Hornbill Unleashed

February 13, 2014

MONEY TRAIL – New Document Links Taib To Japanese Timber Scandal!

Follow the money - from Laila, Sulaiman and Abu Bekir and Richfold Investments to Sean through Jamilah TaibSarawak Report

On the eve of Taib’s bid to escape into the supposed immunity of the governor’s office, Sarawak Report can reveal an astonishing new document that clearly links him to the Japanese timber export scandal that broke in 2007.

The scandal involved millions of ringgit that were paid by Japanese timber exporters from Sarawak to a Hong Kong company called Regent Star Company Limited, totalling RM32million over the preceding seven years.

At the time Taib had made a highly unusual personaldeclaration in the Sarawak Assembly, distancing himself from any involvement whatsoever in the matter and saying that he had no knowledge or connection with Regent Star, which was controlled by his own brother Onn Mahmud.

The Chief Minister declared:

“The Sarawak Government and the Chief Minister have no knowledge of Regent Star, and have not received any remuneration or other payments from the alleged Hong Kong company called Regent Star or any agent of the Japanese shipping companies to Regent Star (as alleged), the Sarawak Government and myself as the Chief Minister, are totally unaware of such payments.”[Taib’sstatement May 2007]

However, documents unearthed in Canada by the Swiss NGO the Bruno Manser Fund show a clear connection between Taib’s own wife and the company, involving the transfer of funds from Hong Kong to his daughter Jamilah’s private property business in Ottawa, Sakto Corporation.

Sakto's Sean Murray in receipt of a $20million loan from Taib's wife and Hong Kong company Richfold Investments Limited

The documents relate to a $20million dollar mortgage loan by Jamilah herself to Sakto, which is money described as being “held in trust” by her and owing to “persons who with the consent of Jamilah H Taib lend money to Sakto”.

Jamilah’s husband, Sean Murray, a Director and Secretary of Sakto, is the named recipient of the loan and the persons named as having lent the money are Taib’s then wife, Laila Taib; her two sons Abu Bekir and Suleman; their company Sogo; Onn Mahmud and the company Richfold Investment Limited, which was a sister company of Regent Star, incorporated on the same day at the same address with the same directors.

Jamilah is the 'chargee' (lender) of the money 'in trust' for her family members and the company Richfold.

[see the full document here]

The document, which is available on public record in Ontario, Canada, therefore makes a clear link with the company Regent Star, which was receiving millions in payments from the Japanese shipping cartel to ‘broker’ export licences issued by Onn Mahmud, and Taib’s family investments in Canada.

Among Canada's wealthiest socialites - Sean and Jamilah Murray. But where did the money come from?

This link existed long before the scandal broke in 2007.  It begs the question why the Chief Minister denied all knowledge of a company that was tied up in a massive $20million dollar loan involving his own wife and kids?

The loan also undermines Taib’s constant earlier denials that Sakto has received on-going funding from him.

After Sarawak Report exposed the connection, Taib acknowledged he ‘gave some money‘ to get his daughter started’ back in 1983 and no more.

Now, he will have to explain the $20million injected into Sakti in 1996 by his wife and sons, after years of boasting that his children had done so well merely because they were cleverer than other people.

Perhaps the Chief Minister would also care to account for Jamilah’s own explanation of the business model of her company back in 1989, when she acknowledged in a newspaper interview that it was an investment tool for Pacific Rim businessmen with ‘big money’?

Jamilah Taib-Murray was born in Australia, raised in Malaysia, schooled in England and married in Canada…It’s that international network of contacts and breadth of knowledge that helped her, at 28 years old, land the presidency of Ottawa-based Sakto Development Corp., a firm that specializes in offshore investment in Canada. Sakto is a company that represents the growing number of Pacific Rim businessmen who are bringing their dollars and expertise to Canada..The group of 10 or 12 investors who control Sakto _ Taib-Murray doesn’t like to say how many _ are looking for a secure, long-term investment for their money. And someone they trust to handle it for them . .All are from the Pacific Rim _ Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia _ and rarely come to Ottawa _ except the chairman who flies in from Malaysia twice a year for meetings.”They want a very careful investment, a sure thing, which is what the Ottawa market is like,” she said. ”The Toronto market moves too fast, too risky for them when they’re so far away.”[‘Pacific Rim Investment in Canada.. Big Money From Overseas..’ Ottawa Citizen 17/1/89, (Jamilah started Sakto six years earlier in 1983)]

When she referred to the Chairman of her company of investors ‘who flies in from Malaysia twice a year’ could Jamilah have been referring to the regular visits of her father Taib Mahmud to Canada or was it merely his brother Onn, who was so closely linked to his wife and sons in these investments?

Richfold Investment Limited and Regent Star

Nominal shareholder in Onn's companies? - Shea Kin Kowk

Taib Mahmud should now answer the pressing questions over where all this money was coming from, before there should be any question of him being appointed to the position of Governor of Sarawak.

Because the links between his wife’s loan to Jamilah and money flowing from Japan to “broker” shipping licences are now established and it needs to be made clear that the money is not one and the same.

And, if Taib’s family were not investing this kickback money where on earth were they getting such enormous funds, given his own modest salary as Chief Minister at the time?

Records show that Regent Star Company Limited and Richfold Investment Limited were both incorporated in Hong Kong by his brother Onn Mahmud’s then secretary, Shea Kin Kwok on 31st December 1984 at the same address.

Whereas Shea is the stated shareholder of Regent Star however, the shareholder and Director of Richfold Investment is Onn himself.

It was noted by the Japanese Tax Tribunal that the companies were incorporated shortly before “brokerage payments” started to be paid to Regent Star, under a contract signed with the Japanese shipping cartel to assist in the issuing of timber export licences.

In a clear conflict of interest Onn’s company Achipelago had been appointed by Taib’s administration to control the issuing of timber export licences to these shipping companies, although in his speech to the State Parliament Taib said the decision had nothing to do with him or the state government agency responsible for licensing, the SEDC.

Onn Mahmud owned Richfold, however it was his secretary Shea Kin Kwok who was the named Director and shareholder along with another Onn employee of the twin company Regent Star

The Japanese Tax Authorities also noted that investigations showed there was very little paperwork to indicate that Regent Star was doing much of the normal brokering activity that might merit payments of millions of ringgit.

However the later Appeal Tribunal came to the conclusion that there was no proof that Regent Star was not providing brokerage between the exporters and Onn and so allowed the payments to remain untaxed.

Given that Sarawak Report has subsequently learnt that Shea was Onn’s Hong Kong secretary and direct employee, it is now clear that Onn was effectively charging brokerage fees amounting to 1billion yen to negotiate with himself.

The Japanese investigators, on the other hand, had merely acknowledged that the ties between Onn and Regent Star seemed extremely close – to the extent that on one occasion the shipping companies even sent payments to Onn and to Regent Star in the same wire transfer to Shea Kin Kwok!

Not merely a matter of tax

Sarawak Report now has a full translation of the of the Japanese tax hearings, which will be presented along with other findings at a press conference in Tokyo shortly.

However, although the issue for Japanese tax investigators was merely focused on whether Japanese companies should have been paying tax on these particular payments, for Sarawakians and Malaysians the matter is very different.

Malaysians are entitled to know whether profits from the rampant logging sanctioned by Taib were being correctly channelled back into the public purse or were being secretly siphoned off in Hong Kong by his own family members.

And they are entitled to know if the money from Regent Star was flowing through Richfold into the Taib family investments in Canada and beyond.

Hong Kong web of companies fed money to Taib family properties in North America

Hong Kong web - links to US investments and to Japan payments

Regent Star and Richfold are just two of a web of companies managed by Shea Kin Kwok during his period working as Onn Mahmud’s secretary in Hong Kong.

These include Grand Shine and Herolite Investment, which had shares in Onn’s conglomorate Achijaya Corporation, Whittaker Company, Grand Will, Icharaku and also a company called Natalite Investment.

And, as this site has already reported, another set of fingerprints also link the Taib family’s North American companies with these Hong Kong concerns.

As recently as 2006 Taib’s children, who are shareholders in Sakto’s own sister company Sakti which holds properties in the US (including the FBIs offices in Seattle’s Abraham Lincoln Building) filed a tax return that giving Natalite in Hong Kong as their contact address.

Until the Chief Minister has provided a full explanation of what was going on the situation makes a scandal out of any decision to elevate him to the Governor’s office.



  1. How convenient it is for Taib to do what he wants criminally or not. Of course, the phrase “CONFLICT of INTEREST” is not in his dictionary. Yet he gets away with everything!!!!Sad to say, the people may have to come out openly to protest against this tyrant before it is too late!!!

    Comment by Geronimo Miller — February 15, 2014 @ 3:38 AM | Reply

  2. These bullions or billions are supposed to : build solid rural bridges so that folks do not fall into ravines or rivers
    build roads connection villages so that people no longer use river transport and die in river tragedies.
    connection lights to rural areas so itchy people can watch porno
    build proper latrines so that balls are no longer grabbed by crocodiles
    provide nutritious meal to poor students so that they grow healthy, contribute to economies and make you more wealthier.
    build more affordable houses so that squatters do not shit in their own backyard. Have you been there?
    make more fish nurseries so that your deputy can release more fries into river. if not we would lost Empurau specie
    move rural folks to higher ground so that the dams do not flood their future.
    create more institutions of critical thinking so the future generation would be fooled by beers and cigarettes.
    Look at all those billions wasting away into diamond necklaces,rings,sportcars,expensive properties and legal expenses for divorce cases.

    Comment by binong pala — February 13, 2014 @ 12:14 PM | Reply

    • create more institutions of critical thinking so that the future would not be fooled by beers and cigarettes.

      Comment by binong pala — February 13, 2014 @ 12:18 PM | Reply

  3. As long as this country is under BN umno and PBB, nothing will be done to charge or arrest these crooks. Everything will be in vain if the people still vote or support corruption.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — February 13, 2014 @ 1:49 AM | Reply

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