Hornbill Unleashed

February 24, 2014

No proof of Taib power abuse as Sarawak ministers had approved land for his kin, say sources

Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (left) deep in conversation with Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang after the PBB supreme council meeting recently. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 24, 2014.TMI

A Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) probe failed to nail Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for alleged abuse of power over large tracts of land and logging areas which were given to his relatives as the approvals were made by two senior state ministers, sources said.

The two were identified as Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, who is Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Rural Development, while the other is Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan (Minister of Resource Planning and Environment, Public Utilities and Industrial Development).

The MACC investigation papers were opened five years ago as Taib was said to have used his office and position for gratification.

“The team discovered that Taib did not make the decisions to evade running foul of the law but he had delegated his authority on the two ministers who on separate occasions had given the approvals,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

Under section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, any officer of a public body who uses his office or position for any gratification, whether for himself, his relative or associate commits an offence.

The MACC Act’s definition of “relative” includes a spouse, brother or sister, brother or sister of the spouse of the person, uncle, aunt, cousin, son-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Since the team had no reasonable grounds to believe that Taib had abused his authority, MACC could not record a statement from the chief minister regarding the land alienated to his family members.

In the course of the probe, the team also discovered that only in Sarawak, land approvals were made by the chief minister and senior ministers.

“In other states, it is the executive council that makes a collective decision on land matters.

“The team also found out that at one time, it was the Sarawak cabinet that made decisions but it was changed during Taib’s tenure,” the source said, adding that the procedure must be changed as the current practice could lead to abuse.

The source said the investigation papers on the cases were still open as Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has directed the team to secure more solid evidence.

“In the past, the team had even conducted raids at selected locations to obtain the crucial evidence but to no avail. Until then, prosecution against Taib will remain elusive,” the source added.

Sometime in 2009, the MACC set up the team of 30 following information received and obtained from blogs on Taib’s alleged misuse of power for illegitimate private gain.

Over the period, about 10 investigation papers were opened and even private forensic accounting experts were roped in to trace documents and the money trail.

“The team checked about 500 files but the probe did not meet the desired results,” the source added.

Opposition parties in Sarawak and an academic have joined the chorus that Taib should be cleared of all the graft allegations levelled against him before he is appointed as the next head of state.

They said the post, although largely ceremonial in nature, was a symbol of unity to the people of Sarawak and it is wrong to seek refuge in that position, which is said to offer immunity against prosecution.

Speculation is rife that Taib, 78, would assume office as the seventh Yang di-Pertua of Sarawak on March 1, replacing current Governor Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng.

Taib announced last week that he would be stepping down at the end of the month and  will be succeeded by Tan Sri Adenan Satem, his former brother-in-law.

PKR Sarawak vice-chairman See Chee How had suggested that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers extend Salahuddin’s term until the MACC make their graft investigations on Taib public.

State DAP chairman Chong Chien Jen had said the appointment would put Sarawak in disrepute and shame, and it was absolutely improper for the other rulers to accept it.

An extensive study by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) estimated Taib to be worth US$15 billion (RM46 billion) while 20 of his family members are worth a collective US$21 billion (RM64 billion).

A secret investigation by international NGO Global Witness had also implicated Taib in corruption, land seizure and tax evasion.

“He is alleged to have committed these offences through his iron grip on logging licences and oil palm estates in Sarawak,” said the NGO, who added that the outgoing chief minister was also responsible for numerous human rights violation.

Last week, a group of 55 Malaysian non-governmental organisations and the youth wings of four opposition political parties launched an online petition appealing to the Agong to block Taib’s appointment.

Lawyer Karpal Singh said rulers and governors did not enjoy immunity for committing criminal offences in their private capacity.

“There is no limitation period for criminal offence, including corruption, and one could be charged if the public prosecutor had sufficient evidence,” he said.

Karpal said unlike the nine Malay rulers, governors were open to lawsuits in the ordinary court.

“A plaintiff has to first obtain consent from the AG to institute civil proceedings against a ruler in the Special Court,” he said.

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14 Comments »

  1. Look at the photo. Its just a stunt. Public Relation thing to manipulate yet again.

    Comment by tsunami — February 25, 2014 @ 1:05 PM | Reply

  2. This is something anticipated. The weak, useless, toothless, subservient, rotten and corrupt MACC will do anything to please their political masters and avoid implicating them in whatever way. These scum of the earth are good for nothing else except confined to the septic tank where they belong. Malaysia is a gone case under such loathsome people and umno BN.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — February 25, 2014 @ 12:10 AM | Reply

    • Should be….. This is something anticipated by BN.

      Comment by Sharpshooter — February 25, 2014 @ 1:25 PM | Reply

  3. REPOST

    My name is Afraid, Afraid Jabu from Betong.

    Some people call me Poodle. Come to think of it, I quite like this name.

    It means total obedience, quiet, absolute subservient to the master.

    I possess the unique quality no other people have.

    History will record that I will be the best DEPUTY Chief Minister of Sarawak, who is good enough to serve THREE Melano Chief Ministers.

    Comment by Afraid Jabu anak Menumpang ari Betong — February 15, 2014 @ 6:06 PM | Reply

    Comment by Hahaha, how true — February 24, 2014 @ 10:29 PM | Reply

  4. Of coure la. Taib was fingering his voluptious wife inside his rolls royce parked outside the Dewan when his senior ministers approved contracts, plantation, timber concession and even NCR land to his capable children and their companies. He knew nothing and did not ask his senior ministers to abuse their power.

    Comment by Abang Nordin — February 24, 2014 @ 10:02 PM | Reply

  5. MACC has dliberately weaken its investigation into Taib Mahmud and all ministers from Umno Baru led BN. All these investigation reports were just wayang kulit. Taib Mahmud is untouchable and so are all Umno Baru led BN ministers of past and present.

    Comment by Mat Som — February 24, 2014 @ 6:51 PM | Reply

  6. Taib is still a smart fellow.

    If Awang Tengah and Jabu are to be interviewed on reason why they approved for large tract of land and logging areas to Taib families and relatives, they would answer as follows:-

    Awang Tengah, ” I approved it because Taib offered me a fair share of the land and the timber concession”.

    Afraid Jabu, ” I approved it because my Master instruct me to do so and as long he gave me some “kantow”, I would not mine”.

    Comment by Iban Niah — February 24, 2014 @ 5:33 PM | Reply

    • Taib is not a smart fellow but a stupid fellow.

      Does he seriously think that he can fool ALL the people in the world by asking his deputies to make decisions.

      It is reported that every time when the two doggies gave large tracts of land to his family and cronies, Taib would excuse himself by going the toilets.

      Who is Afraid Jabu? He is Taib’s Deputy, with the title Deputy Chief Minister.

      Who is Awang Middle? He is also Taib’s Deputy, with the title Deputy Minister of Resource Planning.

      Taib is a person holding three Ministerial portfolios: (1) Chief Minister (2) Minister for Finance (3) Minister for Resource Planning.

      In any civilisation, the buck of accountability and responsibility always stops at the Chief.

      All the rights or wrong or ANY minister in the Government must be absorbed by the Chief Minister.

      All the actions of the Ministers must also be treated as the actions of the Chief Minister.

      BTW, can Taib please explain his 15 billion? Where did he make them from, since he is so busy to be “three ministers” at the same time? How did his late wife, Laila, who did not work and who did not come from wealthy family, but managed to become the largest shareholder of CMS and one of the richest persons in Malaysia? How did his playboy sons and partying daughters became so rich when they were still students studying in the US and Canada?

      A suggestion to MACC: the offence of corruption can be (1) corruption of money. (2) Corruption of power (this was what Anwar went to prison for).

      Comment by Kuching Bong — February 24, 2014 @ 8:50 PM | Reply

  7. The proof is he abused and made used of jabu and awg Tanah to do his dirty jobs for him.

    Comment by brian — February 24, 2014 @ 5:04 PM | Reply

    • This so called stupid MACC is asking for details that CM is directly involved which awarded the contracts/concessions. They insist on this to show the nexus of the CM abusing his power when giving the awards to the companies in which is interested. This CM is already informed/well aware about this requirement/short coming. According to MACC, the task is to prove pecuniary gains experienced by CM purportedly. But there were evidences that CM is one of the share holders in some of the companies involvede. This is clear and cogent evidence but MACC refuses to acknowledge. Worse to worse, charge jabu or A tengah. Then they will answer in court. The fact of the matter is they do not want to charge and accuse the culprits.

      Comment by matt — February 25, 2014 @ 2:22 PM | Reply

  8. The jinx is answered. PM and CMs will always indulge in corruption since the know that their crime will be absolved and unpunished.

    Comment by mahadir — February 24, 2014 @ 4:18 PM | Reply

  9. In a enclosed loop system of government what do you expect ? Unless it is governed by saints and angels. Maybe we can expect some form of ‘cleanness’ in the system. In this system man made system, unscrupulous power driven person can bend whatever laws to suit one’s agenda. God’s laws can be ‘ cherry picked ‘ what to so say mortal laws.

    Comment by loyarburok — February 24, 2014 @ 11:38 AM | Reply

    • Yes, even the Kangkung pm also ever said You tolong wah, I tolong U, so nothing is Funny in Kangkungland lah.

      Comment by tiuniamah — February 24, 2014 @ 12:41 PM | Reply

    • The system is kaput. Before they need to prove if pecuniary advantage and/or pecuniary gain. But they amend the law i.e. only to prove pecuniary gains. The burden is heavier. This means we have to prove strictly……where the moneys go etc.

      Comment by matt — February 25, 2014 @ 2:27 PM | Reply


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