Thursday, August 26, 2010

RM300mil loss for S'wak from land 'sold' to Taib's children

(Malaysiakini) - A company owned by Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's children has obtained land in Kuching at a very low price, causing the state to lose at least RM300 million in potential revenue.

Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen said the state government had alienated 269 acres of land within the city to Monarda Sdn Bhd at a "grossly and obscenely under-priced" rate of RM291,000 per acre on average.

"The market rate is between RM1.5 million and RM2 million per acre. Had the government gone for public tender, the state could have (earned) RM400 million to RM500 million," he told Malaysiakini today.

Instead, Monarda, which has a paid-up capital of RM100, only paid about RM78.28 million for the three parcels of land, he said.

"We demand that the state government gives a full explanation and be accountable to the people of Sarawak," said Chong (left), who is also Sarawak DAP secretary.

The three parcels are located next to the Kuching International Airport near Stutong. There is a military base located in the same area.

Monarda is headed by Taib's eldest son Abu Bekir, who holds 52 shares, and one Choong Sun Nam, who holds 12 shares.

Other shareholders include Taib's daughters Jamilah and Hanifah Hajar, and Taib's daughter-in-law Anisa Hamidah Abdullah, all of whom hold 12 shares respectively.

Unusual alienation exercise

Chong, who traced the Taib connection through land and companies registry searches, said this was one of the largest parcels of city land to be alienated in any one exercise.

"The land is currently vacant and Monarda has not done any business since it was founded," he said.

Earlier this year, three complaints were lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against Taib, alleging that he and his family had used corrupt means to build a property empire valued in excess of RM3 billion.

Two documents surfaced this month in the Sarawak Report website alleging that Taib had used proxies in 1987 to take control of a US-based property company, Sakti International Corporation, then worth at least US$80 million (RM250 million).

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