Friday, August 20, 2010

Scandal of Sarawak’s Budget Black Hole

Scandal of Sarawak’s Budget Black Hole

Thursday, August 19th, 2010 GMT

DAP - Winners at Sibu, have tough questions for Taib

Scandal highlighted by DAP

Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister of Sarawak, has failed to account for a staggering RM 4.8 billion of government expenditure over the past 3 years alone, according to explosive figures released by the opposition DAP party. This represents more than half the Development Budget, which in turn represents nearly three quarters of the total expenditure for the State!

Put another way, in 2009 RM 1.825 billion of the State’s total expenditure was allocated to persons unknown, compared to the government’s estimated revenue for that year of RM 3.726 billion. That is about half of all your cash!

The secret projects soaking up Sarawak’s cash

The DAP, who recently triumphed over BN at the Sibu by-election, have produced a closely argued Alternative Budget for 2010, in which they demand a return to proper accounting methods, so that taxpayers can know exactly how their money has been spent. This is their right and it is also Malaysian law, in line with the rest of the civilised world.

The DAP figures show that Taib has not only reserved 80% of the State’s entire Development Budget to the three Ministries controlled directly by himself, but that shockingly most of that money has been spent on secret projects about which he has provided zero information.

Under the circumstances the people of Sarawak are entitled to assume that the money has been stolen. As the DAP points out:

“This [state of affairs] defies the basic principle of political accountability in a democratic system and is susceptible to great abuses”.

So let us all guess what those abuses might be and where the money might have gone. Some on more Rolls Royces for the Chief Minister? Some on more foreign properties for his family? Some on bailing out projects by Taib-owned companies?

The Chief Minister appears to think he can get away with not telling people where he has decided to spend this money, but we can be comfortably certain that none of these secret projects involve benefitting any of the impoverished people whose lands he has taken for palm plantations now owned by his family and friends.

The “Government Contribution Towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund”

So what is going on and how has all this money disappeared?

The DAP budget documents provides a detailed analysis. Firstly, it outlines the extraordinary level of personal control that Taib has assumed over Sarawak’s expenditure. The septuagenarian personally manages the three main spending departments in the State. This means that almost every spending decision has to go through him and that no other Minister can do anything without getting his permission.

In particular his three ministries (the Finance Ministry, Planning and Resources Ministry and Chief Ministry) together control 80% of the Development Budget, which alone accounts for around three quarters of all money spent, although it is argued many of the projects would more sensibly belong under different departments.

Secondly, the document explains the secretive system that the Chief Minister has developed for allocating more half this huge sum of money. Over the past several years he has employed a highly mysterious expenditure category termed the ‘Government Contribution towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund’ into which this money is channelled. There is no specification as to who these ‘Approved Agencies’ are or which Trust Fund is being referred to and the Government has consistently refused requests for information on the subject! It could be going to his aunty, or his sister, or cousins, or kids, or secret mistress…… how is anyone supposed to know and what right has he to keep it secret?

Thus, in 2009 RM 1.825 billion (59.3% of the total RM 2.430 billion) is unaccounted for in the Development Budget, according to the DAP calculations. In 2008 it was RM1.719 billion (60% of the total RM2.865 billion) and in 2007 it was RM1.257 billionn (54.8% of the total RM2.294 billion). The DAP raise the valid question as to what is the point of carefully auditing 40% of the budget if the remaining 60% is kept secret?

The truth must be told

We can only assume that the ‘Approved Agencies’ must be outfits the Chief Minister would rather we did not know about. Certainly, if these ‘Approved Agencies’ were doing any good to the people he is supposed to serve, then he would be broadcasting the fact next to a picture of himself in every page of the Borneo Post!

However, he is not and therefore we can safely conclude that they are just doing good for the Taib family and their business cronies, like so many of his other projects.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Unmasked! Taib The Godfather

Unmasked! Taib The Godfather

Monday, August 9th, 2010 GMT

Held in trust by private agreement - 50% of the shares of Sakti International, worth approximately US$ 40 million.

Sarawak Report has uncovered devastating documents which prove that Abdul Taib Mahmud, Sarawak’s Chief Minister, is the real owner of millions of dollars of property assets held in the name of family members abroad.

The damning discovery lays bare a system of private deals, which enabled the Chief Minister to conceal his true ownership of the properties. This was presumably in order to hide the extent of his enormous wealth, for which he has yet to provide any legitimate explanation.

Under the system, whilst it is Taib’s relatives who are publicly registered as the official shareholders and directors of the companies owning the properties, a separate, private agreement ensures that the shares are actually held in trust for him.
Download PDF.

Documentary evidence of elaborate concealment

260 California Street, San Francisco - Bijou Sakti Office Block

Among documents in its possession Sarawak Report has a copy of one such private agreement (see above) relating to the shares in Sakti International, a company that owns buildings in San Francisco. Sakti is part of a web of companies started in North America by the Taibs, which includes Sakto, a major Ottawa property company, and Wallysons, which owns the Abraham Lincoln Building in Seattle, housing a top secret anti-terrorist facility for the FBI.

The five official shareholders of Sakti International, which is registered in California, are Taib’s brothers, Onn Mahmud and Arip Mahmud, along with three of his children, Sulaiman Taib, Mahmud Taib and Jamilah Taib. However, as the document which we have obtained shows, a resolution made soon after the formation of the company has privately ruled that half those shares (a commanding majority) are held in trust for the Chief Minister. The value of these shares amounts to 40 million US dollars for Sakti alone, according to the company’s own documents.

Tip of the iceberg?

However, Sakti International, estimated to be worth US $80 million, accounts for just a small proportion of the Taib family wealth. Our previous exposes have revealed a vast portfolio of further international property assets, which are owned by members of Taib Mahmud’s immediate family. For example, Taib’s own children are the shareholders and directors of numerous companies controlling residential and commercial buildings in Canada, Australia, Britain and the United States together worth hundreds of millions of US dollars. Yet, suspiciously, many of these assets came into their possession when they were in their early 20s and still college students with no visible access to legitimate resources to invest. The inevitable question for Taib Mahmud, therefore, is whether, as in the case of Sakti International, they are also secretly holding these other properties in trust for him? If not, what explanation can there be for these investments?

Golden Wedding Couple - The Godfather and his family

A number of reports have already been made to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) regarding the recent disclosures of the Taib family wealth. These new revelations proving the direct link to the Chief Minister will increase the pressure on the MACC to respond with a proper investigation.

Further Fingerprints

The Sakti International documents in our possession, released as part of the disclosure in a recent court case, provide further extensive evidence of Taib Mahmud’s involvement in the company, despite his denials of any business connections. Indeed one of the company’s earliest official documents, signed in 1987, even lists him as one of the Directors of Sakti International.

Chief Minister's name in black and white, listed as a Director Of Sakti International

The document in question is a Domestic Stock Corporation Statement for Sakti International, which is required annually by the State of California. In 1987, the year the company was set up, its inaugural statement clearly registers Taib Mahmud, along with his brothers Onn Mahmud and Arip Mahmud, as a Director of the company. The only officer of the company is listed as Mahmud Taib, the Chief Minister’s eldest son.

It is well-known that in subsequent Taib family enterprises the Chief Minister has always scrupulously avoided including his own name in any documentation. This early mistake will undermine his constant claims that, in keeping with his role as Chief Minister, he has no direct business interests. It is clear that he in fact set up Sakti International, using the address of his own house in San Francisco. Download PDF

Cover Up

Subsequently, records show that the structure of the company was altered to make Onn, Arip and Mahmud Taib the three Directors, while Rahman became the only officer of the company. But, as we are now able to exclusively report, Taib Mahmud secretly retained his control through a resolution by the company directors dated April 8th 1988. This resolution (see top) placed 500 of the 1,000 shares issued by the company in trust for him.

43 Presidio, Taib's San Francisco town house and early HQ for Sakti International

The Godfather

The Sakti documents give a fascinating insight into the manipulative methods used by Taib Mahmud to control his family members, who are supposedly the earners and ‘businessmen’ who have generated the Taibs’ legendary wealth. The five relatives who were selected to own shares in Sakti International were each been given a different number of shares. Each then surrendered differing proportions of these shares to be held in trust for the Chief Minister.

Brother Onn Mahmud gets 400 shares, but of them 200 are held for the Chief Minister, whereas brother Arip gets just 200 shares, 100 of which are in trust for Taib. Mahmud Taib has the same arrangement ast Arip. However younger brother, Sulaiman Rahman Taib, who was later made sole Director of Sakti, only gets 100 shares under the agreement and they are all in fact held in trust for his father. Daughter Jamilah also only gets 100 shares, but she gets to hold them all herself.

The system ensures that Taib Mahmud has half of all the shares held in trust for himself, whereas none of the others hold more than 200 shares. In this way he clearly keeps a commanding control over the company he pretends not to own.

Classic Car on Standby - Vintage Ferrari kept ready for Chief Minister's occasional visits to 43 Presidio Avenue. Son Rahman Taib, who shared his father's interest requested a 4,000 square foot garage to house his car collection in the States

Taib in charge

Former employees of Sakti have testified to the controling position the Chief Minister holds over the other members of the family. Rahman, as he was known in the States, was still in college when he became sole Director of Sakti and has been described as being in awe of his father, whom he once had to wait a week to get a meeting with.

“We always considered Taib to be the ultimate boss and decision-maker” one former executive has told Sarawak Report, “It was obvious that he was the source of the money and Rahman was extremely deferential towards him”.

Where did the money come from?

The Chief Minister has so far made no comment on the string of recent exposes regarding his wealth. However, this new evidence will increase the widespread demands for him to explain how he and his family accrued the millions necessary to acquire such investments. Taib’s personal salary from his numerous concurrent positions still only delivers an official income of just under 50,000 MYR (around US $16,000) a month.

Multi-billionaire? Chief Minister's finances beg immediate scrutiny

In past weeks the existence of Ridgeford Properties in London and Sakto Corporation in Ontario, Canada have also been made public (see previous exposes on Sarawak Report). These companies own and manage numerous office blocks worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Ostensibly the Directors and owners of these concerns are Jamilah Taib and her husband Sean (Hisham) Murray, a Canadian national. However, like Sakti, Sakto was originally set up under the names of Taib family members, not Mr Murray.

Although numerous members of Sean Murray’s family now work for Sakto, all the evidence indicates that these are in fact Taib family businesses, ultimately controlled by the Chief Minister of Sarawak.

Surely the weight of evidence is now such that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be unable to ignore the deluge of demands requiring thorough investigation into Sarawak’s White Haired Raja? - Sarawak Report

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Now let’s have a discussion — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

July 31, 2010

JULY 31 — Thank you for inviting me to speak with you. I am truly honoured. I have played some small role in the life of this nation, but having been on the wrong side of one or two political fights with the powers that be, I am not as close to the young people of this country as I would hope to be. History, and the 8 o’clock news, are written by the victors. In recent years the government’s monopoly of the media has been destroyed by the technology revolution.

You could say I was also a member of the UKEC. Well I was, except that belonged to the predecessor of the UKEC by more than fifty years, The Malayan Students Union of the UK and Eire. I led this organisation in 1958/59. I was then a student of Queen’s University at Belfast, in a rather cooler climate than Kota Bharu’s.

Your invitation to participate in the MSLS was prefaced by an essay which calls for an intellectually informed activism. I congratulate you on this. The Youth of today, you note, “will chart the future of Malaysia.” You say you “no longer want to be ignored and leave the future of our Malaysia at the hands of the current generation.” You “want to grab the bull by the horns... and have a say in where we go as a society and as a nation.”I feel the same, actually. A lot of Malaysians feel the same. They are tired of being ignored and talked down to by swaggering mediocrities.

You are right. The present generation in power has let Malaysia down.

But also you cite two things as testimony of the importance of youth and of student activism to this country, the election results of 2008 and “the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the role of youth in the development of the country.”

So perhaps you are a little way yet from thinking for yourselves. The first step in “grabbing the bull by the horns” is not to required the endorsement of the Prime Minister, or any Minister, for your activism.

Politicians are not your parents. They are your servants. You don’t need a government slogan coined by a foreign PR agency to wrap your project in. You just go ahead and do it.

When I was a student our newly formed country was already a leader in the postcolonial world. We were sought out as a leader in the Afro-Asian Conference which inaugurated the Non-Aligned Movement and the G-77. The Afro-Asian movement was led by such luminaries as Zhou En-lai, Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Soekarno. Malaysians were seen as moderate leaders capable of mediating between these more radical leaders and the West. We were known for our moderation, good sense and reliability.

We were a leader in the Islamic world as ourselves and as we were, without our leaders having to put up false displays of piety. His memory has been scrubbed out quite systematically from our national consciousness, so you might not know this or much else about him, but it was Tengku Abdul Rahman established our leadership in the Islamic world by coming up with the idea of the OIC and making it happen.

Under his leadership Malaysia led the way in taking up the anti-apartheid cause in the Commonwealth and in the United Nations, resulting in South Africa’s expulsion from these bodies.

Here was a man at ease with himself, made it a policy goal that Malaysia be “a happy country”. He loved sport and encouraged sporting achievement among Malaysians. He was owner of many a fine race horse.

He called a press conference and had a beer with his stewards when his horse won at the Melbourne Cup. He had nothing to hide because his great integrity in service was clear to all. Now we have religious and moral hypocrites who cheat, lie and steal in office but never have a drink, who propagate an ideologically shackled education system for all Malaysians while they send their own kids to elite academies in the West.

Speaking of football. You’re too young to have experienced the Merdeka Cup, which Tunku started. We had a respectable side in the sixties and seventies. Teams from across Asia would come to play in Kuala Lumpur. Teams such as South Korea and Japan, whom we defeated routinely. We were one of the better sides in Asia. We won the Bronze medal at the Asian games in 1974 and qualified for the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Today our FIFA ranking is 157 out of 203 countries. That puts us in the lowest quartile, below Maldives (149), the smallest country in Asia, with just 400,000 people living about 1.5 metres above sea level who have to worry that their country may soon be swallowed up by climate change. Here in ASEAN we are behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, whom we used to dominate, and our one spot above basketball-playing Philippines.

The captain of our illustrious 1970’s side was Soh Chin Aun. Arumugam, Isa Bakar, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Mokhtar Dahari were heroes whose names rolled off the tongues of our schoolchildren as they copied them on the school field. It wasn’t about being the best in the world, but about being passionate and united and devoted to the game.

It was the same in Badminton, except at one time we were the best in the world. I remember Wong Peng Soon, the first Asian to win the All-England Championship, and then just dominated it throughout the 1950. Back home every kid who played badminton in every little kampong wanted to call himself Wong Peng Soon. There was no tinge of anybody identifying themselves exclusively as Chinese, Malays, Indian. Peng Soon was a Malaysian hero. Just like each of our football heroes. Now we do not have an iota of that feeling. Where has it all gone?

I don’t think it’s mere nostalgia that that makes us think there was a time when the sun shone more brightly upon Malaysia. I bring up sport because it has been a mirror of our more general performance as nation. When we were at ease with who we were and didn’t need slogans to do our best together, we did well. When race and money entered our game, we declined. The same applies to our political and economic life

Soon after independence we were already a highly successful developing country. We had begun the infrastructure building and diversification of our economy that would be the foundation for further growth. We carried out an import-substitution programme that stimulated local productive capacity. From there we started an infrastructure buildup which enabled a diversification of the economy leading to rapid industrialisation. We carried out effective programmes to raise rural income and help with landless with programmes such as FELDA. Our achievements in achieving growth with equity were recognised around the world. We were ahead of Our peer group in economic development were South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and we led the pack. I remember we used to send technical consultants to advise the South Koreans.

By the lates nineties, however, we had fallen far behind this group and were competing with Thailand and Indonesia. Today, according to the latest World Investment Report, FDI into Malaysia is at about a twenty year low. We are entering the peer group of Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines as an investment destination. Thailand, despite a month long siege of the capital, attracted more FDI than we did last year. Indonesia and Vietnam far outperform us, not as a statistical blip but consistently. Soon we shall have difficulty keeping up with The Philippines. This, I believe, is called relegation. If we take into account FDI outflow, the picture is even more interesting. Last year we received US$1.38 billion (RM4.40 billion) in investments but US$ 8.04 billion flowed out. We are the only country in Southeast Asia which has suffered nett FDI outflow. I am not against outward investment. It can be a good thing for the country. But an imbalance on this scale indicates capital flight, not mere investment overseas.

Without a doubt, Malaysia is slipping. Billions have been looted from this country, and billions more are being siphoned out as our entire political structure crumbles. Yet we are gathered here in comfort, in a country that still seems to ‘work.’ Most of the time. This is due less to good management than to the extraordinary wealth of this country. You were born into a country of immense resources both natural and cultural and social. We have been wearing down this advantage with mismanagement and corruption. With lies, tall tales and theft. We have a political class unwilling or unable to address the central issue of the day because they have grown fat and comfortable with a system built on lies and theft. It is easy to fall into the lull caused by the combination of whatever wealth has not been plundered and removed and political class that lives in a bubble of sycophancy.

I urge you not to fall into that complacency. It is time to wake up. That waking up can begin here, right here, at this conference. Not tomorrow or the day after but today. So let me, as I have the honour of opening this conference, suggest the following:

  • Overcome the urge to have our hopes for the future endorsed by the Prime Minister. He will have retired, and I’ll be long gone when your future arrives. The shape of your future is being determined now.
  • Resist the temptation to say “in line with” when we do something. Your projects, believe it or not, don’t have to be in line with any government campaign for them to be meaningful. You don’t need to polish anyone’s apple. Just get on with what you plan to do.
  • Do not put a lid on certain issues as “sensitive” because someone said they are. Or it is against the Social Contract. Or it is “politicisation”. You don’t need to have your conversation delimited by the hyper-sensitive among us. Sensitivity is often a club people use to hit each other with. Reasoned discussion of contentious issues builds understanding and trust. Test this idea.
  • It’s not “uber-liberal” to ask for an end to having politics, economic policy, education policy and everything and the kitchen sink determined by race. It’s called growing up. Go look up “liberal” in a dictionary.
  • Please resist the temptation to say Salam 1 malaysia, or Salam Vision 2020 or Salam Malaysia Boleh, or anything like that. Not even when you are reading the news. It’s embarrassing. I think it’s OK to say plain old salam the way the Holy Prophet did, wishing peace unto all humanity. You say you want to “promote intellectual discourse.” I take that to mean you want to have reasonable, thought-through and critical discussions, and slogans are the enemy of thought. Banish them.
  • Don’t let the politicians you have invited here talk down to you.
  • Don’t let them tell you how bright and “exuberant” you are, that you are the future of the nation, etc. If you close your eyes and flow with their flattery you have safely joined the caravan, a caravan taking the nation down a sink hole. If they tell you the future is in your hands kindly request that they hand that future over first. Ask them how come the youngest member of our cabinet is 45 and is full of discredited hacks? Our Merdeka cabinet had an average age below thirty. You’re not the first generation to be bright. Mine wasn’t too stupid. But you could be the first generation of students and young graduates in fifty years to push this nation through a major transformation. And it is a transformation we need desperately.
  • You will be told that much is expected of you, much has been given to you, and so forth. This is all true. Actually much has also been stolen from you. Over the last twenty five years, much of the immense wealth generated by our productive people and our vast resources has been looted. This was supposed to have been your patrimony. The uncomplicated sense of belonging fully, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, to this country, in all it diversity, that has been taken from you.

Our sense of ourselves as Malaysians, a free and united people, has been replaced by a tale of racial strife and resentment that continues to haunt us. The thing is, this tale is false.

The most precious thing you have been deprived of has been your history. Someone of my generation finds it hard to describe what must seem like a completely different country to you now. Malaysia was not born in strife but in unity. Our independence was achieved through a demonstration of unity by the people in supporting a multiracial government led by Tengku Abdul Rahman. That show of unity, demonstrated first through the municipal elections of 1952 and then through the Alliance’s landslide victory in the elections of 1955, showed that the people of Malaya were united in wanting their freedom.

We surprised the British, who thought we could not do this.

Today we are no longer as united as we were then. We are also less free. I don’t think this is a coincidence. It takes free people to have the psychological strength to overcome the confines of a racialised worldview. It takes free people to overcome those politicians bent on hanging on to power gained by racialising every feature of our life including our football teams.

Hence while you are at this conference, let me argue, that as an absolute minimum, we should call for the repeal of unjust and much abused Acts which are reversals of freedoms that we won at Merdeka.

I ask you in joining me in calling for the repeal of the ISA and the OSA. These draconian laws have been used, more often than not, as political tools rather than instruments of national security. They create a climate of fear. These days there is a trend among right wing nationalist groups to identify the ISA with the defence of Malay rights. This is a self-inflicted insult on Malay rights. As if our Constitutional protections needed draconian laws to enforce them. I wish they were as zealous in defending our right not to be robbed by a corrupt ruling elite. We don’t seem to be applying the law of the land there, let alone the ISA.

I ask you to join me in calling for the repeal of the Printing and Publications Act, and above all, the Universities and Colleges Act. I don’t see how you can pursue your student activism with such freedom and support in the UK and Eire while forgetting that your brethren at home are deprived of their basic rights of association and expression by the UCA. The UCA has done immense harm in dumbing down our universities.

We must have freedom as guaranteed under our Constitution. Freedom to assemble, associate, speak, write, move. This is basic. Even on matters of race and even on religious matters we should be able to speak freely, and we shall educate each other.

It is time to realise the dream of Dato’ Onn and the spirit of the Alliance, of Tunku Abdul Rahman. That dream was one of unity and a single Malaysian people. They went as far as they could with it in their time. Instead of taking on the torch we have reversed course. The next step for us as a country is to move beyond the infancy of race-based parties to a non-racial party system. Our race-based party system is the key political reason why we are a sick country, declining before our own eyes, with money fleeing and people telling their children not to come home after their studies.

So let us try to take 1 Malaysia seriously. Millions have been spent putting up billboards and adding the term to every conceivable thing. We even have cuti-cuti 1 Malaysia. Can’t take a normal holiday anymore.

This is all fine. Now let us see if it means anything. Let us see the Government of the day lead by example. 1 Malaysia is empty because it is propagated by a Government that promotes the racially-based party system that is the chief cause of our inability to grow up in our race relations. Our inability to grow up in our race relations is the chief reason why investors, and we ourselves, no longer have confidence in our economy. The reasons why we are behind Maldives in football, and behind the Philippines in FDI, are linked.

So let us take 1 Malaysia seriously, and convert Barisan Nasional into a party open to all citizens. Let it be a multiracial party open to direct membership. PR will be forced to do the same or be left behind the times. Then we shall have the vehicles for a two party, non-race-based system.

If Umno, MIC or MCA are afraid of losing supporters, let them get their members to join this new multiracial party. PR should do the same. Nobody need feel left out. Umno members can join en masse. The Hainanese Kopitiam Association can join whichever party they want, or both parties en masse if they like. We can maintain our cherished civil associations, however we choose to associate. But we drop all communalism when we compete for the ballot. When our candidates stand for Elections, let them ever after stand only as Malaysians, better or worse.

Now let’s have a discussion.

* Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s speech at the UKEC’s Fourth Malaysian Students Leadership Seminar in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2010.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sakti/Sakto – Another Taib Exclusive

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 GMT

Sakto Canada/Sakti US

When you have dozens of properties and as many companies to manage them it is always a good trick to stick to similar names. Sarawak Report can exclusively reveal that there is a US arm to the Taib family’s North American property empire.

Palatial - just one of the Taib family's US residences

In Ottawa, Canada the family’s interests are managed by Sakto Corporation, but in the US they are managed by Sakti International Corporation. Sakti International Corporation comprises properties totalling an estimated value of US$80,000,000, according to their own company documents. Each property is held under a separate company, usually named after the property’s street address, again in order to aid recognition. For example, W.A. Boylston manages 1117 Boylston St, Seattle (shown right).

However, one of these companies is not so named. Wallyson’s Incorporated, based in Seattle, operates what is known as the Abraham Lincoln Building. The Abraham Lincoln Building houses a top secret FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) facility and to enter requires maximum security clearance.

FBI Headquarters in Seattle - a Taib Building

This is the North West Regional Headquarters for the FBI, America’s domestic security and counter-terrorism service. The Seattle branch lists amongst its particular responsibilities countering terrorism threats from Far East Asia. This building is owned by the Taib family.

FBI emblem at Abraham Lincoln Building

Sakti’s other main US office block, 260 California Street, San Francisco, also rents space to an impressive list of clients, including Citibank. It shows once again the Taib family’s ability to ingratiate with the establishment in host countries for their foreign investments.

Taib company history in the USA

Also like Sakto, Sakti is currently managed by Sean Murray, husband of Jamilah Taib, who is the daughter of Abdul Taib Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak (salary 20,000 Malaysian Ringgit per month). Sean Murray was re-named Hisham Murray when he converted to the Muslim faith on his marriage to Jamilah, but never uses this name in his business or social capacities outside of Sarawak.

Hisham (Sean) and Jamilah Murray

However recent court documents deposited with the San Francisco Superior Court show that the company has always belonged to the Taib family. Sakti makes several key acknowledgements in its deposition to the Court, which are therefore incontestable. The company admits that Sakti was incorporated in California in 1987 and that it was initially managed by Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib. The documents state “The Defendants [Sakti International Corporation] admit that beginning September 10, 1987, Sakti’s designated Chief Executive Officer, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer was Mahmud Taib”.

Previous revelations in Sarawak Report have proved that Mahmud Taib, the eldest son of the Chief Minister, was also an original Director of Sakto in Canada, formed in 1983, along with his sister Jamilah and their uncle Onn Mahmud, the Chief Minister’s brother.

Court Admissions

San Francisco Court Deposition - Defendent Sakti International Corporation

The Sakti court deposition goes on to admit that Mahmud Taib, who is now a Director of CMS Sarawak, was later succeeded by his younger brother Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib as “sole officer and director of Sakti”. Sarawak Report has documents to show that he was also the sole officer of Wallyson’s (see below).

When Sakti was incorporated in 1987 Mahmud Taib was 27 years old and his brother Rahman Taib was just 20. However, the youthful brothers were supported in their roles by the involvement of other close family members. Two of the Chief Minister’s brothers (Mahmud Taib’s uncles) joined him as the original directors of the company. The deposition by Sakti says “[The] Defendants admit that the original members of Sakti’s Board of Directors were Onn Mahmud, Arip Mahmud and Mahmud Taib”.


Equally significantly Sakti admits that the shareholders of Sakti are all the Chief Minister’s own children or his brothers. The document deposited by Sakti International Corporation states ”the original shareholders of the company were Mahmud Taib, Onn Mahmud, Jamilah Taib, Arip Mahmud, and Rahman”. It goes on to confirm that “Mahmud Taib, Onn Mahmud, Jamilah Taib, Arip Mahmud and Rahaman are still shareholders of Sakti Holdings” (the company into which the shares have been moved).

Boss of the FBI Buildng - Rahman Taib

Sarawak Report can therefore categorically verify that Sakti in the US, like Sakto in Canada, was set up and originally managed exclusively by the Taib family, who provided the original US shareholder investments. The involvement of Sean Murray, the current Manager of Sakto and Sakti, began only after his marriage to Jamilah Taib and in fact he succeeded Rahman Taib as the Manager of Sakti only in 2006.

Sarawak Report therefore invites Mr Murray to declare whether he currently holds any shareholdings in the companies he directs, or if he is merely an employee of his wife’s family.

Sole Officer and Director Rahman Taib and his parents, the Chief Minister and Laila Taib

Sarawak Report also invites the Taib family to explain how between 1983 and 1987 they were able to invest millions of dollars in the setting up of two property companies in Canada and the US, whose combined portfolios are now worth at at least US$200,000,000. Of the original shareholders, Jamilah, Rahman and Mahmud (the children of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud) were in their early twenties and at college at that time, while the other two shareholders, Arip and Onn, are the Chief Minister’s brothers. If the money was all coming from the two uncles, who are purported to be businessmen, then their generosity in including the Chief Minister’s children rather than their own in these shareholdings is surprising.

260 California Street, San Francisco - another Taib Office Tower

Time for some answers

Sarawak Report believes that the people of Sarawak deserve an immediate explanation of these facts from Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud. The Chief Minister should instantly reveal whether he holds or once held a stake in these companies in North America and if any of the money invested was provided by him. If Taib Mahmud is the beneficial owner of any of the shares in these companies the Sarawak taxpayer is entitled to know he obtained them. Malaysia’s law enforcers should be enquiring on their behalf.

Top tenant

The FBI should also be willing to issue a statement enlightening the public about the ownership of the building they occupy. As joint defendents in the California court case Wallyson’s and Sakti International admitted that the owner of Wallyson’s Incoporated is a company called Rodinmass, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands. It is inconceivable that the FBI did not check who the owners of Rodinmass were, given the sensitivity of this building. As the sole officer of Wallyson’s was Rahman Taib, Sarawak Report contends that the owners and shareholders of Rodinmass are, like with Sakti International, the Taib family. Our information is that Laila Taib was the majority shareholder of Rodinmass.

Taib’s wife, brothers and children are all linked to these North American companies. It is for Taib to now demonstrate that somehow he is not also linked as a beneficial owner of these lucrative properties. - Sarawak Report

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Appeal Court Sets Aside Deregistration Of SNAP

PUTRAJAYA, June 23 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak National Party (Snap) on Wednesday succeeded in getting the Court of Appeal to set aside its de-registration by the Registrar of Societies (ROS), eight years ago.

The court also ordered ROS to pay RM10,000 costs.

Justices Datuk Zainun Ali, Datuk Ramly Ali and Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim unanimosly allowed the appeal brought by Snap's then deputy president Datuk Justine Jinggut against a High Court dismissal of his bid to quash the ROS decision.

The ROS de-registered Snap on Nov 5, 2002, following the party's failure to resolve its protracted leadership crisis since April that year, and was dissatisfied with the office-bearers constituted because of the internal dispute.

Jinggut then filed a judicial review of the ROS ruling but that was dismissed by the High Court on Sept 15, 2006.

He, however, obtained a stay of the decision, pending the disposal of his appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The party leadership was split by its former president Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min heading one faction, and the late Datuk Seri Peter Tinggom, the party's former deputy president who subsequently formed a new political party called the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

Set up in 1961, Snap was once a Barisan Nasional component in Sarawak.

Its current president is Edwin Dundang.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tengku Adnan to sort issues with Sarawak parties

SATURDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2010 11:28

JULAU: Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor will meet former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) secretary-general Sylvester Entri Muran and others today in a move to try and resolve the hiccup in the party.

Tengku Adnan, who was despatched to Kuching apparently to work behind the scenes to quickly mediate a settlement, will also be meeting Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Datuk Seri James Masing.

The problem in SPDP arose after its recent triennial general assembly when president Datuk Seri William Mawan Ikom appointed Nelson Balang, who is Ba Kelalan state assemblyman, to replace Entri as the new secretary-general.

This did not go down well with Entri and four others – senior vice-president Datuk Peter Nansian, information chief Paulus Palu Gumbang (state assemblyman for Batu Danau), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and Dr Tiki Lafe (MP for Mas Gading). Three supreme council members Peter Gani, George Garai and Eda Egar had also reportedly thrown their weight behind Entri.

They then decided to merge immediately on their own with PRS without going through Peter Nyarok, who is the SPDP chairman of the proposed merger committee.

SPDP supreme council member Paul Igai confirmed that Tengku Adnan was helping to resolve the hiccup in his party.

"He may most probably be attending our supreme council meeting this Sunday (tomorrow)," he said

Adnan had recently met with Mawan, deputy president Datuk Peter Nyarok, secretary-general Nelson Balang Rining and treasurer-general and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

A PRS leader, who refused to be identified, is delighted with the move by the group to register with PRS, saying it would only strengthen their pool of elected representatives, and reportedly open the way for the merger of Dayak-based parties. PRS currently has nine state assemblymen and six MPs.

Political observers, however, see the crisis has yet another of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud's strategies to stay in power.

One observer had reportedly said: "He creates the unrest to show the federal BN leaders that without him BN in Sarawak will disintegrate."

Ku Li says federal government is acting like a ‘Godfather’

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah(picture) says the federal government is behaving like a “Godfather” in refusing to pay oil royalties to Kelantan, in remarks suggesting the Kelantan prince and veteran Umno man is bent on continuing to speak out for his home state against the Najib administration.

He also pointed out in an interview with The Malaysian Insider that oil disputes had sparked the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979 and warned the federal government against denying the wishes of the public by depriving states of oil royalties.

“Ayatollah Khomeini was 91, when he led the uprising against the Shah over 30 years ago,” said the Gua Musang MP, who added the revolution was not only because the Iranian monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was a dictator but because he was misusing the country’s oil revenue.

The 72-year-old Kelantan prince, who is better known as Ku Li, was quick to dismiss any suggestions that he wanted to lead any kind of revolution in Malaysia.

But he continues to persist in his attacks against the federal government, and this has clearly caused some tension with his Umno colleagues.

Today, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin questioned Tengku Razaleigh’s loyalty to Umno and accused the Kelantan prince of trying to confuse the public over the oil royalty dispute.

He also defended the federal government’s refusal to pay oil royalties claimed by Kelantan, saying that it was in “accordance with law.”

In yesterday’s interview, Tengku Razaleigh said he was moving to establish a bi-partisan Federation Caucus in Parliament to examine ‘unhappy’ federal-state relations, including the dispute over oil royalties.

The federal government and the PAS-ruled Kelantan government are locked in a dispute over whether the state is entitled to five per cent royalty for oil extracted off its waters.

The Umno veteran has broken ranks with his party to weigh-in on the side of the state government by insisting Kelantan was entitled to the payments according to the Petroleum Development Act .

Tengku Razaleigh said the Federation of Malaya Agreement was signed in 1948 while Malaysia was formed in 1963, and a review was overdue.

“The Federal Government is behaving like a Godfather even though their power comes from the 13 states,” he said in likening Putrajaya’s heavy-handedness to that of the head of a criminal organization.

He added it was not only the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) led states that were unhappy with the Federal Government but also mentris besar of some Barisan Nasional (BN) states.

Despite his campaign against the federal government, Tengku Razaleigh said that Umno had nothing to fear because he is, and remains, a life member of the party.

“I am not a scheming fellow unlike some,” he said, adding a caucus was only a discussion group and a conduit for new ideas which is common in modern democracies.

He said the caucus would not be a voting bloc to oppose the government.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SPDP crisis turning for the worst?

Joseph Tawie
Thursday, 11 February 2010 18:41

KUCHING – The deputy secretary general of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), Paul Igai, said today that the party is aware of the move by the five elected representatives and three members of its supreme council to leave the party.

“Yes, we are aware of their move, but we still want them to come back,” said Igai who is also a political secretary to the Chief Minister.

He said: “We must, instead, reconsolidate and re-energise the party. Focus must be on the strength of the party and the Barisan Nasional in view of the coming state election.

“Parking permits must never be an option. They are still needed in the party,” said Igai.

He said the party president, William Mawan, had met the Chief Minister and the chairman of the State Barisan Nasional, Abdul Taib Mahmud, to explain the party crisis.

Political observers, however, see the crisis has worsened because of the move by the five elected representatives and three of the supreme council members to quit the party.

Decision to leave SPDP

The elected representatives are Sylvester Enteri (state assemblyman for Marudi), Peter Nansian (state assemblyman for Tasik Biru), Rosey Yunus (state assemblywoman for Bekenu), Paulus Gumbang (state assemblyman for Batu Danau) and Dr. Tiki Lafe (MP for Mas Gading).

The three supreme council members are Peter Gani, George Garai and Eda Egar.

NOTE: IN FACT ALL THE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ABOVE ARE PBB's Party members - planted 'MOLES' to destroy SPDP in time of crisis. William Mawan is too gullible to understand PBB Politics of 'break and rule' to perpetuate Taib rule of Sarawak. Taib's political strategy is create 'unrest' in BN component party to keep him in power for perpetuity and to show to the Federal BN leaders that without him BN in Sarawak will disintegrate.

According to highly-placed sources, the group met the Sarawak Chief Minister on Wednesday to inform him of their decision to leave SPDP. They are asking to be parked with Parti Rakyat Sarawak which is headed by James Masing.

Last Thursday, they met with the Prime Minister informing him of their decision to leave the party.

The sources said that they were told by the Prime Minister not to form another party as they might not be able to join Barisan Nasional later.

Maintaining status quo

But the Prime Minister was said to have told them to consult the Chief Minister as to which party they should be parked.

The crisis precipitated last month after Mawan dropped Enteri as secretary general and replaced him with state assemblyman for Ba’Kelalan Nelson Balang Rining,

Enteri accused Mawan of not honouring his promise of maintaining status quo after listing him as one of the “President’s men” before the party went for its election last year.

A PRS leader, who refused to be identified, has welcomed the move by the group to be parked with PRS as it would not only enlarge the party’s elected representatives, but would also open the way for the merger of Dayak-based parties.

Currently, PRS has nine state assemblymen and six MPs. — Malaysian Mirror