Over the past several days Sarawak Report has revealed a number of facts relating to the Taib Family’s vast foreign property investments. Our investigations have exposed a real estate portfolio worth hundreds of millions of US dollars in Canada, Australia and the United States and we have shown how they are owned and directed by Taib’s own brothers and children.
However, so far, the Chief Minister has failed to respond to our allegations or to answer two questions, ‘Where did the money come from?’ and ‘How much of this property does he beneficially own?’.
Indeed, the Chief Minister has made only one significant response to our well-documented exposes. This week he forbade all newspapers in Sarawak to publish news about the lavish riches enjoyed by himself and his family. Such an act merely shows the extent of his dilemma and his embarrassment. Clearly he cannot deny the Taib family ownership of the properties in question, because it is all documented in official registries in different countries, which are available on-line to the public. He has therefore only silence and suppression to turn to in order to hide his embarrassment.
This is a sign of weakness and failure in an old man. Surely he knows that everyone in Kuching is talking about his greed? Does he plan to ban all conversations including the phrases “Chief Minister” and “unexplained wealth” in the same sentence?
Meanwhile, he continues to support the ill-treatment and attacks by logging companies and police against native peoples who are trying to protect their rightful lands from rapacious timber and plantation companies. He is doing this even though the Malaysian Federal Courts have upheld that ownership of Native Customary Rights Lands cannot be removed by the State.
Why does Taib Mahmud always support the actions of the timber companies against his people? Could it be because they are paying him in kickbacks and that this is how the Taib family afford their International Property Empire? He needs to reassure the world that this is not the case, but it seems he cannot.
Again Abdul Taib Mahmud needs to explain how he and his family came by their riches and he must reveal just how much of the Taib family property empire is owned and directly controlled by him.