Irresponsible PM: How can Najib ignore & even give the SIGNAL not to investigate Taib!
Sad and tragic. The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak
single-handedly demolishing the credibility, integrity and
professionalism of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
And this happening just 48 hours after the MACC’s latest artificial but
carefully-crafted publicity blitzkrieg to present itself as a fiercely
independent, intrepid and professional anti-graft body comparable
to Hong Kong’s world-famous Independent Commission Against Corruption
(ICAC) – with government-paper New Straits Times front page report “MACC gains in graft war” on Thursday and a special editorial on MACC on Friday – all collapsing like a house of cards.
MACC claims that it had seized “a whopping RM66 million worth of
properties, including bungalows and luxury cars” and arrested more than
900 individuals in its “war
against graft over the past two years” paled into insignificance when
Najib dismissed allegations that Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul
Taib Mahmud has amassed billions in wealth.
Najib told a press conference this morning after the launching of the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) - new name for Pudu Sentral: “There are all kinds of allegations, don’t bother about it (jangan kita layan)”.
This is a most disappointing and even irresponsible response by the
Prime Minister to a ground-breaking but explosive report by the
Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) which estimated the assets of Taib Mahmud’s family
at US$21 billion (RM64 billion), with the wealth of Taib himself put at
a whopping US$15 billion (RM46 billion) making him Malaysia’s richest
man outstripping tycoon Robert Kuok who has US$12.5 billion.
The BMF report entitled ‘The Taib Timber Mafia: Facts and Figures on Politically Exposed Persons from Sarawak, Malaysia' was
released last Wednesday in Brussels to coincide with a visit by the
Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard
Dompok to the European Commission and is available on the Internet.
is the first report that describes in detail the business activities
and personal wealth of 20 members of the Taib family in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, United States and other countries.
report aimed to build international pressure against the Sarawak's
first family and provide investigating bodies, journalists, Sarawakians
and interested parties with hard evidence on the Taib financial empire.
BMF estimated the combined net worth of 20 Taib family members
at close to US$21 billion, spread over 400 companies around the globe -
all built through their near complete political and economic control of
Sarawak, which has been reduced from one of the richest to one of the
poorest states in Malaysia over three decades.
The BMF report on the amassing of assets worth RM64 billion by the Taib
family and RM46 billion by Taib himself in his 31 years as Sarawak
Chief Minister, through “monopolies over the granting of logging and
plantation concessions, the export of timber, the maintenance of public
roads as well as the production and sale of cement, and a number of
other construction materials”, would have been one of the “highlights”
of the budget parliamentary meeting beginning on Monday.
Strong signal to MACC to ignore allegations
Was Najib making a pre-emptive strike this morning to send out an
unmistakable message not only to MACC but to Barisan Nasional Ministers
and backbenchers in Parliament not to entertain probes and questions
about the BMF report on Taib family’s RM64 billion and Taib’s own RM21
I have no doubt that without Najib’s pre-emptive strike today, MACC
would have taken the completely neutral but meaningless stand that it
was prepared to investigate into the BMF report about Taib and his
family’s gargantuan wealth and assets accumulated from 31 years of
Taib’s Chief Ministership of Sarawak.
But with the stern signal from Najib today, would MACC dare to initiate investigations into Taib based on the BMF report and would there be any BN MP who would dare to endorse support for a full MACC investigation into the BMF report?
Individuals profiled in the extensive 45-page BMF report include Taib's brother Onn Mahmud, who is second richest family member
with an estimated net worth of US$2 billion, while Taib's eldest son,
Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, a major player in the Sarawak construction,
property and energy business, is ranked third at US$1.5 billion.
Next in line are Taib's Canada-based socialite daughter
Jamilah Taib Murray (US$1 billion), Taib's brother and timber
entrepreneur Tufail Mahmud (US$600 million), sister Raziah Mahmud
(US$500 million), daughter Hanifah (US$400 million) and son Sulaiman
Giving credibility to the BMF report are news
reports today about the matrimonial dispute between Mahmud Abu Bekir
Taib and his former wife
Shahnaz Abdul Majid who is seeking RM400 million in mutaah (gift) and
division of joint assets, and of its continued trial at the Kuala
Lumpur Syariah High Court on Monday as there has been no settlement
offer from Mahmud’s lawyers to resolve the long-standing dispute.
Making garbage of himself and his policies
The Prime Minister is only rubbishing his Government Transformation Programme
(GTP) and in particular its seven NKRAs particularly on Fighting
Corruption if he is disallowing the MACC from acting on the BMF report
to probe Taib Mahmud. Najib should be reminded about the cost of
corruption to the nation – which the GTP Roadmap had estimated as
potentially amounting to as much as RM10 billion a year or 1-2% of GDP –
and the grandiloquent statements in the GTP Roadmap about fighting the
scourge of “grand corruption” by politicians and senior civil servants.
Where is the credibility of the GTP Roadmap and NKRA to fight
corruption, and in particular to eradicate “grand corruption”, when the
BMF report on Taib family’s RM64 billion and Taib’s own RM21 billion
fortunes amassed during Taib’s 31 years as Sarawak Chief Minister could
not be used by the MACC as basis for its anti-corruption mission?
The BMF report compares Taib's family with the clans of former
Indonesian president Suharto and former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos
- the two families had embezzled between US$15 billion and US$35
billion, and between US$20 billion and US$900 billion respectively.
The BMF report believes its research is “showing merely the tip of the
iceberg as many (Taib) family assets are likely to be hidden overseas or
in offshore districts where information is virtually impossible to
Najib should retract his implicit “hands off” directive
to the MACC and declare unequivocally that the MACC is duty-bound to
make use of the BMF report to conduct a full, thorough and wide-ranging investigation into allegations of “grand corruption” by Taib and his family in Taib’s 31-year Chief Ministership of Sarawak.
Lim Kit Siang is the DAP adviser & MP for Ipoh Timur