Hornbill Unleashed

February 26, 2014

If can’t nail Taib Mahmud, get his family for graft, PKR tells MACC

LEE SHI-IAN

If Malaysia’s anti-corruption watchdog cannot nail Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, then they should investigate his family members further, a PKR lawmaker said today.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli (pic) said today the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should probe the financial background of Taib’s family members, in particular, Taib’s brother, Onn Mahmud.

“The investigation by the Tokyo Regional Tax Bureau has revealed that kickbacks were paid to a Hong Kong-based company, Regent Star Company Limited, which is owned by Onn.

“The payments to Regent Star were made by the Japan shipping cartel, also known as the NFA (National Freight Agreement). The NFA had made annual payments to the Regent Star and attempted to claim the amount paid as a deductible business expense,” said Rafizi.

This sparked the Japanese timber export kickback scandal, which began in 2007, and has exposed how Onn squeezed huge sums of money from the timber export trade.

The Tokyo Regional Tax Bureau imposed a penalty on NFA for drafting a proforma set of contracts to cover up the real purpose of the money.

The penalty was also for cooking the books so as to claim the so-called brokerage fee paid to Regent Star as a deductible business expense.

However, the NFA argued that it had been forced to enter into the contractual agreement with Regent Star.

“The NFA informed Japanese authorities that it had been told it would be excluded from the Sarawak timber shipping business if it did not pay the brokerage fee,” Rafizi said.

“Conversely, if it paid the brokerage fee, the NFA was told that it would be given exclusive privileges to ship Sarawak timber,” he added.

Rafizi said the findings of the tax tribunal and bureau had been made public and he had passed the documents to the MACC today.

“If the MACC cannot find anything on Taib, perhaps they should begin investigating his immediate family and relatives,” Rafizi said.

He wanted to know how someone like Onn could exert so much influence and power in the timber industry, to the extent NFA had to pay kickbacks.

“Taib has been the Sarawak chief minister for more than three decades, he has already built the entire system in the state.

“Until he is brought to justice, he will continue to influence affairs in the state, especially if he is named the governor.”

The Tokyo Regional Tax Bureau had conducted investigations against eight companies out of a total of 46 in the Japanese shipping cartel.

Rafizi said the eight companies are thought to have paid Regent Star a total of 1.1 billion yen (RM32 million) in a period of six years leading up to 2007.

“However, given that there are 46 shipping companies in the Japanese shipping cartel, the figure is expected to be much higher,” he said.

Later in the afternoon, Rafizi also submitted a similar set of documents to a representative at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I hope both the MACC and the Prime Minister will take this case seriously and begin investigations against Taib and his family member.”

After more than three decades leading Sarawak, Taib has announced his resignation with his deputy Tan Sri Adenan Satem set to succeed him.

However, Taib’s intention of succeeding Sarawak Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng has been met with vociferous opposition.

More than 50 NGOs and five political parties have signed a memorandum protesting against Taib’s intention of succeeding Abang Muhammad when his term ends on February 28.

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2 Comments »

  1. IF MACC IS COMPETENT, IT CAN NAB TAIB WHO WE ALL KNOW IS SUPER-CORRUPT. THE QUESTION IS-WAS MACC THOROUGH IN ITS INVESTIGATION AT ALL WITHOUT ANY INTERVENTION BY SOME HIGHER AUTHORITY? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO FIND ANY CRIMES COMMITTED BY THIS KLEPTOCRAT!!!!

    Comment by Geronimo Miller — February 27, 2014 @ 12:24 PM | Reply

  2. Don’t rely on these MACC scum to take action. If opposition, even cases of 1 or 2k, they will take the initiative without your asking BUT if it’s BN, even billions or trillions, they won’t budge even if you force them to. Pleading to them is like talking to the wall. No response, and if any, only wayang kulit. They feed on dirty money of their corrupt political masters. That’s why I call them scum.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — February 26, 2014 @ 9:13 PM | Reply


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