15 Oct 2010

Taib Handed Rockefeller $100 million – Whistleblower’s Letter

Taib Handed Rockefeller $100 million – Whistleblower’s Letter


Company letterhead. Boyert wrote as the former Vice-President of Sakti International to the majority shareholder, Abdul Taib Mahmud

Following the tragic death of Ross Boyert, which we announced earlier this week, Sarawak Report has decided to publish in full the amazing allegations contained in a personal letter he wrote to his employer, the Chief Minister of Sarawak.

The 388 page document, sent after Boyert was sacked in November 2006, begged Taib to put to an end what he described as appalling treatment in return for his years of hard work building the family’s US property company, Sakti International, into a multi-million dollar business.

He also complained how he had to rescue the disastrous mismanagement of the company by Taib’s son, Rahman and put a halt to a catastrophic building project by his son-in-law Sean Murray, condemned on safety-grounds by the San Fransciso authorities.

[TO VIEW THE FULL DOCUMENT CLICK ON THE ICONS BENEATH THIS ARTICLE. SOME FAMILY DETAILS ERASED].

Key revelations

In the letter Boyert detailed bitter divisions and rivalries between Taib family members; described what he regarded as bullying tactics by Taib’s ambitious son-in-law, the Canadian Sean Murray, and related how Murray bragged about the Chief Minister’s extreme wealth.  When Murray approached Boyert to help run the family’s US properties in 1994, he even disclosed Taib’s billionaire status and revealed that the Chief Minister had just met with the multi-billionaire banker David Rockefeller and made an astonishing deposit of money:

Indiscreet? Boyert acquired much of his information from family members

Junior partner - Hisham (Sean) Murray, Jamilah's younger husband

Empire building

The letter goes on to explain how it was Boyert’s deteriorating relationship with Sean Murray that led to his summary dismissal twelve years later and a bitter court case. In that period Boyert describes a family torn apart by rivalries and greed, which as an employee he strove to manage.

The worst jealousies, he described were those between Taib’s sons, Rahman and Mahmud, and his son-in-law, Hisham (Sean Murray), who they believed was ’Empire Building’ within the network of Taib property companies based in Canada, the US, Britain and Australia.

“As Rahman had told me many, many times, Sean was busy empire building, I was immediately on guard”,  wrote Ross, as he explained to the Chief Minister why he had been reluctant to accept Murray’s original announcement that he had replaced  Rahman (Sulaiman) Taib as President of Sakti International in 2005.  Boyert angered the Canadian by insisting on documented evidence, signed by all the company’s official family shareholders that Murray was now in charge.

Murray takeover

Ridiculed? - son Mahmud Taib and his wife

In later passages, which must have further dismayed the Chief Minister, Boyert also confided that Murray had frequently made sneering and disparaging comments about both his sons to him as an employee:

“It [a remark] reminded me how Sean would speak ill of Rahman when he was discussing their interaction.  In fact, in a recent call, Sean said the board meetings he attended droned on-and-on with Mahmud constantly talking but saying nothing.  He couldn’t believe how stupid it was and if not for him, the Kuching Convention Center would have been a total failure since he changed the design facing away, rather than towards, the river.  I did not, and do not, feel such comments are appropriate..”

A tactic that backfired

It is likely however, that by confiding in this way to Abdul Taib Mahmud, a man he had met but a few times, and by revealing that he was fully aware of the Chief Minister’s great wealth and commanding role in the company (which was meant to be a closely-guarded secret), Boyert had naively sealed his own fate.  Instead of gaining sympathy, it is likely he would have incurred the old man’s ire and convinced him that with all this knowledge, he was a dangerous liability to his company and reputation.

Indeed, far from interceding to reach a settlement, as Ross had hoped, Taib Mahmud left Murray to pursue a devastating counter-suit against Boyert’s complaint of unfair dismissal, accusing him on numerous counts of embezzlement and dishonesty.

Private investigation discredited Boyert

The accusations were made known throughout Ross’s business circle as a result of enquiries made by private detectives hired by Dirk Schenkkan, a partner at the Taib’s top California law firm, Howard Rice.  Although these accusations were never upheld and both suit and counter-suit were eventually dropped, the effect was to leave Boyert’s career and reputation in tatters.

During this legal battle the Boyerts’ local Atherton police station have confirmed they filed numerous reports of personal harassment, however it was not possible to establish any proof of a targeted campaign against the family.

Murray accused of bully-boy tactics

Several times in the letter Ross Boyert focuses on what he sees as Taib’s son-in-law’s high-handed approach.  He claims that while he sought a compromise, from the moment Sean took over he seemed set on confrontation.

Hungry for power?

On another occasion Boyert expressed how he was forced against procedure to renovate a property for a female family friend named Marta, whose relationship with the Taibs baffled him. He questioned Sean’s judgement as the Director of what had always been a secretive company with plenty of information it wished to keep hidden.

Poor judgement?

Sean Murray and Taib’s foreign property empire

Boyert’s clash with Sean Murray has highlighted questions about the Canadian’s true position in the Taib family businesses.

Majority shareholder Abdul Taib Mahmud

Known as Hisham since his marriage to Jamilah Taib, the Chief Minister’s daughter, he has taken an increasing role in managing the Taib family’s foreign properties.  He is 3 years younger than her and was one year out of school at the time she founded Sakto Development Corporation in Canada in 1983.

However, numerous members of Murray’s own family are now employed by the Sakto group of companies and they have even started to claim that the whole property empire is actually a ’Murray family business’ begun by Sean’s father and twin brother.

This claim, which is untrue, is repeated on two Wikepedia website entries. One relating to Ridgeford Properties, the Taib’s London-based company, run by Sean’s cousin Chris Murray claims:

Sakto was founded by the Taibs not Murrays

Another entry on Chris Murray himself alleges:

Misleading information

In fact Ridgeford’s public company records show it was founded by a Taib-related company called Astar Investments and funded by a loan from an allied company called Tess Investments.  Ridgeford’s 2009 Financial Report shows that it continues to be supported by £15.5 million pounds of largely interest free and unsecured loans made by Tess investments, ie the Taibs.

What Murray ‘family business’?

Likewise, the first Directors of Sakto Development Corporation in Canada  in 1983, were Jamilah and Mahmud Taib and their uncle, Taib’s brother Onn Mahmud.  Sean Murray is not listed as a Director till 1992,  although he had founded an allied company, Sakto Property Management with Jamilah in 1987, the year they married.

Again, Sakti International, where Boyert worked in the US, was incorporated in 1987 with Mahmud, Sulaiman and Jamilah Taib and their two uncles Onn and Arip Mahmud as Directors and Shareholders.  Sean did not take office until 2006.

Position but not power

In Australia public records show that Sean Murray became a Director of Sitehost Pty, another major Taib property company,  in May 1994.  However the main shareholders remain the late Mrs Lejla Taib and her four children, Jamilah, Mahmud, Hanifa and Sulaiman.  Sean Murray has no shares.

There is no reason to believe he or his family members have controlling shares in the other property companies, despite an increasingly active and important managerial role.

Sarawak Report therefore concludes that it may suit the Taibs and flatter the Murrays to conceal the real ownership of this property empire by describing it as a ‘Murray family business’, but that employees like Ross Boyert know exactly who is in charge.

Secret holdings

Thanks to Boyert we now also know that in an apparent attempt to conceal their ownership further, the Taibs transferred transferred Sakti International to an offshore company based in Jersey in the Channel Islands, named Sogo Holdings Limited in 1997.   Here the company’s ownership is registered under Deutsche Bank International Limited, performing a paid service to act as ‘nominee’.

Likewise, Ross revealed that Sakti’s sister corporation, Wallyson’s, which owns the Abraham Lincoln building housing the FBI’s top security facility in Seattle, has been transferred to a British Virgin Island company called Rodinmass, again providing the benefit of tax breaks and anonymity.

The sensitivity of the Taib’s ownership of this key FBI facility is also made clear in Ross Boyert’s letter to the Chief Minister:

FBI security alert

Internecine battles within Malaysia’s wealthiest family

Boyert’s letter documents some of the well-known rivalries within the Taib family, particularly as a younger generation eyes the elderly Chief Minister’s unaccounted for wealth.   Taib’s brother Onn Mahmud, known as the Chief Minister’s first fixer according to insiders, was later set aside in favour of Rahman (Sulaiman) Taib.

Missing member of the Federal Parliament - where is Rahman Taib?

However, Rahman soon proved himself an absent playboy. Ross testifies that he was rarely able to contact his boss.  In 2005 Murray executed his move and ousted his rival.  Rahman was pressured to resign and a unanimous decision by the family’s public shareholders appointed Sean Murray to be the new President and Sole Director of the company.

Since the Chief Minister himself is secretly the largest actual shareholder of the company, he had clearly sanctioned the move in favour of his son-in-law against his own son.  Sulaiman, a member of the Federal Parliament, has subsequently disappeared from public view in what is rapidly developing into another open scandal in Malaysia.

Wealthy but mean

Boyert told Taib he was shocked that having built up an US$ 80 million dollar company for the family they, who already had so much wealth, would turn him away with nothing and then attempt to destroy him.  In his letter he told the Chief Minister:

” I do not believe you would countenance the bullying behavior I have been subjected to”

However, he later he told Sarawak Report that he had never been more wrong in his life.

Last photograph - the Boyerts this summer

Click to download letter

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  • Iban Abroad

    I thought the West are the champion of justice, power abuse free and considerable corruption, but they not.

    USA = Malaysia.

    Califonia = Sarawak.

    Obama = Taib.

  • Wayang Street

    There was a "Howard Rice" involved in the Watergate Scandal. Is this the same Howard Rice?

    • maryato

      Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin is a huge international law firm that has been in practice for decades. The Howard Rice you referred to may very well have been the same one.

  • Exmalaysiannowusciti

    FBI should take immediate action against Taib for illegally put his illegal money in US soil. The US government should take away the said properties and return them to the people of Sarawak

    • maryato

      I agree, but who is going to initiate it? Most law enforcement agencies act on complaints. If no one complains, how are they going to act, unless it's something like 911? Unlike Malaysia where ISA is used and abused at the whims of the powers-that-be, I doubt that that's how law enforcement operates in the USA. Even if I wanted to lodge a complaint, what proof can I offer, in the form of documents or other evidence, so they can get the ball rolling? I have no training in investigation and haven't the slightest idea where or how to start. Concerned Sarawakians, or other Malaysians, who have the know-how, please lead us.

  • umno the great

    A reply to iban abroad.

    Yes indeed. In the circumstances of this case USA does seem very much like malaysia. But the can of worms is opened; and worse, one life has been lost, i.e. boyert's. The difference between USA and malaysia will from now on show up markedly. In malaysia taib mahmud has the protection of umno (short for protection of isa, osa, police, macc, ag and judiciary). In other words, in malaysia he is immune and untouchable by the laws. In usa investigations will be pursued relentlessly.

  • May Foo

    I feel so sorry for Ross Boyert and his family. He was right. He wrongly believed that there would be some good men left and there would be fair play but clearly in this case there was only deceit and acute selfishness. Ross Boyert became a scapegoat, caught in the web of deceit woven by the members of this disgusting family.

  • simple rakyat

    @umno the great: unfortunately, very true. There is no justice, recourse, effectively, no rule of law in malaysia. There is only the rule of the ruling party. What's really sad is that >95% of the malays are getting screwed by the elite 5% and don't even know it.

  • najibrazak

    It is a pity that my fellow BN leader seems to have been struck dumb. Odd that.Normally we leaders are never short of a lie or a denial when our criminal activities surface. Next time I see Pek Moh I must remember to ask him if he knows where his son Rahman is. Careless to lose a sitting member of Parliament.

  • May Foo

    I'm very disturbed after reading what happened to Ross Boyert. No human should be denied any opportunity of earning a living and be treated as cruelly as he had. What Taib's family and Sean Murray have done to him is akin to murder and this definitely goes against every man's sense of decency and justice. I know commenting here does not help change anything but this is all i can do though how I wish I could offer some form of comforting words to his family. However, I would like to implore friends of Sarawak Report who know his family to extend help in whatever way you can because it is our duty to do so. After all, it was because of a Malaysian and his greed and cruelty that a man was

    driven to desperation and helplessness. i will feel disturbed for a very long time by the news of why Boyert took his own life.

  • Sarawakian

    Totally disgusted. Can't find decent words to describe them. Hopefully, soon enough this greedy family will join marcus and saddam's family in hell.

    • [email protected]

      You mean Marcos as in Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, 10th President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Marcos

  • Sarawakian

    YB Sim former deputy CM also did the same. his son has money and property stashed in Melbourne.

    • May Foo

      That's not the point. The point is besides the despicable greed implied here, a man's life was blatantly destroyed just to protect their turf. To do that is pure evil!

  • tunsrilanang

    The Penans should have "sumpit" his ass with a 'No known-cure' poison dart that will make him scratch his back-side for the rest of his stinking life on this earth… then nobody would want to vote for an endless scratching monkey leader OR his party… not even his kins would want to be near him after that?!(not even his "new" wife!) eheheheheehhee!!!!

  • hungry

    SPRM penis is kulup..pondan..pelir tengelup

  • http://www.yahoo.com BaoQingTian

    Sarawakians should all wake up and sent this guy to jail. I always recalls a scene from the movie "Enemy of the State" starring Will Smith, "If ever I find out this is someone's unilateral wet dream, that someone is going to jail". I just hoped someone in the goverment can do this. Someone……….

    • swk warrior

      what "wake up" from what??

      don't know the real issue, dont talk cock so much

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  • siti hasnah

    your attached letters can't be opened. please reload the files.

  • joseph

    CATCH THE BIG FISH YOU SPRM…. I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE TAIB STILL THE CHIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK.

  • Sam

    Keep track of the Hornbill GM;s courtcase in KL. He is undergoing the same treatment.

  • lakia

    Watching from NZ: In some 45 years, with Taib Mahmud & his Uncle before him, Sarawak lost an est. RM$90billion!

    In some 45 years Sarawak's Taib Mahmud, his Uncle Yakub before him, their relatives, cronies, associates, timber tycoons, oil palm magnates, shipping, realty, mining and construction moguls, etc, etc, have directly or indirectly 'stolen' from Sarawak (including tax evasions) an astronomical amount:

    Based on RM$2billion a year x 45 years equates to RM$90 billion = RM$90,000 million = RM$90,000,000,000.

    By Alan Newman

    To Everyone in Malaysia,

    Speaking as a neutral, 3rd party observer, and hailing from NZ* (*voted as No. 1 in the world for non-corruption), please make all your loved ones, friends, associates, neighbours, countrymen realise this:

    In some 45 years Sarawak's Taib Mahmud, his Uncle Yakub before him, their relatives, cronies, associates, timber tycoons, oil palm magnates, shipping, realty, mining and construction moguls, etc, etc, have directly or indirectly 'stolen' from Sarawak (including tax evasions) an astronomical amount:

    Based on RM$2billion a year x 45 years equates to RM$90 billion = RM$90,000 million = RM$90,000,000,000.

    Enough to build electric train lines, super highways, hundreds of schools, hospitals, several universities, multifarious amenities and bring tremendous development and wealth for the people.

    In returrn for being elected, Taib deceived the people for 30 years, and yet he still stands proud and shouts today, without the slightest trace of conscience, morality or sense of shame.

    Yet people in the street are heard saying: "Of course vote for the Government, they have money for development. Opposition – no money." Oh My God! Look at your DAP Party taking the CM post and government in Penang!

    All must wake up and act NOW, not tomorrow!

    For a start, team up and bring a Class Action Lawsuit (concerted legal action) against your MACC (Anti Corruption Agency).

    Then press for Taib to be arrested immediately. If necessary, start street protests, state-wide work-stoppages, blockades of roads and airports. He must be brought to justice and all wealth hunted down, audited and returned to the State. None of the tycoons spared in the exercise either.

    Recently an MP in NZ Taito Philip Field was jailed for using Asian immigrants to do up his house in return for promises of helping them with residence application; just for that! What a contrast to your Country!

    Alan Newman,

    NZ.

  • http://none observer

    1.We want 20 points plan implemented.

    2.Limit the term of CM to 3 terms as 2

    terms are too short.

    3. Accountability,transparency & equality

    4. Fair in giving government

    posts,promotions,scholarships and

    students entering universities.

  • http://nil mr.bod

    where is macc?go and get ride of the whole family immediately.how is our pm feeling if taib is still in power.come on , the people of whole sarawak should wake up by now. this famliy properties should be confiscated without any futher delay.

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  • http://none observer

    MESSAGE TO ALL AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    THE MONEY USD100 MILLION DAT THE FAMILY HANDED OVER BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE OF SARAWAK. PLEASE RETURN THE MONEY TO THE GOVERNMENT COFFER.

    IF AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT RETURN THE MONEY,THEY ARE ALSO GUILTY AS IT IS A CRIME TO KEEP STOLEN PROPERTY

  • http://none observer

    WHAT DOES SAKTI MEANS?

    S- SHOULD

    A- ALWAYS

    K- KEEPS

    T- TAIB

    I- INTERESTS.

    THAT IS THE REAL MEANING AND THAT IS WHY THEY NAME THE COMPANY "SAKTI".

  • http://none DACIN SINGIT

    THE MESSAGE IS VERY CLEAR TO MACC. NOW STOP INVESTIGATE SMALL SMALL PETTY CASES. YOU MUST GO BIG LIKE AWARD OF CONTARCT TO GLOBAL UPLINE,HOCK SENG LEE,CONTRACTS TO CRONIES,FAMILIES.ABUSE OF POWER USING PRIVATE JET,HELIS AND VEHICLES FOR PRIVATE USE.

    CHECK FOR MONEY LAUNDERING,TAX EVASION BIG FISH AND NOT ON SOMEONE BUYING MOTORCYCLE CASH AT RM4,500.00 STUPID

  • james

    $100 million is enough for the poor people needs in Sarawak.

  • http://none mod

    d.rockerfellar is a iluminati member (free manson) is this mean that taib mahmud is one of them?? for your information, free manson have their member almost every country!