Swiss Ngo Calls For Immediate Freeze Of Taib S Assets


 


Switzerland-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has called for an immediate freeze of former Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud's assets, following the latter's demise yesterday.
The NGO's executive director Lukas Straumann also wants the government and judiciary to reopen investigations into the origin of Taib's and his closest family members' "enormous wealth".
"We call on the MACC to reopen its investigation into Taib's assets which was closed in 2016 for political reasons.
"All of Taib’s personal bank accounts and other assets should be frozen immediately to prevent that illicitly acquired wealth from being appropriated by family members,” Straumann said in a statement today.
It is worth noting that BMF had been a vocal critic of Taib for many years, including penning a book about the alleged riches and corruption linked to the late senior politician.
Bruno Manser Fund executive director Lukas StraumannTaib's daughter Jamilah Taib Murray has sued BMF in the Civil Court of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland for defamation after the NGO linked her and her real estate investments to corruption in the Sarawak logging industry.
'Abuse of power, corruption'
Elaborating, Straumann claimed that in his 60-year tenure as a public servant, Taib acquired an enormous amount of wealth despite constitutional prohibitions for the Sarawak chief minister and governor to get involved in commercial enterprise.
"In 2021, a legal opinion commissioned by the Bruno Manser Funds found that Taib’s involvement as a director and shareholder of Malaysian company Ramah Jelita Sdn Bhd had breached the Sarawak Constitution. The company was involved in land deals in Sarawak.
"Taib has also been accused of abuse of public office and corruption when allowing the privatisation of Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS), Sarawak’s largest state-owned company, into the hands of his closest family members in the early 1990s.
“During Taib’s tenure as chief minister, CMS benefited from public contracts worth over RM4.9 billion (USD1.4 billion)," Straumann alleged.
Besides, Sarawak also lost the majority of its primary rainforests to industrial logging and plantations under Taib's tenure, he added.
Taib died at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur early yesterday morning. He was 87.
The last rites for Taib were performed at the National Mosque, before his remains were flown back to Kuching, Sarawak.
Following Taib's demise, condolences poured in from ministers, who described it as a great loss to Sarawak and the country.
The Sarawak government declared two days of mourning, during which flags would be flown at half-mast throughout the state, with entertainment events postponed. - Mkini


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