but have not received a reply.

“We believe the … government has instructed the addressees not to reply…in clear violation of the spirit and stipulations of (the two UN treaties),” the NGOs wrote.

The BMF announced that, following their demonstration in Vienna, NGO representatives were invited into a closed-door meeting with UN officials.

This complaint to the UN will cause Najib and Taib international embarrassment, but will not lead to Taib’s prosecution, with a general election looming.

blog and pod castingNajib must hope most Malaysians know nothing of this: the state-controlled media has kept grimly silent on the story. However, the growing numbers of Internet-connected voters, including many in lower-income groups, will inevitably learn of the international furore.

Now that Taib has become increasingly isolated, an interesting question arises.

If the 13th general election results in a hung Parliament, would Pakatan aspire to form the ruling coalition by accepting Taib’s loyalty, and his party’s seats, in return for immunity from prosecution?

And what international response would Pakatan expect, if this scenario comes to pass?


KERUAH USIT is a human rights activist - ‘anak Sarawak, bangsa Malaysia’. This weekly column is an effort to provide a voice for marginalised Malaysians. Keruah Usit can be contacted at keruah_usit@yahoo.com

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11 Comments »

  1. Taib and Najib are having common interest. Taib is indeed a corrupted CM of Sarawak but the MACC is not doing much to bring him to court. Najib, the police and MACC are not going to gain the people’s confident because they are resorting to double standard in the investigation and prosecution of Taib. I pray for Taib to die early to save our rain forest. The longer he is in power, the more corrupted practices he will do and more rain forest will be cut. May god send him to hell.

    Comment by Okano — July 7, 2013 @ 11:17 PM | Reply

  2. MACC commissioner and IGP can say anything they like and we all know they are among the most corrupted in the country. I am not surprised they are in the payroll of Najib, Taib and Musa.

    Comment by Ahmad Madon — June 9, 2012 @ 10:05 PM | Reply

  3. Malaysians must apply more pressure on MACC to compel it to start investigating the twin thief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah without further delay. Taxpayers wanted to see MACC play an independent role without fear or favour, These thieves must not be alowed to roam free for another day. They must be made accountable for their loots and plunder.

    Comment by Effendi Nawawi — June 8, 2012 @ 9:18 PM | Reply

  4. Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman must be take leave and allow themselves to be investigated by a RCI before polling.

    Comment by Lee Hui — June 8, 2012 @ 3:42 PM | Reply

  5. There is no Superman coming to save us.
    The real power are the people of Malaysia and Sarawak.

    Comment by goupama — June 8, 2012 @ 7:34 AM | Reply

  6. All urban and semi urban voters are resolute and committed to their resolve to vote out massive CORRUPTION which shall plunge our country into bankruptcy. We have only one clear choice! Vote out a corrupted regime and save our nation.

    Comment by Roslinawati — June 7, 2012 @ 6:23 PM | Reply

  7. The once almighty God-like President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has been sentenced to life imprisonment after the Arab Spring when the Egyptians rose up and said “enough is enough” and overthrew him.

    There were further gigantic demonstrations yesterday. The Egyptians are not satisfied with the sentence.

    They now demanded that Mubarak be sentenced to DEATH.

    News all over the world reported that Mubarak CRIED BITTERLY FOR TWO HOURS refusing to leave the helicopter which carried him to the jail. He thought that the helicopter was carrying him back to the medical centre, and not the jail!!

    This is what the news reports:

    “Perhaps ousted president Hosni Mubarak assumed that the helicopter will take him back to the International Medical Center after he was handed a life sentence. But after realizing that he landed in Torra prison, he threw a fit and cried hysterically for two whole hours.

    This is a painful and cruel scene that has a lot of meanings.

    Mubarak and his weeping scene is a historic event that should be proudly recounted to future generations.

    Egypt is heading to a better place. This sentence sums up the crying incident. This was a heartless leader who almost told his people, “I am your god” and now he is crying, refusing to leave the helicopter, and begging to be taken back to the medical center.”

    To Taib, we can only say, your days are numbered. The end is near. Soon you have to face the people you bullied, you stole and you cheat.

    Taib, you have to repent. You have to give back ALL your money taken from Sarawakians.

    Don’t cry like Mubarak!!!

    Comment by Sarawakians — June 7, 2012 @ 2:24 PM | Reply

  8. Distinguished and honorable Malaysian citizens who look after your backside :

    Membership of Anti-Corruption Advisory Board

    Puan Sri Zaitun Zawiyah Puteh (Chairman)
    Tan Sri Datuk Amar (Dr.) Haji Hamid Bugo
    Distinguished Professor Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Kamal Hassan
    Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
    Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Megat Najmuddin bin Haji Megat Khas
    Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun
    Tan Sri Datuk Yong Poh Kon
    Tan Sri Ismail Adam
    Tan Sri Rashpal Singh a/l Jeswant Singh
    Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin –
    Dato’ Anwar Fazal
    Dato’ Dr. Michael Yeoh Oon Kheng
    Datin Halimah Mohd Said
    Mr. Chelvarajah Ramasamy Reddiar

    http://www.sprm.gov.my/

    Comment by NFC Cows — June 7, 2012 @ 11:07 AM | Reply

    • Nobody from MACC or the Police had taken any statement from Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman regarding the numerous corruption allegation against these two thief ministers. Why is this so when former Perak KM was hurled up in lightning speed for a comment he posted on his tweet regarding the Sultan of Johor who spent a whopping RM500,000 for a “www” car plate ? It shows MACC and the Police are also corrupted to the core.

      Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — June 7, 2012 @ 5:42 PM | Reply

  9. UN REPRIMAND WILL BE LIKE WATER OVER A DUCK’S BACK!

    Many of us are too young to know that Britain and Malaya used the UN to endorse and legitimize the incorporation of Sabah and Sarawak into Malaysia….

    This Wikipedia excerpt comment on the 18/20 Points Agreements show that Britain and Malaya did a fast deal on us. Read the 3rd point below on 31 July 1962

    “The British and Malayan governments decided in principle that the proposed Federation of Malaysia should be brought into being by 31 August 1963″

    THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT EVEN CONSULTING SABAH & SARAWAK PEOPLE!

    Brief timeline of related events (1962)

    21 March: At a meeting of the Greater Malaysia Committee there was agreement that it would be preferable to wait for the Cobbold Commission, which had been tasked with assessment of support for the proposal in North Borneo and Sarawak, to complete its report, in order to consider its findings before a decision was made on the federation of Malaysia.

    21 June: The Cobbold Report was completed and submitted to the prime ministers of Britain and Malaya (confidentially). The report concluded that one third fully supported the idea, one third were in favour provided that safeguards were included, and the remaining one third were divided between those who would prefer North Borneo and Sarawak to gain independence prior to the merger and those who rejected the merger outright. The Commission’s view was – firm support for a federated Malaysia (with transfer of sovereignty within twelve months), incorporating a transitional arrangement in which the British would remain for the first few years.[10]

    31 July: The British and Malayan governments decided in principle that the proposed Federation of Malaysia should be brought into being by 31 August 1963. An Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) was to be formed to work on future constitutional arrangements.[11]

    August: The Report was published to all parties. Reportedly, this came as a surprise to North Borneo.
    13 – 14 August: Donald Stephens convened a meeting of political leaders who drew up a 14 point (later 20 point) memorandum of minimum demands. This gained support from Sarawak.[12]

    12 & 26 September (respectively): North Borneo and Sarawak legislative council agreed to the formation of Malaysia on condition that state rights were safeguarded.[12]

    The 20 points
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The point is that we should try all the means to get rid of Taib PBB BN & Najib UMNO BN. But sometimes we are working with our hands tied.

    1. Member of STAR the Sabah State Reform party have now become so frustrated with their State government and KL gov’t simply ignoring their claims of neglect and failure to comply with the Sabah 20 Points Agreement with Malaya that they are talking about reverting Sabah and Sarawak to the pre-Malaysia independence status.

    Sabah was granted independence by Britain on 31 August 1963. Sarawak was granted independence on 22 July 1963.

    STAR like many of us has accused Kuala Lumpur of failure and neglect to implement its undertakings to Borneonize Sabah Sarawak civil service clearly stated in the agreement. Instead we have “Malayanization” of our civil service and also breach many of the terms of the 18/20 Points and Malaysia Agreement such as taking over our major oil resources and large tracts of land for Felda schemes.

    Therefore the Malaysia agreement is voided by KL repudiation of the Agreement.

    This is sound argument and we can walk free.

    2. The other reasons are a fundamental changes to the original Malaysia concept which included Brunei and Singapore.

    Brunei was left out of Malaysia after the anti-Malaysia Uprising in Dec 1962 and because of issues of unequal partnership between Brunei and Malaya. UMNO demanded control of Brunei oil but refused to give the Sultanate the right to become Agong or Head of State. The Sultan did the smartest thing for Brunei by refusing to be conned by the KL snake oil dealers who offered nothing in exchange for their unequal demands.

    Singapore left or was expelled in 1965. The whole original concept of Malaysia had collapsed by 1965. The Malaysia Agreement is therefore fraudulent and Sabah and Sarawak should not be bound to remain in Malaysia. Both Brunei and Singapore were essential in the Malayan original rationale that Brunei Sabah and Sarawak Malays and native population were used as a counterweight against Singapore Chinese population. This is a racist argument and not a logical rationale- but we were sucked into this crazy scheme.

    Now Sabah and Sarawak are infected by the UMNO Malay racist virus in our racially harmonious society.

    3. The Malaysia Agreement is not transparent and is an unequal treaty in the following areas.

    (a) The prime example of inequality is that no Sabah Sarawak Head of State can become Malaysia’s Head of State- Why not? This should only be fair!

    Sarawak was an independent kingdom from1842 to 1942. We can revive and bring back the current successor to the Brooke Raja Muda and make him king of Malaysia if the opportunity comes up. Sabah also had a White Rajah and now even a pretender to the Sultanate of Sulu which has a claim in eastern Sabah. .

    (b) Further a clause was included in the 18/20 Points Agreement that Sabah and Sarawak could not secede from Malaysia.

    The STAR party has pointed out that this is against UN principles of de-colonization especially when the UN Resolution 1514 had come into force in 1960 carried by the great majority of UN members at the time. A country to free to “join” or leave a union any time. Examples are Quebec (which has held several independence referendums) and Scotland which will hold ist independence referendum in 2104.

    Therefore such a prohibition is invalid

    If we wish to leave we to take Sabah and Sarawak out of Malaysia we all must unite to make that decision.

    Comment by anon — June 7, 2012 @ 10:45 AM | Reply

  10. It is high time that UN is notified by these NGOs about power abuse and corruption in Sarawak on a grand scale. He is the moron who is fully responsible in destroying the once pristine rain forest, rated then as the second largest in the world, after Amazon. ‘Reprimand’ is such a mild term to deal with this land robber, when he should be arrested, tried and jailed for life, if not hanged. All the assets he looted during his term of office must be seized and returned to Sarawak to improve the welfare of all Sarawakians. If justice is served, Najib, another culprit, should have forced Taib to retire now if not sacked. It is a shame for MACC to be netting only the small fries when the big CROCODILES are lurking everywhere conspicuously!

    Comment by Egbert Lau — June 7, 2012 @ 4:01 AM | Reply


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