Wednesday, October 12, 2011

‘Let’s discuss Taib’s wealth’

Corrupt Barisan Nasional l KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak’s two sole opposition MPs today filed an emergency motion with the Speaker’s Office for Parliament to be adjourned to discuss the ongoing global investigations into Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s wealth.
Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen and Sibu parliamentarian Wong Ho Leng are seeking to discuss the matter tomorrow.
Taib’s business links and wealth is currently under probe in Switzerland, Germany and Australia. There have also been moves to urge the Canadian and British governments to do the same.

The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund has identified and blacklisted 49 companies based in eight countries which are linked to Taib.
The fund alleged that Taib’s wealth was derived from the massive deforestation of the Sarawak forest which had resulted in widespread displacement of its native indigenous communities.
In parliament today, Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP secretary, highlighted that Taib was the only minister whose wealth was under probe by three international governments – Switzerland, Germany and Australia.
“This is the first time a Chief Minister from Malaysia has been the subject of investigation by other governments on corruption and money-laundering charges.
“This has tainted our country’s good name and embarrassed the government,” he told a press conference.
Taib denies claims
He added that Taib and his family members have, over the past 30 years, amassed a fortune for themselves, while the state remained as the fourth backward state in the country.
In May this year, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) said it was investigating Taib’s assets in Switzerland.
The move was said to have been at the instigation of Swiss president Micheline Calmy-Rey.
In June this year during a state assembly sitting Taib had briefly denied that had a secret Swiss bank account.
He also denied having any assets or investments of any description in Switzerland.
He also said that he would write to Calmy-Rey confirming if an investigation is underway.
Barely months after that, in September, the German government had launched an investigation into allegations that its Deutsche Bank was involved in dubious dealings with Taib.
The German authorities have also been asked to freeze Taib’s assets in Germany.
No updates from MACC
In late September, BMF had written a letter to the Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd informing him of alleged corrupt activities.
The government responded saying that it took the matter seriously and will refer the matter to its Attorney-General’s office.
Chong today also lamented the fate of the internal investigation on abuse of power and corruption on Taib.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) announced earlier in April that it will investigate the numerous reports made against Taib.
However todate there has been no updates on the MACC investigation.

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