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1 Nov 2014

Taib The Link Man In Web Of Plunder

UPDATE - Taib tries to ban the 'Money Logging' book.

By Joe Fernandez at Free Malaysia Today
Petaling Jaya. Swiss author and human rights campaigner Lukas Straumann who released his book, “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia”, claims that Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, his four children and his siblings have stakes in 333 companies in Malaysia and in another 418 spread around the globe.
Based on information available from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), the Taib family’s stake in the top 14 Malaysian companies alone total RM3.95 billion, added the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund Director.

“I am sure there are more stakes unofficially held, but we came to a figure of RM3.9 billion for the Taib family assets in these 14 companies alone,” said Straumann at the launch of his book here, as part of a global tour, after the first launch in Kuching on Wednesday. “This is only the tip of the iceberg, of course.”
Straumann conceded that Taib, who graduated as a lawyer, has been cautious enough to keep his name out of public records. However, he stressed, that one had only to connect the dots to realise that the trails everywhere led back to Taib.

He cited as an example Taib’s claim that he only gave his daughter, Jamilah Taib, some money in 1981 to go into business but was not personally involved.
Straumann, in dispelling this notion, flashed a mortgage document dated October 1996, lending CAD20 million (RM58.7 million) to Jamilah for her to hold in trust. The document cites an agreement dated December 1995 where Jamilah, Onn Mahmud (Abdul Taib’s brother), Leila Taib (late wife), Mahmud Taib (son), Rahman Taib (son), and two companies are the parties.
“This has to be a financial agreement. This is clear evidence that there is a financial relationship between Taib-linked Sakto Development Corporation in Canada, Jamilah, and all the Taib family members,” alleged Straumann in claiming that Taib is the link man in all deals since Sakto the charger of the properties in the mortgage.

“All his children and his wife, plus two offshore companies, did a major CAD20 million deal and he claims he is not involved. That can’t be so!”
Straumann dismissed Taib’s notion that foreigners are interfering in Sarawak’s affairs and have no right to do so.
“Corruption is not just based in Malaysia, because the transaction is being done overseas secretly. A property in the US changes hands, while in Malaysia, something else is happening,” he said in arguing that foreigners are already involved as institutions. “The crimes can be prosecuted internationally.”
“This is also one of the reasons why we want to go after corrupt individuals and politicians. We have to do international research because they are internationally linked.”

Several panelists at the book launch were in consensus that the Orang Asal displaced by logging and hydroelectric projects were also a matter of concern in the peninsula on human rights grounds.
There were also financial implications for them since the Employee’s Provident Fund was one of the funding institutions and this translated into higher tariffs by Tenaga Nasional.
“Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia” is available from www.money-logging.org and many other sources, including: Australia – Asia Book Room; Canada – Octopus Books, Ottawa; UK – NHBS, Amazon, Star Books; USA – Amazon; Malaysia – wherever books are sold

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