Hornbill Unleashed

November 5, 2014

Group urges police, MACC to investigate Taib over book’s expose

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Members of Sarawak-based Gasak at the Miri central police station today after lodging a report against former Sarawak CM, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud. – Pic courtesy Bruno Manser Fund, November 4, 2014.TMI

Members of Sarawak-based Gasak at the Miri central police station today after lodging a report against former Sarawak CM, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

A Sarawak-based group today lodged two police reports against Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud for alleged corruption and abuse of power, based on a newly-launched book which reveals in detail the former chief minister’s alleged misdeeds.

The Sarawak People’s Movement (Gasak) also lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the allegations in “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia”, against Taib, who is now the Sarawak governor, this morning.

Gasak spokesman Romould Siew headed the delegation this morning at the Miri MACC branch office and the Miri central police station.

In the reports, Siew urged both authorities to begin investigations on the claims against Taib in the 300-page book, written by Swiss activist Lukas Straumann.

Straumann, the executive director of Bruno Manser Fund, an advocacy group which has gone after Taib for years, had singled out Taib as the “kingpin of the Asian timber mafia” who allegedly profited and enriched himself and his family during his tenure as chief minister with US$15 billion (about RM50 billion).

The book also highlighted how Taib had managed to dominate politics in Sarawak for over three decades and how he abused his public office to exploit Sarawak’s natural resources and turn his family into billionaires.

Straumann also alleged that Taib had secret real-estate empire around the world, including in Ottawa, Canada where his daughter Jamilah resides with her Canadian husband.

“It has always been an open secret that Taib and his family members have been enriching themselves through Sarawak’s lucrative logging industry while he was still in power,” Siew said.

“However, it is very difficult to find concrete evidence to link him and his family members on the corruption and abuse of power.

“Now with this detailed and meticulously researched book, the authorities should not find excuses that there is no evidence to persecute Taib.”

The book was launched in Kuching last week, and according to Straumann, Taib is attempting to stop its international launch and sale, through his London lawyers in the firm Mishcon de Reya.

In a letter to his Swiss publisher, Bergli Books, Straumann said the law firm had stated: “If the book is published in English by a reputable publisher, it will cause colossal and irreversible harm to our client’s reputation”.

Mischon de Reya said the book “accuses our client of being a ‘despot’; having committed crimes; earning billions of dollars illegally from the timber trade; hiding that fortune abroad through sham companies; committing ‘one of the greatest environmental crimes in history’; being a ‘corrupt autocrat’; breaching international laws and regulations; using his profit from logging to feed corruption; and finally, having ‘liquidated a forest in order to keep himself at the helm of a state”.

“Taib’s lawyers are asking Bergli Books not to publish the book”, said Straumann in a statement this evening.

However, he dismissed the legal letter, describing it an intimidation tactic, and expressed confidence that Taib would not file a lawsuit.

“I have done two years of extensive research to prove that Taib does have a financial empire worth billions,” he told The Malaysian Insider recently.

“The information I have derived is from public records, such as company registries in Malaysia, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

“But I have also conducted a large number of interviews with indigenous representatives, lawyers, NGO campaigners, politicians and business people.”

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3 Comments »

  1. I doubt the police and Toothless MACC will be brave and sincere to act. The book is evident enough to bring a prima facie case upon him. The group of NGO should engage a well reputed international lawyer and bring the case to court.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — March 27, 2015 @ 10:08 PM | Reply

  2. saya pun sangat hairan kenapa Pehin tak pernah didakwa/ditangkap rasuah walaupun seluruh dunis tahu dia ___uah. Patutlah semua mahu jadi CM supaya kaya raya dan tidak pula ditangkap.

    Comment by The Mukah Watcher — November 7, 2014 @ 11:13 AM | Reply

    • Mungkin kerana duit dia yang banyak boleh pusing orang…

      Comment by brian — November 28, 2014 @ 2:46 PM | Reply


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