Monday, June 13, 2011

MACC opened a file on Taib?

KUCHING: Has the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) really opened a file on Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud or is its recent announcement that the commission is “gathering more information” under MACC Act 2009 merely a farce?
Posing the question, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang also asked if MACC had “outsourced” the “gathering of information” to “any research organisation”.
“What (MACC chief commissioner) Abu Kassim (Mohamad) said is a great improvement to his stony silence just two months ago.

“But Sarawakians and Malaysians are entitled to know clearly and definitively whether MACC has opened the files to investigate the ‘grand corruption’ allegations against Taib.
“In any event, shouldn’t Taib go on leave until MACC has cleared him of grave grand corruption allegations?” asked Lim.
He said it would be embarrassing to Sarawakians and Malaysians to have a chief minister actively under MACC investigations following international pressures.
Lim, speaking at a DAP workshop for its state assemblymen on Saturday, was referring to reports that the Swiss Federation president Micheline Calmy-Rey had forwarded information about Taib’s assets in Switzerland to its regulatory body Finma (the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) for investigation.
It was reported last month that Finma was investigating claims of illegal assets linked to Taib which were kept in Swiss bank accounts.
The probe was based on a letter to the Calmy-Rey from the Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).
Calmy-Rel had reportedly said that Swiss laws allow assets from criminal origins to be restituted to the country of origin.
She also said that Swiss Government could take the initiative to freeze the assets on its own accord to assist in trials against the stealing of assets.
“However, such a procedure might not achieve its intended purpose as long as the persons concerned are in power, the necessary requests for judicial assistance are hardly likely to be submitted.
“Without any prospect of a judicial examination of the potential criminal origin of such assets, it makes little sense to freeze them,” she said.
BMF had put Finma on alert over a US$350 million transaction by the Sarawak state-owned Sarawak Corporate Sukuk in Labuan, Malaysia’s offshore financial centre via Swiss bank UBS.

Dayak Brain Trust
Meanwhile, on a separate issue, Lim proposed that the Sarawak DAP form a “Dayak Brain Trust”.
He said the aim of the trust would be to advise DAP Sarawak and DAP Malaysia on strategy to end Dayak marginalisation.
“It would also spur Dayak awakening as an integral part of a Malaysian renaissance. Members of the Dayak Brain Trust need not be confined to DAP members.
“In fact, I envisage that the overwhelming majority of the Dayak Brain Trust will comprise outstanding Dayak personalities in different fields.
“The trust should craft a strategy for Dayak political revival and regeneration so that they can play a full part in the political, economic, cultural and intellectual renaissance of Malaysia, ” he said.
Earlier, Lim had told the 12 state assemblymen attending the workshop in Sibu that DAP must continue to reach out to all communities to help Pakatan Rakyat achieve its objective of winning 15 parliamentary seats in the 13th general election.
“Sarawak and Sabah will play critical roles in the 13th general election in the country. They will decide whether Umno and Barisan Nasional continues to be in power in Putrajaya.
“Pakatan Rakyat must aim to win 30 parliamentary seats in Sarawak and Sabah to effect a change of government in Putrajaya.
“The 12 DAP state assembly representatives (in Sarawak) must have this goal as their  guiding objective,” he said.

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