Taib’s Bomoh confided before he died that he had warned the Chief Minister in 2003 that he should stand down within 7 years! However, this piece of advice apparently signalled the beginning of the end Taib’s relationship with his long-trusted soothsayer.
As we recently revealed [see Part I of our exclusive revelations], Taib had retained the witchdoctor for decades as his secret adviser and practitioner of black magic. However, on this occasion the Chief Minister found his guidance for the first time unpalatable. According to close observers, the relationship between the two men began to break down from this moment.
“In 2003 the Bomoh said “step down or it will be a disaster for you”, explains one confident of Ustaz, “However, Taib had come to think that his power was God-given and he did not need the Bomoh anymore. This incident might have angered Taib and his family members and therefore Ustaz was slowly dropped and side-lined”.
The confidant believes that Ustaz became ever more troubled as the ‘first family’ started to become arrogant and over-reach themselves in later years. He felt they had started to believe they could do whatever they liked and were above the law and was dismayed at their treatment of people who got in their way.
Sarawak Report is publishing this material because its source is a deep insider with impeccable credentials and access to information on this subject. Our informant tells us that this breakdown of trust was followed by another major disagreement when the Bomoh advised against Taib’s public reconciliation with his uncle Tun Rahman Ya’ kub in 2007.
Taib had fallen out with the previous Chief Minister during the so-called ‘Ming Court Affair’ in 1987. To many this seemed to be a mysterious political feud, but it actually had its origins in an ugly family matter between the two men. Ustaz had been a close adviser to Taib when he split with his uncle and hugely disapproved of Tun Rahman.
However, after many years of emnity during which Taib and his family referred to the uncle as ‘lanun’ (sea pirate), the Chief Minister eventually saw political advantages in promoting Tun Rahman’s daughter, Norah Tun Abdul Rahman, after the family made an advantageous marriage link with the brother of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. So he decided to mend relations.
This made the Bomoh very angry, but Taib saw to it that by the next year in 2008 Norah was placed unopposed into a Federal Parliamentary seat and settled into a top commercial role as ‘Executive Chairman of Tanjung Manis Halal Hub Development’ (a project that plans to destroy another huge area of Sarawak’s remaining natural environment)! Norah now likes to pose as an ‘Entrepreneurial Malaysian MP’, as she is gushingly described in the Tanjun Manis website, but like all the youthful Taib family female proteges she owes her grand position, salary and titles to family connections rather than business prowess.
By the middle of 2008 the Bomoh was a totally disappointed man, say his confidantes. Sick and broken, he left for Pakistan and died on 3rd October. After his death Taib’s brother Tufail engaged 2 more Pakistani bomohs and brought them to Sarawak where astonished on-lookers witnessed them chanting and praying in the middle of a court room as they attempted to assist Tufail in the outcome of a recent court case. However, it has been pointed out that Taib’s corrupt control over the judiciary will be of more tangible benefit when it comes to influencing the outcome of the case.
However, the testimony of those who were close to Ustaz during his heyday as Taib’s advisor provides a fascinating insight into the Chief Minister’s bizarre and superstitious habits. For example, the Bomoh would always encourage Taib to grow his beard before an election or a crisis, giving those in the know a clear indication of what plans were afoot:
“Taib himself would consult Ustaz in the dates of nomination and polling for State Elections, which would normally fall on ’9′ or a multiple of ’9′ like ’18′ and ’27′”, explains one insider in an authored document provided to Sarawak Report.
The same document goes on to say the superstitious CM would also would also consult Ustaz for ‘important political strategies, both State and Federal’:
Firstly, “for dealing with Federal Ministers, especially new PM’s, Ustaz’s advice was indispensable”. Secondly, “to appoint and dismiss State Ministers and CEOs of both Sate-owned and Taib-family-owned companies”. Thirdly, ” The other members of the Taib family always consult Ustaz on important matters like investments both locally and overseas, the most suitable dates and time for earth breaking, topping out ceremonies, house warming, engagement and marriage, and also the appointment of key personnel in their own companies etc.”
Many in their inner circle believe that the Taibs think that the help of their bomohs has assisted immensely in Taib’s political career and has assisted him and his family to excel in their obtaining of riches and amassing of properties.
If this is the case, Sarawak Report wonders if Taib’s belated decision to abandon the advice of his once trusted Bomoh and to refuse to listen to his common sense warning that an old man like him should realise when his time is up, could signal the end of that run of luck and the destruction of all that ill-gotten wealth?