Thursday, 22nd July 2010
This article was published in Sarawak Report on Tuesday, July 13th 2010
One Shocking Report After Another
Sarawak’s PKR Leader Baru Bian has expressed his “utter disgust” at the extent of the foreign properties owned by the Chief Minister and his family, as revealed in a series of recent exposes by Sarawak Report. ”For us it has been shocking as we read one report after another”, he said.
The opposition leader also explained that the information, which has been kept hidden until now, has served to further highlight the “huge disparity” between the Chief Minister and ordinary people in Sarawak, who are amongst the poorest in Malaysia, despite the natural wealth of the state.
Bian, who inspected some of the properties owned by the Taibs in a recent visit to London, nevertheless fears that the billions of ringgit of assets uncovered by Sarawak Report in Canada, the USA, London and Australia are only the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the Taibs’ stolen wealth. His challenge to the Chief Minister is uncompromising, “Taib’s silence since the first report implies there is a strong degree of truth to these reports. There has been no response from him yet. We want a denial and if it is not true he needs to take action. If not, there is an irresistible conclusion that he is definitely the man, The Godfather, behind the source”.
Sarawak Report has made clear it has documented evidence to back up all its revelations about the Taibs’ property and that the vast majority of the information is available to members of the public online, through official registries and court documents. This evidence will be made available to bodies such as the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) on request.
Meanwhile, Baru Bian emphasises that one of the first priorities for PKR on taking power would be to gain restitution of this wealth. “This is the wealth of the people and just as restitution has been done in the Philippines and Indonesia, it must be delivered here in Sarawak”. The PKR leader also pointed out that in China, the country on which the Chief Minister is relying to support his much-criticised dam building exercise, any embezzlers from the State are harshly dealt with.
Where is the MACC?
In a final comment Bian issued a weary plea to the MACC. “All my long-held suspicions [about the Taibs' wealth] are now confirmed and it all leads to the Godfather. The MACC must take action immediately because it involves the huge wealth of the state. He cannot remain Chief Minister”. The PKR leader however acknowledged that the anti-corruption agencies have a dismal record under the present regime. “If we want to do anything about this we have to change who is in power” he said, calling for unity and focus among all opposition forces in Sarawak.
AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN