Wednesday, 20th April 2011
If one look at the sentiments on the ground before Sarawak's 10th State Election, one will not believed it that Taib managed to retain Balingian with big majority.
EC promised to look at money politic during the election was just a rethoric as the commission failed to take action against those that practiced money politic. This was proven with Taib Mahmud practiced money politic undetected as revealed by Clare Rewcastle Brown.
Please see the report by Clare Rewcastle Brown which was first published in Free Malaysia Today.
Sarawak has changed and all Sarawakians know it. Chief Minister Taib Mahmud also knows it as he sits in his headquarters at Demak Jaya aware that all around him the people of the capital, his home town of Bintulu, Sibu, Miri and across the country have mobilised against him and want him out.
So strong and so obvious was the unity and determination of those population centres that Taib did not dare cheat too heavily and obviously in the urban areas (apart from some outrageous exceptions, like Senadin) the opposition swept to victory, more than doubling their seats and wiping out BN as a force in the cities.
But Taib cheated blatantly and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak colluded in this.
So what forms of rigging were used?
Taib used his sister-in-law Gertie Chong to bring the money. Gertie is Taib’s favourite brother Arip Mahmud’s second wife.
Her name pops up as a major shareholder in a good number of Taib’s crony companies.
She is a major shareholder of Jaya Tiasa, a plantation-based company which Taib gave Arip who then sold it to tycoon Tiong Hiew King of Rimbunan Hijau for a fat profit.
Gertie is also a fellow director and shareholder with Taib in Mesti Bersatu, and a shareholder in the Royal Mulu resort and Miri Properties, which owns the Marriott in Miri among other ventures.
She also is a shareholder in Lanco Plantations, along with Taib.
Funds from crony
Gertie has been associated with so many of the Taib family business ventures that have taken advantage of their political stranglehold on the state that it is no surprise that she was brought in to help with the emergency operation of keeping them in power at whatever cost.
Gertie was the one who was charged with bringing the bags of money over from Sibu to bribe and bully the impoverished voters.
This is how small and desperate the circle of Taib’s supporters has become.
She handed it out to the Taib’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) workers who then went round the houses distributing RM1,000 per door to people.
Last election (2006) it was only RM50! More than anything the wild inflation of Taib’s bribes tells you the level of his deep unpopularity.
And where did this money come from?
It came from Shin Yang, a crony timber and plantation company which has relied on Taib for the fat concessions that have turned its owner Ling Chiong Ho from being a barge handler in Sibu, working for Taib’s brother Onn Mahmud’s Achipelago shipping monopoly just a few years ago, into a multi-millionaire.
So, of course Shin Yang had to cough up.
As far as Taib was concerned he was calling in favours – the sort of favours that gangsters call in.
Just look at the evidence on Shin Yang’s palm concessions alone, all handed to them via private deals with Taib Mahmud’s Resources and Planning Ministry.
In just one case alone, Shin Yang is the major shareholder of Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, which used to be a government venture.
Taib, in a typical move, privatised it into a public company in 1990 and Shin Yang was allowed to buy over 37% of the company.
Since then Sarawak Oil Palms says it has expanded its land-bank to 65,000 hectares, with 35,000 planted with oil palm in Sarawak.
Gerald Rentap Jabu, son of Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu (who also bought his way into scraping back his Layar seat) is also on the Board of Sarawak Oil Palms.
Until recently, Taib’s brother and proxy, Onn Mahmud, held shares in the company through his own nominee, Shea Kin Kwok, identified as a key player in the Japanese timber kick-back scandal.
Yet despite this Taib’s majority in Balingian was slashed from some 6,000 to around 2,000 on the day, so sickened have his people been by his greed and land grabbing
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