24 Jul 2010

Taib’s Top Gig

Taib’s Top Gig

The Said Business School, Oxford University

Taib’s Big Moment

As the news about Taib’s top gig in the UK started to break in the astonished host city of Oxford last week, anyone who was anyone in Sarawak was piling into planes (who paid?) to come and applaud the great moment.  If you were not invited on Taib’s big trip, then consider yourself out of the picture as far as he is concerned.

For tickets costing £1,000 a head, according to a forest group who enquired, the audience will be entertained with an opening speech by Abdul Taib Mahmud at the University’s Said Business School’s ‘Inaugural Global Islamic Branding and Marketing Forum’ on Monday 26th July.  That’s the top slot, courtesy of the University of Oxford.

Champions of  justice, freedom, democracy, open government, the environment and indigenous rights, all the great causes espoused by this proud university for hundreds of years, will be left to express their indignation outside. No wonder that the Said Business School is no stranger to controversy!

Why?

In order to find out why the school has decided to invite and indeed honour such a notorious individual, Sarawak Report delegated a journalist to make enquiries.   The answer would appear to be not unrelated to the hefty sponsorship of the event by the Tanjun Manis Food & Industrial Park, based of course in Sarawak.  Tanjun Manis began life as the ‘brainchild’ of Taib Mahmud back in the 1980s as a massive timber processing plant under the State-owned Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC).  This was where the millions of logs pouring out of Sarawak could be sawn up and processed and then transported to the specially-built deep sea port for loading onto  Japanese ships.  Those ships were the ones that the Japanese Tax authorities exposed just two years back as having paid millions and millions of ringgit in kickbacks (bribes) to companies controlled by Onn Mahmud, Taib’s little brother, who has numerous business tie-ups with Taib (see previous reports on this site).

Tanjun Manis - Thousands of Hectares of 'Pristine Land' have been made availble for 'Green Development'

Unfortunately for everyone, even Taib, the wood has now run out.  If Sarawak had been sustainably logged and the forests had been less greedily managed there would have course been a valuable timber trade to benefit Sarawak for future generations. So much for Taib’s self-promotion as ‘A Great CEO’.  Grab and run does not add up to great company management.  Needless to say, the Sarawak Stakeholders, the people of the country whose land the Taib’s have logged, have received very poor dividends indeed!  They have been left destitute with floods and droughts to contend with and no amenities, meagre food and rotten roads (no chance of a view of any of the Boy Racer’s Bugatti and Ferrari collection in Central Sarawak any time soon).

So Taib’s new big idea has been to diversify from being the world’s biggest timber exporter into the world’s biggest Halal Products Hub and he has taken himself off to Oxford University to promote it.  Tanjun Manis is also laughably entitling itself as ‘Green Development’, while promoting its deep sea port as an excellent location for expanding deep sea fishery of the region’s collapsing marine life.

Norah - keep it in the family

However, as long as there is money in it the long-suffering Sarawakians will know that the Taibs will be interested.  So interested in fact that in keeping with all business ventures in Sarawak, one of the Chief Minister’s closest relatives is in charge.  First cousin Norah Binti Abdul Rahman was appointed as the Chief Executive last year, after the end of the decades-long family feud between Taib and his displaced uncle.  Norah is now being touted as the lastest prospect for Taib’s successor.  At least she is family. Perhaps no surprise that she is also the MP for Tanjun Manis as well.  In Sarawak the Taibs always like to make sure that politics and business overlap in this deeply questionable fashion.

Oxford’s Embarrassment

These facts ought to be shocking to members of Oxford University.  However, to the contrary, the School is happily welcoming Norah along as well as her uncle to deliver her own key-note speech to the event.  So, how will the Dean, Ms Gay Haskins, who is opening the event, introduce her?  Presumably as the Chief Executive Officer and Political Representative of the lucky people of Tanjun Maris.

Professor Hamilton - Vice Chancellor of Oxford

Will Professor Andrew Hamilton, the august Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, who is also speaking at the opening, also have some words of praise?  Well done Norah you must be a fantastically exceptional woman of the highest calibre to have pursued two such incredibly demanding careers and to have achieved the support and approbation of your people at the same time.  Did you have any influential supporters at all?

When Taib Mahmud then follows these two ‘fellow academics’ with his own speech “The Role Of Muslim Nations In Rebuilding Today’s Global Economy” Global Economy”will he mention that in fact Sarawak is a mainly Christian State and that his Muslim family belongs to a minority faith?

Further Enquiries

Sarawak Report’s delegated reporter attempted to get to the bottom of the Said School’s position on these matters in a series of calls at the end of last week.  An initial call with Dr Paul Temporal, the organiser of the event, elicited the information that the invitation to Taib was “consistent with the University’s policy and commitment to free speech”.  He made the promise of a proper interview an hour later, but then unfortunately left his office.

A junior member of Dr Temporal’s team did acknowledge they ‘had heard something’ about the concerns over corruption, but explained that Temporal is the person to speak to because he works a lot in Malaysia, so he knows all about this.  So no pleas of ignorance then.

Another team worker did provide some useful information.  They said that a lot of sponsorship from Malaysia was sustaining the event and so the School had originally tried for the Malaysian PM, but he wasn’t available.  So they then turned to Taib Mahmud instead.  Needless to say Taib Mahmud has leapt at his chance at a diplomatic coup at a time when his once iron grip on Sarawak is looking rather more shaky and has filled up plane-loads of admirers and journalists to witness his moment of handed-down glory.  However, as the news gets round Oxford of the arrival of this undesirable, Taib should perhaps not bank on universal applause.  There are rumours of a demonstration outside the event.

Formal Questions to Oxford University

Oxford University - Noble Values?

Sarawak Report has now sent a series of formal questions to the Said Business School’s Press Office.  We regard the reply sent on Friday evening (after which the press office became unavailable on the telephone) as inadequate and failing to address all the questions asked.  We attach both the questions and the answers and will be working on receiving fuller explanations of the relationship between the Sarawak Government and Oxford University over the coming days.

OUR QUESTIONSspan>:

  1. Does the University/School have any guidelines on who they invite to speak or in the context of their policy on free speech are they happy to welcome anyone, including tyrants and criminals?
  2. If the School is happy to offer a platform to the Sarawak Chief Minister are they prepared to offer a similar opportunity to opposition voices from Malaysia, who do not receive access to the media in their own country?
  3. Is the school concerned that it is offering kudos and credibility to Abdul Taib Mahmud in the run up to a key election?
  4. Is the school happy to be associated with the business ventures of Taib Mahumd, as promoted in the Islamic Business Forum, which is supported by the Sarawak Timber Industry, with which the Chief Minister and his family are intimately connected?
  5. Does The University/Said Business School have any guidelines on who they will accept sponsorship/take money from? Also can the School inform us what organisations based in Sarawak are providing any form of sponsorship to the Said Business School or to any Oxford University Funds associated with the School?
  6. Has the School researched the background of Abdul Taib Mahmud in terms of the widespread and documented evidence available of gross corruption, human rights abuses, environmental devastation and electoral fraud all associated with his 30 year regime?
  7. If they are aware of these issues can they issue a statement on why they think it appropriate to accept money from a Sarawak State company, supported by the State Timber Industry, and why they think it appropriate to support his regime by giving this sort or promotional boost in the run up to an election?
  8. Who is paying for the flight and travel costs of what amounts to almost the entire Sarawak senior Ministerial team who are attending this high profile event?

THEIR REPLY

Please see below for our response to your questions

Does the University/School have any guidelines and governance for inviting speakers to the University?
“The University is by its nature a place of academic enquiry and debate. It is committed to a culture of free, open and robust discussion, and to freedom of speech within the law.

The University does not publish guidelines on the issuing of invitations to speakers.

The Chief Minister is Malaysia’s senior representative to the Forum which follows up work undertaken in Malaysia by Dr Paul Temporal on Islamic branding. ”

Do we have a written policy on who we take funding from?

“The University is currently considering how best to advise those within the University who are considering sponsorship. The provision of such advice might include legal guidelines for such arrangements, practical considerations and an overview of sponsorship issues. At the moment, there is no formal University-wide policy governing the acceptance of sponsorship.”

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  • http://sarawakheadhunter.blogspot.com/ Al Tugauw

    Sarawak Headhunter's email to the Oxford University Council

    c.c. Said Business School

    Dear Sirs,

    It has come to our attention that Taib Mahmud, erstwhile Chief Minister of Sarawak, has been invited to speak on "The role of Muslim nations in rebuilding today’s global economy" at the Oxford Global Islamic Branding and Marketing Forum to be held between 26-27 July 2010.

    That is rather ironic considering the environmental and economic destruction and devastation he has brought to the land and native communities of his own State through uncontrolled logging, corruption, self-enrichment, dam-building, forcible displacement of natives from their ancestral (native customary rights) lands, etc.

    You may read the full reports at Sarawak Headhunter's blog and Sarawak Report, amongst many other blogs and websites concerned about the dire plight of the poor natives and other people of Sarawak.

    Taib Mahmud is certainly one of the most corrupt politicians in Malaysia and has cheated, bribed and intimidated his way into many electoral "victories". The only reason he has not been investigated or charged with corruption is the reluctance of the Federal Government to let the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to do its job, since the very survival of the present ruling party, the Barisan Nasional, having lost 5 states to the opposition in the previous national elections, depends on the number of seats which the state component parties led by him contribute.

    No Sarawakian in his right mind would consider him to be "the most successful Chief Minister since Independence" – the most corrupt, surely!

    His leadership has certainly not transformed Sarawak from a poor and backward State to one of the most progressive state in the country now as his "biography" on your website puts it. Sarawakians would certainly like to know who the people are that are enjoying five times better standard of living as compared to that in the early years of Independence.

    At least 60% of the population of Sarawak are barely surviving on an income of RM300 (USD100) or less per month, way below the official poverty level. Tens of thousands of natives who have been unable to find jobs in the state or who have been kicked off their land by Taib's uncaring government to make way for his and his family's crony loggers and plantation developers, have migrated to Malaya and elsewhere to seek employment.

    The so-called era of massive industrialisation and the implementation of High Income Economy heralded by the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy or SCORE is not going to benefit the ordinary people of Sarawak other than to keep them enslaved to the system. The "High Income" will only accrue to Taib, his family, their cronies and henchmen.

    Indisputably, Taib is the architect of Sarawak's exploitation, corruption and devastation. He has spared no efforts in galvanizing his family, cronies and henchmen and various political parties and machinery of the government to become a dynamic force in that exploitation, corruption and devastation, which will ensure that Sarawak will remain their personal fiefdom up to the year 2020 and beyond.

    Is this a man whom you would want to be associated with "Global Islamic Branding and Marketing"?

    Al Tugauw

    Sarawak Headhunter

    http://sarawakheadhunter.blogspot.com/2010/07/sar

    • keling

      Ayaaaa…

      Taib Mahmud — TM

      Unknown source said TM has $200 Billion of wealth…

      Pls find that out..

      Stupid Oxford Uni…invited the most cheater, liar, hipocrite.. corrupted man of the world…

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  • leekh

    Oxford and Cambridge are the brains to rationalize all the evils perpetuated by the colonialists. Attack anyone in the name of "free trade" who refuse to kow tow to them. Accuse all the natives who try to get better terms for their goods of breaking "the law". Oxford is only following their owl tradition!

  • aca

    free speech? oxford, you provide such space to Idi Amin, Mugabe, the generals of Burma and North Korea president?

    darn, didnt know oxford opens its arms to embrace corrupts.

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  • Keri Mackey

    Poor Oxford for not knowing who Abdul Taib Mahmud really is.

    This proves that academic excellence does not mean all-knowledgeable in all spectrum of brainscan. Oh, one last thing, it's Tanjung Manis (formerly Tanjung Manis(sperm))NOT Tanjun Manis!Taib is Norah's cousin and Not his uncle beside Mp, she's Chairman of Tanjung Manis Halal Hub.

  • http://www.forestsmonitor.org Stuart Wilson

    Oxford University and The Said Business School

    If as it claims, "The University is … committed to a culture of free, open and robust discussion, and to freedom of speech within the law" the people of Sarawak have a right to reply.

    If the people who have suffered at the hands of the Taib Regime are not offered the same opportunity to present their views on the Taib business model as has been presented to Taib and his cronies, the reply above is disingenuous.

    Are those people 'free' to leave Sarawak, will they be given passports or refused as has happened in the past. Are they 'free' from oppression and intimidation from police and military controlled by the Chief Minister? No. Are those people 'free' to attend the event at which this person will be raised upon a podium? will they be given a voice in the room? Will they be allowed to put hard questions to Taib and other speakers? If not, where is the "open and robust discussion"?

    Taib has built and maintained his billions by stepping on the heads of the majority Sarawak's people. Is Oxford University doing the same?

    The challenge is there, the claims you have made about being a champion of "open and robust debate" and "freedom of speech" should be lived up to or the reputation of the University and those that currently inhabit it sacrificed. What are you going to do to ensure these ideals are present in the room when it counts?

    Stuart Wilson

    Director

    Forests Monitor

    UK

    • SteveY

      The history of North Borneo under the White Rajah that we read in our Cambridge/Oxford days ought to be changed reflecting a more Sarawakian/Malaysian perspective rather than English translation of who our land was. The British came to "exploit" our land and resources. And now, they have invites a White-haired CM to reconfirm their "exploitative victory". What a shame?

  • pantak kapur

    Taib's regime have changed History Text books taught in school. Famous road names and signages, which is good for tourism are changed to local names who some are corruptors amd of qiestionable characters. Now Oxford wants to promote the decaying Taib! Oxford surely will loose my respect.

  • careformalaysia

    Continue to expose the corruption deeds of Taib, his family and their cronies. Let them know that there is justice and they have to pay for it. What's the point to accumulate so much wealth when you can't even stand tall and walk straight in front of others? what's the point of all the wealth when you are label as the biggest "robber" in the history of Sarawak?

  • Justice Required

    All the money that has been donated to Oxford by Taib Mahmud has no real value academically at all by now. What is left with that money, is pain,suffering,tears and sweat of the Native People of Sarawak. The Taib and Rahman Families had been plundering the State either directly or indirectly for the last 40 over years of their rule with the agreement of the Malayan (Malaysian) Government.

    My parting word to Oxford, DO YOU HAVE THE HEART TO SPEND THE MONEY, BLACK MONEY FROM SARAWAK!!!!! – Answer that please.

  • tsunami final asshol

    OXford university invited the most corrupted person in Sarawak???? Its stupidity at its lowest… shame on you OXford University…..i hereby changed your university to Awkward University effective immediately..

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  • http://none Left Eye

    What family feud? It is just another "wayang kulit".If they do not quarrel,Melanau will not hold on to power in Sarawak.It is all a political ploy by uncle and nephew. What a shit?

    At that time PBDS was to strong and all those Political game was done to blur the people of Sarawak.Wake up all dayaks of Sarawak..think…think..blink..the time to change is NOW

  • http://none Anak Tiri

    Our CM has obviously sold his soul and his family's to the devil. Advise him to read divine revelations of hell on website. Satan will devise fitting punishment for him and it will be for all eternity – without end. I would make amends and restitution if I were him.

  • http://none Anak Tiri

    IT IS GOING TO BE A SAD DAY FOR ALL DAYAKS NOW IN SARAWAK AS TUN RAHMAN'S DAUGHTER HAS BEEN GROOMED BY TM TO TAKE OVER THE WHEEL.

    ARE YOU AJN,JJM,WMI AND OTHER DAYAKS LEADERS ARE JUST HAPPY TO FOLLOW THEIR BACKSIDE?? SAD,SAD,SAD..WHERE IS YOUR DIGNITY MEN? MARYAH SEBAGAI LELAKI..NADAI WAI,LENYAU BEGITU AJA.TUYU

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  • http://none observer

    WHEN WILL WE DAYAKS EVER LEARN? WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?

    LET US ALL JOIN HANDS AND CARRY ALL THOSE DAYAKS WHO ARE FOLLOWING TM NOW TO COME OUT AND FOLLOW US.I WANT ALL DAYAKS YBs WHO FOLLOW tm TO THROW THE AZIMAT(TALISMAN) GIVEN TO THEM ESPECIALLY CHRISTIAN YBs AS YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS.OUR GOD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN TM'S AZIMAT.THAT AZIMAT BELONGS TO LUCIFA/SATAN.BE WISE AND ACCEPT JESUS CHROST AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.AMEN!!

  • http://none RAJA MANGGENG

    REPENT TAIB REPENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. STEP DOWN GRACEFULLY AND GIVE BACK 70% WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN AND KEEP 30% FOR YOURSELF AND FAMILY .

    PLEASE REPENT AND STEP DOWN GRACEFULLY NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.THIS IS A FRIENDLY MESSAGE TO TM'S FAMILY.THE WATER IS JUST ABOUT TO BE BOILING NOW. REPENT TM REPENT

  • http://none Crying without tears

    1.TAKE THE BIDAYUH LAND

    2.TAKE THE IBAN LAND

    3.TAKE THE MELANAU LAND

    4.TAKE THE BERAWAN LAND

    5.RAPE THE FOREST AND LEFT THE AREAS BARE.

    6.TAKE THE MOUNTAINS

    7.TAKE THE ROADS AND BRIDGES PROJECT

    8.TAKE THE RIVER SANDS.

    9.TAKE THE SHITS TOO,

    10. USES SEDC AS A FRONT COMPANY TO CHANNEL FUNDS TO CMS.

    AMBIL SAJA TM,GOHET SAJA TM,GOHET GOHET

  • http://none TMG says…

    Someone is feeling the pinch already. Why do you practice the politic of Deceit,Vengeance,power abuser and VIOLENCE TM?? Why??

  • http://none Watch Dog says…

    Can anyone,a good Samaritan banker(s) please investigate the wealth of Sarawak politicians who are known to be corrupt?

    UBS,Zurich especially.

    Names are:-

    1.Abdul Rahman Bin Yakub

    2.Abdul Taib Bin Mahmud

    3.Raziah Binte Mahmud.

    4.Arif,Onn,Ibrahim bin Mahmud(Taib's

    brothers).

    5.Any others bearing Sarawak or

    Malaysian address.

    Please help us as we want to recover our state money that they have stolen.Help us GOD,help us.

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  • babeh_kuran_nephew

    To all Dayak@Bidayuh. Taib Mahmud now are in deep trouble. Almost every country where Taib keep his money now are doing their investigation on money laundering. All his children Jamilah Hamidah Taib, Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib, Hanifah Hajar Taib are under investigation too. Many company and other company all over the world start to stop doing business with company associate with Taib’s family and cronies. Most of this company do not want to be investigate by foreign country. All Taib’s cronies are still working have been bribe. Hundred’s of transaction of money worth million’s ringgit have been done in foreign bank. Total amount of transaction near billions of ringgit.

    Note for Taib:-

    “If you can easily bribe anyone, or any cronies. Someone else will easily bribe them. Your money will never enough for them. Do you have enough money to bribe back all your cronies and business involvement when someone willing to pay higher price for it? This bribe worth 10 times of your business value. It start circulating from a business value RM1mill until hundred’s of million.”

    Please take note this.

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