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August 26, 2011

FBI pressured to stop backing Malaysian potentate

Filed under: Taib Must Go — Pengayau @ 8:27 am
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FBI pressured to stop backing Malaysian potentate

“Pressured to freeze Taib’s US assets”: Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Picture: BMF)

(Basel / San Francisco / Washington D.C.) In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund and the San-Francisco-based Borneo Project are calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to cut ties with Wallysons Inc., a US company controlled by the Malaysian Taib family.

The NGOs are asking the American federal police to suspend the rental contracts for the Abraham Lincoln Building in Seattle, which is owned by Wallysons Inc., and houses the FBI’s Seattle Division headquarters. FBI Director Mueller is also asked to ascertain if the Taib family’s US investments are in line with the country’s anti-money-laundering legislation, and to freeze all Taib family assets in the United States.

„While the fight against public corruption should be one of the FBI’s top priorities, it is renting premises from the Taib family, one of South East Asia’s largest corruption networks. We are seriously concerned that the FBI appears to be unduly backing the Taib family and its illicit foreign assets“, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote in a statement.

Copies of the letter have been sent to a number of US government agencies and top politicians, including the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary for the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Judiciary Committees of congress who oversee the FBI.

In March 2011, the NGOs had approached the American federal police on the matter and organized a street protest in front of the FBI’s Seattle Division Headquarters. The FBI had left their complaints unanswered and refused to receive a NGO delegation.

Wallysons Inc. is one out of five US companies blacklisted by the Bruno Manser Fund for their close association with the Taib family.

75-year old Abdul Taib Mahmud („Taib“) has been governing Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, since 1981, a position which he has abused to ammass a fortune estimated at several billion US dollars. Most of Taib’s wealth is believed to stem from the destructive logging of Borneo’s tropical rainforests.

In June 2011, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission announced it had opened a corruption investigation against Abdul Taib Mahmud.

(25 August 2011)

March 19, 2011

Film Tribute To Ross Boyert


We quote from Sarawak Report

It was Ross Boyert who helped confirm to Sarawak Report that the ultimate owner of these family property companies run by the Taibs was indeed the Chief Minister himself.  This is a fact that Taib has always sought to hide, but Boyert was able to hand us documented proof.  We have since frequently asked the Chief Minister to confirm or deny this ownership and to explain how in his role as Chief Minister he could have legitimately earned such enormous wealth.

Boyert had regarded himself as a friend of the Taib family and said he met the Chief Minister and his late wife Laila on a number of occasions.  He told us there was never any doubt that it was Taib who was in control of his family’s businesses.  He told us that he had not realised until much later that the buildings had been bought out of illegal profits from deforestation.

However, he paid an enormous price for acting as a whistle-blower against the Taibs.  They retaliated with a ruthless lawsuit that saw him bankrupted and left homeless and penniless.

He and his wife Jonni also complained to Sarawak Report that they had suffered sustained intimidation during the course of that lawsuit, which left them unable to pick up the pieces of their life.  Last October, a few weeks after he gave us his story, he was found dead in a rare form of suspected suicide with a bag taped around his head in an LA motel room.

We filmed with the Boyerts and came to like and respect them.  We now present that story as a tribute to their bravery in speaking out.

March 3, 2011

BN starts a dirty propaganda war to rubbish Radio Free Sarawak

Filed under: Taib Must Go — Pengayau @ 3:29 am
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Written by  Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

BN has created massive publicity for Radio Free Sarawak (RFS) and the Sarawak Report (SR). The attention was generated when BN criticised Clare Rewcastle Brown, the founder of RFS and the author of the blog SR.

The outpouring of support for Clare and the Iban broadcaster and activist, Peter John Jaban, has been overwhelming. Overall, there has been a surge of 50 % on both RFS and the SR website, or an increase from 20 thousand a day to 30 thousand hits; most of the comments have been supportive.

There have been attempts by BN and a few individuals to denigrade Clare’s efforts. A cross-section of Malaysians, both those who were new to the RFS and SR sites and those who were regular supporters, were asked for their views on whether Clare was interfering in Sarawak’s affairs.

One person said, “I am annoyed how some people are saying that only a “white woman” can stand up to fight Taib……I think those people, may have good intentions or maybe they are misguided. Every effort is worthy of the cause. At the same time, these people are belittling the efforts of the Penan who risk their lives battling with the authorities at the blockades. There’s also Baru Bain, Nicholas Mujah and many others. They who are bombarded on a daily basis with death threats and thugs intimidating them.”

Another person who was new to RFS was particularly furious: “Clare is part of a team which we can loosely term the ‘Movement to Overthrow Taib and Fight for the Environment and for Justice’. They may be separate units but they have the same overall objective. If these others had protested about Taib’s corruption in Malaysia, they would be arrested for sedition. Clare would have, at best, been deported and at worst, been jailed.

When Malaysia Chronicle contacted Clare, she said, “I only got involved in this because this was something the local campaigners just could not do, but it was badly needed. As you say, anyone on the spot who had been putting out the information we have, would long since have been banged-up, which is why Raja Petra Kamarudin had to flee to the UK. This is the point isn’t it?”

She said that to mark Taib’s 30th year in office, two ‘Stop Timber Corruption’ marches – one in London and another in Ottawa, Canada had been arranged.

Despite being held on a cold, wet and windy Monday morning, the march in London was well attended and proceeded smoothly.

Several British and other foreigners joined in solidarity with the many Malaysians who were protesting about Taib’s corruption.

One man from Kenya said that his country was also suffering from the same problems of corruption. He was glad to offer his support to a worthy cause and would be joining more of the protests that were arranged.

Another Singaporean said that she had stayed in a longhouse near Sarikei and had seen for herself the suffering of the indigenous people. She was shocked to learn that millions of dollars had been spirited away by Taib and his family

A few people had come from as far away as Birmingham, Brighton and Norwich. A few had either lived or worked in Sarawak and were aware of the environmental disaster which Taib’s indiscriminate logging has caused. Others were shocked at the way he treated the indigenous people of Sarawak.

The British who were in the group did not think that Clare had done anything wrong.

One said, “I am glad she and Peter have teamed up to fight and expose Taib’s corruption. As a Brit, I certainly do not want my country to be involved in Taib’s money laundering, with his billions stashed here in the UK in property or other business concerns.”

Another said, “If Clare was born in Sarawak, then she has every right as a Sarawakian by birth and as a dutiful citizen, to clamp down on international crime syndicates, which Taib seems to represent.”

Back in Malaysia, BN and Taib are running scared. A week after they went public, Sarawak BN youth chief Fadillah Yusof said they would be forming a legal team to study the RFS’s contents to see if it breached Malaysian laws.

“If they do, we’ll lodge a police report against them and we want relevant agencies to take action,” said Fadillah.

It appears that BN are trying to hijack Clare’s and Peter’s efforts.The propaganda war has started. Already Umno diehards are claiming that the people who attended the marches in London were paid £100 each, to take part.

Perhaps Umno are trying to tell us that this is their preferred method for rewarding the people who attend their ‘ceramahs’, where coachloads of people are driven in from outlying areas and given between RM20-30 each to attend and afterwards treated to a lavish makan.

No wonder BN’s attendance is always high and can fill up stadiums.

March 1, 2011

Canada, UK governments asked to freeze Taib assets


From BMF

Canada, UK governments asked to freeze Taib assets

Protesters in front of the mansion of Jamilah Taib at Rockcliffe, Canada, defied ice and snow. Jamilah (Taib’s daughter) is a founding director of Sakto corporation and a major shareholder of Cahaya Mata Sarawak (CMS).

OTTAWA (CANADA) / LONDON (UK). Human rights and environmental campaigners from
Malaysia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland have today protested against corruption in front of property companies associated with the family of Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), the Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The protests took place in front of Sakto Corporation in Ottawa and Ridgeford Properties Ltd in central London.

The Canadian and British governments are being asked to freeze the assets of nine Taib-associated
companies in Canada and two companies in the UK which are estimated to be worth hundreds of
millions of US dollars.

The Canadian companies blacklisted by the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund as being associated with the Taib family are Adelaide Ottawa Corporation (Business number 2028546); City Gate International Corporation (446027-8); Glowell Development Corporation (1545868); Preston Building Holding Corporation (2108122), Sakto Development Corporation Pte. Ltd. (155207-4), Sakto Corporation (340439-1), Sakto Management Services Corporation (655948-4), Tower One Holding Corporation (2028542), Tower Two Holding Corporation (2018543). The British companies named on the Taib family assets blacklist are Ridgeford Properties Ltd (3268801) and Ridgeford Consulting Ltd
(5572163). Ridgeford Properties Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canadian City Gate International Corporation.

The Bruno Manser Fund also disclosed that it had lodged a detailed complaint with Jeanne M.
Flemming, Director of Canada’s Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC), in June 2010 already. Hitherto, FINTRAC has left the complaint unanswered. Earlier this week, the Bruno Manser Fund criticized the Canadian authorities for their close business ties with Taib-family companies. No less than eleven Ontario Government Ministries are occupying offices at Sakto’s Preston Square Tower III in Ottawa.

Abdul Taib Mahmud has been Chief Minister, Finance Minister and State Planning and Resources Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak since 1981. He has abused his political power in a spectacular way for personal gains and has managed to turn the resource-rich state of Sarawak on Borneo into his own private estate. Taib has been particularly criticized for the destructive logging of hundreds of thousands of hectares of tropical rainforest and for the marginalization of the state’s indigenous communities. Taib’s fortune is estimated to be worth several billion US dollars.

(28 February 2011)

February 28, 2011

Miracle Harvest Yields Miracle Profits for Raziah & Robert!


 

From Sarawak Report

The company Miracle Harvest Sdn Bhd, belonging to Raziah Mahmud, the sister of the Chief Minister, and her husband Robert Geneid, has certainly yielded some miraculous profits.  They are particularly miraculous because the company has not yet started officially operating, according to Malaysia’s Register of Companies!

Like so many of Razia’s land companies, Miracle Harvest, incorporated 15th June 2005, uses the business address of Kumpulan Parabena Sdn Bhd.  Kumpulan Parabena is run by the Geneids and we have revealed that the Chief Minister also holds a substantial stake through the holding company Mesti Bersatu.   According to our researches the land titles which have been recently awarded to list of different companies based at this address amount to an area greater than Singapore!

Company Records

Miracle Harvest’s details in the Register of Companies. The address is the same as Kumpulan Parabena’s offices in Jalan Sungai, Padungan. It has yet to “commence operations”, but the State of Sarawak has already handed it 12,000 hectares!

In the case of Miracle Harvest, the approval had already been given by the Land Regsitry for an award to the company of 12,000 hectares for the purpose of oil palm plantation (OPL) three weeks before its actual incorporation date!  Land titles handed out to a company before it even comes into existence!  A case of ’Miraculous Pre-conception’?

So, can one detect the Hand of God behind such amazing developments, or perhaps just that of Abdul Taib Mahmud, who doubles up as the Head of the Land Custody and Development Agency?  The LCDA has been taking Native Customary Lands in the name of the State Government and then handing it to close Taib family members like his sister Raziah and son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib and several others in a pattern that has been escalating in recent years.

Land Registry Records

Robert Geneid is the person registered as the representative of Miracle Harvest in the Land Registry. His office at Kumpulan Parabena is the contact address
From stall-holder’s son to millionaire – Geneid made it big after marrying Raziah!

We can see that in the case of Miracle Harvest Raziah’s husband Robert Geneid is clearly marked as the contact for the Land Title in the Land Registry.  He also lists his office and phone number as that of the Kumpulan Parabena HQ in Kuching, thus directly implicating the Chief Minister in the deal, who has a major stake in Kumpulan Parabena.

Cheap premiums mean the state loses revenue

Our research indicates that the land given to Miracle Harvest was indeed handed out very cheap indeed and now commands a far higher market price. A total of 11 lots were handed to Miracle Havest along with a sister company also owned by the Geneids, Green Ace Resources, on just one day 25.5.2005.  They amounted to 20,000 hectares for an over all price of just RM 15 million.  The stated purpose for the hand out is”OPL”, meaning Oil Plantation.

Elia Abas Geneid, Raziah’s daughter (left with champagne bottle) has also benefitted from huge hand outs of land from her Uncle Taib’s government department

This low premium marked a very poor return for the taxpayer and a vast potential profit for the Mahmuds.  Worse, such premiums are generally not demanded up front of Taib family members in deals like these.  The payments are allowed to be deferred and delayed or paid in installments – usually (according to insiders) until the land has been sold on at a healthy profit!

Kwantas’s Annual Report of 2008, shows the acquisition of 70% of Miracle Harvest and Green Ace Resources was made after the granting of the Land Titles

However, the ownership quickly moved on from the Mahmuds of course.  In 2006 the publicly-listed palm oil plantation company Kwantas announced that it had acquired 70% of the shares of Miracle Harvest (MHSB), along 70% of the sister company Green Ace Resources, which is also registered under the Kumpulan Parabena address.  It can only be as part of the same set of deals that Green Ace Resources (GARSB) was handed a huge area of 7,000 hectares in Mukah in the region of the Sungai Narub Reserve Forest on the very same day in 2005 that Miracle Harvest gained its own land titles.

Kwantas announced it had payed around RM 17million for the 70% purchase of these two companies, whereas the original premium for the entire amount charged earlier from Parabena was circa RM 15 million.

Sarawak Report would therefore like to ask who Kwantas paid for the acquisition which was made several months after Miracle Harvest/Green Ace acquired the Land Titles? Was it Miracle Harvest, which was still not yet officially operating, according to the Company Register?  We also ask why it is that, although Kwantas had acquired most of the shares of the company, Miracle Harvest continues to be based at the Parabena Office and is represented by Robert Geneid? 

Sister companies. MHSB handed 12 thousand of hectares on 25.5.2005 via Robert Geneid, now 70% owned by Kwantas

Sister companies. Green Ace Resources handed 7,000 hectares via Robert Geneid 25.05.2005. Later 70% acquired by Kwantas – Now up for sale!

Up for sale!

We can now reveal that Kwantas has just started to dispose of its shareholdings in these land titles, giving us a good view of the genuine current market price!  The State of Sarawak originally received just RM 5 million for the 7,000 hectares of land awarded to Green Ace Resources, yet last month Kwantas announced an agreement to sell its 70%  stake for a whopping  RM 32.4 million!  This means that the 30% of the shares still held by the Geneids are worth roughly half that amount – the same that was charged for the entire 20,000 hectares property portfolio handed to them by Raziah’s brother and business partner, Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, in 2005.

Sell-off, subject to conditions, is underway to Golden Agri Resources, part of Indonesia’s vast Sinar Mas timber company

The real miracle would be if Raziah and Robert failed to cash in on their back-breaking efforts!

NCR Land?

Selling on land with just a provisional lease? Tricky now that the Native Land Rights cases are starting to do so well in court!

Of equal concern is the status of this land which is being sold on.  The Kwantas statement makes clear that the land  lease is still provisional.  This means that officially some further agreement is needed before oil palm clearances can begin.

In practice the ‘provisional’ aspect of such licences are frequently and disgracefully brushed aside in Sarawak, as plantation companies simply ignore the existence of Native Customary Rights of the communities whose land they take.

Given they have paid so much money to the Head of Government’s relatives to get it their attitude is perhaps understandable?  Certainly, in a recent court case the judge laid the blame for a similar situation on the state government for handing out NCR land rather than on the company that had bought the titles.  It is likely that as the number of native land rights succeeding in the courts increase that platation companies will be less willing to buy such plots from Taib’s many relatives!

Is this land suitable for oil palm? The lease is only ‘provisional’

So what is the problem with Lot 1 Block 194 Oya-Dalat Land District at Sungai Narub, Mukah?  Is it disputed Native Customary Rights Land?  is it part of the Sungai Narub Reserve Forest?  Or could it be both?

Greenwash peril?

The company to whom this land is being sold is the massive Golden Agri Resources Sdn Bhd, which is the Indonesian Oil Palm arm of the notorious timber giant Sinar Mas.

Golden Agri made a major ‘Green PR’ gesture earlier this month, Feb 9th, when it announced to the world that it will in future stop all further deforestation in Indonesia.  Can we be reassured that Raziah and Robert’s miracle Company will miraculously manage to fulfil the new-found green and ethical credentials of their new buyer as this sale proceeds?

February 27, 2011

Anti-corruption blog founder Clare returns fire at M’sian authories


Anti-corruption blog founder Clare returns fire at M’sian authories

Anti-corruption blog founder Clare returns fire at M'sian authories

Clare Rewcastle Brown, the founder of Radio Free Sarawak and the author of the Sarawak Report blog, has returned fire at Malaysian authorities who said her radio broadcasts were illegal and accused her to trying to stir up trouble in their country.

RFS and Sarawak Report are dedicated to exposing the alleged corruption of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and removing him from power. The fabulously wealthy Taib has ruled Sarawak with a fist of iron for four decades and is due to call for state-wide polls by July this year.

“This has been the favourite weapon that politicians of his ilk have tried to use to deliberately intimidate people who disagree with them politically or even people who want to exercise their right to vote for the opposition in the upcoming election,” Clare told Malaysia Chronicle.

She was referring to Sarawak BN Backbenchers Club chairman Abdul Karim Hamzah who called on the relevant agencies to act against the station because “RFS incited Sarawakians to go against the state government in the next state election and breed inter-racial hatred”.

“Hamzah is a lawyer, so he knows full well that criticising corruption and failures by his political party, BN, is not the same as ‘going against the government’,” Clare said.

“In his remarks he implies that it is somehow illegal to encourage people to vote for the opposition!!  How can it be illegal – Isn’t that the whole point of a democracy?  Or does Mr Hamzah admit that he is part of a dictatorship in all but name?”

Malaysia to block RFS broadcast

It might seen incredulous to some especially those used to a more advanced system of democracy, but Hamzah was not alone in calling for action against Clare and her team.

According to the Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Joseph Salang, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission should act against RFS as it was an illegal and unlicensed radio station.

“I have heard about its existence. I have also been made to understand it is based in Malacca and not in London as believed. If there are reports against it, the MCMC will investigate. If the contents contravene the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, it can block its broadcast,” Joseph had said.

But the deputy minister may have made another blunder. RFS is really based in London and just four months ago, Malaysia Chronicle along with other media was invited to a sneak preview of its operations room and introduced to its staff.

Clare also pointed out that Sarawak Report focussed on exposing corruption, not on adopting any political stance.

“Mr Hamzah also clearly implies in his remarks that it is somehow wrong or illegal to expose the wrong-doings of people in power. Does he therefore think it is the right thing to do to cover up corruption and wrong-doing by people in power and that people who refuse are ‘going against the state?” she asked.

“As a lawyer, he knows perfectly well that people should be allowed to speak up against corruption.  He just wants to keep BN’s position of power so that he and his friends can keep on abusing it to make even more money out of the people of Sarawak.”

“As he put it in a recent interview, he thinks it is ‘only fair’ that politicians like his boss Taib should be able to ‘take the opportunities’ that come their way in political office – in Sarawak Report we have been laying out just what those ‘opportunites’ are and how Taib and his cronies have profited.”

Hypocrisy of Malaysian authorities

Hamzah had also criticised her outspokeness and questioned her motives. Clare, a British citizen, was born in Sarawak. After a recent visit to the East Malaysian state, she had decided to take up the cudgels for the poor and downtrodden tribes that live in the state’s interior regions.

Environmentalists the world over have condemned Taib and the Malaysian government for allowing Sarawak’s unique rain forests to be logged without apparent control.

“It is strange that people would want to do things that are harmful to their own country. If anything, people with the right kind of mind will want to improve the situation in their own country and not destroy it,” Hamzah said.

Clare also denied that RFS had “stirred racial or religious hatred”.

“What we have shown is that there is a unity between all the tribes of Sarawak in how they have been swindled out of their lands and neglected and abused over the past years.  From the Ibans in Serian, to the Melanau in Pulau Bruit to the Chinese in Sibu, Bidayuh in Bengoh, Penan in the Baram region and every other racial group including Malays, they have all suffered from the land grabs,” she said.

“We have also pointed out some cases of disunifying discrimination in education and jobs on the part of the government and we have pointed to hypocrisy where YBs say one thing about their religion to their constituents while doing another thing to advance themselves in the discrimatory system set up by BN.”

Not a whimper from Taib, MACC or Putrajaya

The 51-year old sister-in-law of former British premier Gordon Brown said that widespread corruption and illegitimate political practices reported Sarawak Report were a matter of public record.

Yet, neither she nor RFS had heard from Taib, despite issuing several invitations to him to reply to their accusations.

Clare also took to task the Malaysian police and the MACC who despite the accusations on her blog, have “not shown the slightest interest” to probe Taib for his alleged wrongdoing.

“Karim Hamzah should be careful of drawing further attention to the key failings of BN’s own management of the government by the nature of the accusations he makes,” she said.

Related Stories:

Dep Minister: Radio Free S’wak in M’cca not London, we can ban it

Taib fires back at foreign NGOs for being “mischievous”

Interview with Clare Rewcastle Brown Part1: Taib will not last forever

Anti-Taib campaign to be taken to the streets of London and Ottawa

Act Now. Freeze Taib’s assets and order a probe, Pakatan dares Najib

Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law takes on Taib and corruption

The battle for Sarawak begins: Angels and Devils show hand

 

A White Lady vs The White Hair Monster and the winner is…….

February 26, 2011

Interview with Clare Rewcastle Brown Part1: Taib will not last forever


Interview with Clare Rewcastle Brown Part1: Taib will not last forever

Written by  Mariam Mokhtar for  Malaysia Chronicle

EXCLUSIVE When Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud first heard of an anonymous blog that attacked him and his family for alleged corruption, he laughed and brushed it aside like he would a pesky fly.

But the blog didn’t go away, and soon it sprouted a radio unit to reach more people in interior of the state where broadband is still a dream invention of the West.

And on Monday, Taib’s headache is bound to grow worse. Defenders of Sarawak’s indigenous communities and the Borneo rainforest have announced street protests in the United Kingdom and Canada against what they call his blatant corruption and deprivation of his people’s humanity.

Yes, the Sarawak Report blog and Radio Free Sarawak have turned out to be much more successful than its editor Clare Rewcastle Brown – the sister-in-law of former Bristish prime minister Gordon Brown – had hoped for.

She is now looking to achieve even greater impact and the quicker the better because state elections are due to be called anytime now. A window of opportunity has finally appeared for the downtrodden in the state. A massive journey still lies ahead but the first step must be paved by political transformation.

“BN have tried to give the impression that Taib, although he is old and highly discredited, will last forever. People need to discuss amongst themselves the fact that this is not true and that change is inevitable, so when and how do they want that to happen?” Clare said in the interview with Malaysia Chronicle.

Call her ambitious but she is fighting for the country of her birth. A British citizen, Clare has not forgotten she was born in Sarawak 51 years ago.

She is now fronting a crusade that many Sarawakians had wanted to begin but could never quite pull together. They and millions of other Malaysians and even people from other countries are now joining the battle for justice she began with her blog.

They have one common goal – to Save Sarawak. To stop the plunder of its natural resources, the pillage of its awesome rain forests, the rape of its unique tribes by loggers emboldened by decades of lax and greedy governanance by Taib and his team.

Far away in the federal capital in Putrajaya, Prime Minister Najib Razak looks on. Maybe he even clucks sympathetically with the Sarawakian people, but for sure, he lifts no finger to try and stop their hurt or heed their screams for help.

Malaysia Chronicle appends below Part One of the exclusive interview with Clare. Part Two will be published on Monday.

Chronicle: How many people in Sarawak, do you think listen to you? Are they mostly in the interior or towns? How effective is RFS in getting the message to the people?

Clare: It is always hard to judge the level of listeners, especially in this situation where we are broadcasting to remote communities, but we think we have many listeners and they are growing in numbers by the day.

Just as importantly we are listening to them.

Our aim is to provide an outlet where their concerns and what they say is treated as being interesting and important.

This isn’t just about what the Government wants to tell them it’s about what they want to tell the Government and others as well. Radio Free Sarawak is one platform where their voices can be heard.

Every day we make big efforts to get in touch with people from longhouses all over Sarawak and the stories they tell us about their land grab issues, their deprivation, their poverty and their lack of medical and other facilities, provide the real picture of what is happening to these previously silenced and suffering communities.

Through our radio show villagers can learn that their problems are not isolated and they share the same concerns and issues with other tribes in areas all over Sarawak.

These problems are largely caused by the corrupt way in which their country has been governed over the past decades.

Chronicle: With your main whistleblower, Boyert dead, is this a massive setback for Sarawak Report? How will you carry on? (Ross Boyert was Taib’s disaffected US aide who died in mysterious circumstances. The inquest into his death is still pending.)

(more…)

FBI’s Seattle office to see embarrassing anti-Taib protest


Taken from BMF

SEATTLE / SAN FRANCISCO (US) The global campaign against Sarawak’s billionaire Chief Minister-cum-illegal logging tycoon, Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), is gaining further momentum. Yesterday, human rights groups and environmental campaigners in the US announced a picketing campaign outside Taib properties in Seattle and San Francisco. Similar protests will be held next week in the UK and Canada.

The Seattle protest (on Thursday 3 March) will be particularly embarrassing for the US authorities. It is being held outside the Taib-owned Abraham Lincoln building in downtown Seattle, a property held through Wallysons Inc, which hosts no less than the FBI’s Northwestern Regional Headquarters! What a shame that the FBI, an institution set up to uphold the fight for justice and against corruption and money-laundering, is renting its premises from a well-known Malaysian criminal kleptocrat!

Wallysons’ chairman is Taib’s son, Sulaiman (Rahman) Taib, while Taib’s Canadian son-in-law, Sean Murray, is its president. Taib is one of South East Asia’s most corrupt politicians and the chief culprit for the destructive logging of several hundred thousand hectares of Borneo rainforest. Last week, the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund published a blacklist of 49 Taib companies in eight countries which are estimated to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of US dollars.

The San Francisco protest (on Wednesday 9 March) is being held outside the Citibank branch at 260 California Street in the city’s historical centre. The building is the seat of Taib’s Sakti International Corporation, which used to be headed by the late Ross Boyert. After having been dismissed by the Taibs, Boyert filed legal action against Sakti at a San Francisco court in early 2007. In September 2010, Boyert was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel. In an interview with Sarawak Report given weeks before his death, Boyert said he and his family had been harassed and terrorized by Taib agents ever since he had filed the case.

The Bruno Manser Fund, together with an international NGO coalition against Taib timber corruption, is asking the US authorities to freeze all Taib assets in the United States and to investigate the former Taib aide and whistleblower Ross Boyert’s allegations against the Taibs and the circumstances of his death.

Details of planned Taib street campaigns in the United States:
Seattle: Thursday, 3 March 2011, 12:00 p.m. outside the FBI Northwestern Regional Headquarters at 1110
3rd Avenue (corner Spring St)
San Francisco: Wednesday, 9 March 2011, 10:00 a.m. outside Citibank at 260 California Street
Phone contact for the United States:
Brihannala Morgan, The Borneo Project, Berkeley, California Tel. +1 415 341 7051
www.borneoproject.org
International campaign coordination: Bruno Manser Fund, Basel, Switzerland +41 61 261 94 74
http://www.stop-timber-corruption.org/@bmf.ch
Sources used for this release: http://www.sarawakreport.org/; research by the Bruno Manser Fund.
Follow our campaign on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bmfonds

Taib’s ‘Entrepreneurship’ in Miri – Corruption Revealed


Taken from Sarawak Report

When did this old boy last get to drive himself? let alone in a digger! Ground breaking ceremony for his company’s ‘fortuitous’ contract to construct the Taman Tunku – Taman Jelita road!

At the end of last year, during a ground breaking ceremony for the new Taman Tunku – Taman Jelita road in Miri, Taib Mahmud launched into his new big theme of condemning ’envy’.  As one onlooker recalls, the Chief Minister said:

“Sarawakians must reject politicians who perpetrate “anti-rich people” sentiments as this will only deter the state’s quest for greater progress”.  http://lifeisreallybeautiful.com]

 By this we can conclude that the Chief Minister does not like critics who question his enormous wealth! 

The Chief Minister has continued to warm to this ‘our wealth benefits you’ theme on numerous occasions since, stating that his own multi-billionaire status and the enormous wealth of his family are good for the rest of the people.

Miri’s Taman Tunku -Taman Jelita Road a prime example!

Therefore, what better study to make of his claims than the very project he was launching on that day?  The nature of this ‘enterprise’ is a perfect example of how the Taib family has become rich.  However, it has very little to do with hard work, cleverness or inventiveness and everything to do with the corrupt exploitation of Government office by Mr Taib Mahmud.

Grand new offices! Parabena has clearly done well…

The road involved in this ground-breaking ceremony was, as the BN controlled Borneo Post describes it, a “RM 18 million access road, fringing the runway of Miri airport to be built by developer and landowner Kampulan Parabena Sdn Bhd”.  The article goes on to explain that the Managing Director of Kumpulan Parabena is Taib’s sister Raziah Mahmud. 

While the rest of the world wonders how the sister of the Chief Minister is in charge of a company that has received this chunk of state land and a state funded contract of this nature without a major issue arising over conflict of interest, the Borneo Post goes on to say that instead:

“ Parabena is also mulling the proposal for a university campus, polyclinic and other infrastructures in this strategic location”

So, it is clear that if Raziah would like to be given state money to perform such projects (or at least sell the projects on to a real construction company to perform), then the option is hers!  Experience would prove this to be the case, since Parabena has received an extraordinary number of contracts of this nature.

Chief Minister launches the road project. Rich Venture is the company owned by crony Hii King Chiong, which was sub-contracted to do the actual work by Taib’s own company Parabena!

Parabena’s Miri bonanza

Sarawak Report has already documented how Kumpulan Parabena has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of ringgit worth of State and Native Customary Rights lands over recent years, usually under the thin disguise of numerous ’front companies’ based at its office address in Kuching.  However, there can be no greater scandal than that attaching to the land that it has acquired in the prime airport area in Miri and in other prime sites in Sarawak’s key oil town.

Prime airport location – given to Raziah and then sold off to others to develop!

Soon after he took power Taib handed an original 800 acres of this prime land to his own family company Concordance Holdings in November 1982.  This was later transferred to a Parabena, which is a subsidiary and then, according to the Borneo Post extended to a total of 2,000 acres of prime development land.  After 30 years of profitable housing development, which has reaped millions in profits for Raziah Mahmud, the project is now moving into its second phase, hence the need for the new government-financed road to get to the next part of the site.

People from Miri have explained to Sarawak Report that the original excuse for the land handout was that it supported a Bumiputera company, in order to develop local skills.  However, Managing Director Raziah Mahmud soon succumbed to the get rich quick alternative of selling on the land she had got for free for a fat profit to genuine developers like HSL – or, as in the case of the current road project, Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd, owned by the crony tycoon Hii King Chiong!

Who are the beneficial owners of Parabena?

Bearing in mind that the 2,000 acres involved are prime state land that has been largely given for free to Kumpulan Parabena thanks to the decision of the Minister for Resources and Planning, Abdul Taib Mahmud (one of his many key offices of state), it is worth pointing out the shareholders of this company.   

Family company. All these shareholder companies are owned by the Taibs. Taib himself owns a stake in Kumpulan Parabena through his personal registered shares in Mesti Bersatu, in turn an owner of Miri Properties and Dalam Development!

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February 24, 2011

Karim,we want answers from Taib!!


Taken from The Star

Karim wants action against brains behind rogue radio, Sarawak Report

KUCHING: The people behind Radio Free Sarawak and Sarawak Report have been revealed at last.They are Clare Rewcastle Brown, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Peter John Jaban, an Iban activist known as Papa Orang Utan to his listeners.

Rewcastle Brown is also the author of the hard-hitting Sarawak Report — a blog that has been making several allegations against the Chief Minister —that gets 18,000 hits a day. They went public in a report by tabloid London Evening Standard on Wednesday, said an article by The Malaysian Insider.

The independent radio station has also been critical of Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.The tabloid said they had decided to expose themselves as they wanted to come out fighting ahead of the state election expected to be held in April.

Sarawak Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said as the people responsible had been revealed, the authorities must investigate them and bring them to book.

“What they have been doing is malicious and dangerous. They have campaigned not only against the Chief Minister but also the nation.“They have launched an underground radio station, inciting one race to go against another, which is an offence in Malaysia,” he told Star Sarawak.Read more here

My oh my,Mr Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah,Stop beating arround the bush,just cut the crap!!You can go and do your apple polishing business and even ball polishing but,We the Peoples of Sarawak has made  it clear and simple.

WE WANT ANSWERS FROM TAIB!!!!WE WANT TAIB TO ANSWER ALL THE SO CALLED “WILD AND BASELESS ALLEGATIONS”  agaisnst him by Sarawak Report

After 8 report has been lodged to MACC but up untill now we have yet to heard about the “Progress”.Is it because it is being categorize as “High Profile Case”???

Read also Apple polishing at its very best

February 6, 2011

Latest exposures from Sarawak Report!!

Filed under: Taib Must Go — Pengayau @ 12:54 am
Tags: ,

Taken from Sarawak Report

As Much As You Want For Free, My Son!

Pretty boy, Mahmud Abu Bekir, is sitting pretty with 70,000 hectares of Native Lands given free by his Dad

As PM Najib Razak conducts his evaluation of BN’s record in Sarawak over this weekend, we recommend that he considers the shocking information revealed by our latest investigation into Taib’s Land Grabs.  Over the past 3 years alone the Chief Minister has handed his own son, the fashion-dandy Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, Native Customary Rights Lands totalling the area of Singapore – and all for FREE! 

Much of the land has gone to the company set up for Mahmud called Titanium Management.  Titanium Management has been the subject of numerous recent scandals because of the enormous number of public contracts that it has been handed without any tendering process by Taib’s government.  

Titanium Management was even originally located in the office buildings of Taib’s own  company CMS, which has itself scandalously stolen all Sarawak’s most profitable businesses.  The fact that Titanium has now moved into its own fancy new office block called ‘Titanium Tower’, demonstrates the huge wealth it has absorbed in recent years owing to profits from these state contracts and also the Land Grabs which we have now identified, which are all worth hundreds of millions of ringgit.

Titanium Management – Shareholders are Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib and cronies

However, besides Titanium Management, we have also identified numerous other companies that have received vast tracks of land which are also clearly controlled by Mahmud and his business partners Chris Chung and the former Director of Public Works Michael Ting.  These are companies that are registered under the names of one or other of the three men and which, even more tellingly, are operated out of the same offices and use the same telephone number as Titanium Management!  

In the case of my son the land should be given for FREE!

On file, some of the companies that operate out of Titanium’s H Q, the new Titanium Tower in Brighton Square, Kuching

We have identified a raft of at least 14 companies which are clearly controlled by Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib’s Titanium Management, which have been secretly handed lands totalling more than 70,000 hectares.  This is greater than the entire land mass of Singapore and much of the land is also in higly valuable urban development areas. 

Even more scandalously in each and every case these lands have been handed to the companies under the category of so-called “Payment in Kind”.  This is a polite way of saying that it has been given to Taib’s son for free!

Very few other hand outs of land have been quite so blatantly offered for free.  Most beneficiaries of the Chief Minister’s Land Grab hand-outs are at least required to make a nominal payment at some future date.  But when it comes to Taib’s son in every case the payment is waived!

While the Taibs plunder the people suffer   

 
“PAYMENT IN KIND” – ie FREE!!

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January 4, 2011

Wedding of the Year on 15th January, 2011.

Filed under: Taib Must Go — Pengayau @ 9:30 pm
Tags: ,

 

Thanks to Antu Beduru

Antu Beduru is happy to inform Sarawakians that on last Sunday night (2nd January, 2011), a wedding reception was held in the United Arab Emirates. It was attended by no less than our Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Razak, his beautiful wife Rosmah Mansor and a host of dignitaries and members of royalty from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and even within the Arab countries.

Whose wedding? Our very own beloved Chief Minister and his lovely new Lebanese wife! This wedding was the bersanding sebelah pengantin perempuan or wedding reception by the bride’s side. We were reliably informed that it was a glittering affair and the the groom looked positively youthful and his bride radiantly glorious, bedecked in the costliest jewels money can buy!

Unfortunately, we don’t have pictures of the event but we are trying our best to prepare to get pictures for the next big bersanding sebelah pengantin lelaki to be held on Saturday 15th January! We hear it is going to be a lavish billion dollar official State Banquet, no less!

Yes, Antu Beduru is happy to announce that Sarawak and Sarawakians will see the grandest WEDDING OF THE YEAR in two weeks’ time! In fact, we might even get to hear the News of the Century on the same day – the official stepping down of our beloved Chief Minister as he prepares to be our next Governor with his new blushing bride at his side as our TYT Toh Puan!

Who’s paying for this wedding? YOU of course, the tax payer!

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