3 Dec 2010

Deepening Scandal – Taib’s Land Grabs Exposed !

Deepening Scandal – Taib’s Land Grabs Exposed !

This post is also available in: Iban

Progress and Development? - 6 years after Taib took their land and stripped their forest these Melanau are left destitute.

Sarawak Report has been piecing together documentation that enables us to prove for the first time that the Chief Minister has conducted land thefts on a  massive scale from the people of Sarawak.   Using a number of sources, many of which Taib has shamefully attempted to keep secret, we are now unravelling detailed information showing the full extent of his seizures of Native Customary Rights Lands for himself and his family and also the extraordinary profits he has made at the expense of his people. 

The corruption has been so extensive and the affects have been so devastating to so many Dayak communities and to the environment of Sarawak, that we are unable to cover this issue in just one article.  Instead we will be examining our evidence over coming weeks and bringing you the results in a series of reports, which will look at the impact of Taib’s destructive greed on communities the length and breadth of the state. 

Clear pattern emerges under ‘Thief’ Minister 

Environmental disaster in Pulau Bruit - first Taib strips the forest, then he plants the oil palm

 Yet, already we can point to a clear pattern of activity or ‘modus operandi’, through which Taib has abused his power by helping himself and his family to Dayak lands.  In his joint role as Resources and Planning Minister the Chief Minister pushes a policy of  ‘alienating’  Native Customary Rights (NCR)Lands in the name of  ‘development’, a practice which was recently ruled illegal by the Federal High Court.  

However, he has always worked hard to keep the private benefactors of this public policy hidden!  The identity ofthe companies originally handed parcels of Dayak land by the state authorities and also the sums they have been charged ought to be public information, but they have always been treated as a top state secret, marked confidential in the Land Registry! 

Sarawak Report can now confirm the perhaps unsurprising truth that very many of these companies directly belong to Taib’s family, or indeed himself, or to people he owes political or business favours .   Our evidence also details how the standard practice is for the Chief Minister to hand over great parcels of land to companies owned by his siblings for rock bottom prices (or nothing at all) who in turn sell on these companies as quickly as possible (usually in a matter of days) to a crony business partner for a massive profit. 

The Taib family member then often cements the deal by taking up shares or directorships in the new parent company (often under a proxy or hidden identity) so that they can continue to enjoy the profits of developing the land, but in a less obvious capacity.  This ‘development’ almost invariably consists of stripping the area of its valuable timber and then planting palm oil plantations, leaving the destitute Dayakcommunities with nothing but very low paid jobs and usually laughable levels of compensation. 

One shocking case in point  

Satanic Mills - processing the profit from the NCR Lands

 Sarawak Report has established that this scandalous activity has taken place in one of the most controversial current land grabs being sponsored by the State of Sarawak.  The very poor Melanau population of Pulau Bruit near Sibu are one of the many communities to have suffered from this form of ‘development’, even though they are from the Chief Minister’s own race.  The island till recently was a precious remaining area of fast disappearing lowland mangrove forest with a National Park of protected land.  In 2004 the Chief Minister saw fit to ‘develop’ the area for yet more palm plantations, despite the growing international outcry over the destruction of Sarawak by palm plantations. 

Therefore in May 2004 10,000 hectares of the island was handed to a company Eastern Eden Sdn Bhd  and a further 5,000 to a company Poh Zhen.  Of course the natives knew nothing of such decisions over their land until the palm plantation company came and started stripping the area of its pristine mangrove forests the following year and planting oil palm in its place.  The company offered the locals just RM120 ringgit per hectare for their land - a total of just over a million ringgit to be shared by the entire community for all their native lands. 

Encik Bahrum, one of the headmen, explains how he learnt about the development when he went to the jungle one day for forage for fish and food.  A short way in he discovered that a vast area had been flattened.  Bahrum, whose people have always lived in the area, said that the plantation company at first promised the locals that they were stripping the area to grow padi fields for the population, but in fact their whole region has been covered in oil palm.  NGOs have told Sarawak Report that protesters have complained of harassment and arrest and many have ended taking the compensation feeling they have no choice. 

Suffering of the people 

Polluted waters - Pulau Bruit faces flooding because of mangrove destruction resulting from Taib's policies

 Bahrum says that his people are now desperately short of food, because the forest and fish have gone.  They are also suffering polluted waters as a result of pesticides andfertilisers on the plantation.  Few have received jobs.  The ‘development’ is now spreading across the island and extending into Iban territories affecting 8 communities at Sungai Lengan.  The NGO Sadia has alerted the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil that the logging also appears to be encroaching illegally into the National Park area on the island.  The Ibans say that already their health and food supplies have been affected by the pollution of their waters by chemicals and that fish are dying and children are falling sick.  No compensation has been offered to the Ibans. 

Sadia and the law firm belonging to PKR opposition leader Baru Bian are now supporting the natives in a court case to protect their remaining lands and sue for proper compensation.  But there will be little surprise that the community say they have had no such support from their local representative to the Federal Parliament Norah Binti Abdul Rahman.  She also the Chief Executive of the Tanjun Manis ‘development’ project that is driving the destruction of the entire area and she happens to be the niece of  Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud. 

'Entrepreneurial MP' - Taib niece Norah Abdul Rahman was 'elected' unopposed in 2008

Norah and Taibtreated themselves in the summer to a state-funded visit to Oxford University  in the UK (along with two plane loads of publicly funded officials) in order to promote their business projects in the region at notorious event hosted by the University’s Said Business School.  Norah is seeking international funding for further logging and devastation in order to develop a ‘Halal food Hub’ in Malaysia’s Christian state.  

Even less surprising has been Nora’s sudden recent announcement that a large sum of money is about to be spent on an  infrastructure programme to bring roads, electricity and water to the people who have till now been totally neglected in the ‘development’ of their region and who have suffered the loss of their forest lands and fishing grounds.  She is of course now looking for their support in the upcoming election, but whether the promises will be remembered after the election is over is another matter.  Local people are advised to ignore the 60 ringgit bribes she will also offer and to continue to ignore her even if she ups the bribe money!  It is their right to receive Norah’s bribe money and to vote for another party entirely. 

We expose who really profits 

This is because perhaps the most shocking aspect of this story is the part that has until now been kept most hidden.  Our investigations have revealed just how much money Norah’s family has taken from the natives of Pulau Bruit.   When the locals had sought the owners of the palm plantations who had been handed their land by Taib’s decision as Chief Minister and Planning and Resources Minister they learnt that the companies, Eastern Eden and Poh Zhen, belonged to Jaya Tiasa a subsidiary company of the vast timber company Ribunan Hijau, run by a key crony of the Chief Minister.  Therefore, their representatives have been making their protests to this company. 

 

Jaya Tiasa purchases Arip's company Eastern Eden and also Poh Zhen 12 days after he acquires the plantation from Taib's Land & Survey Department - there was a RM 40 profit on the deal!

 However, Sarawak Report can now reveal that the original owners of these companies were Taib’s own brothers Arip and Ali Mahmud.  They received the land grants from the government on 19th May 2004 paying RM 6 million for Eastern Eden plot of 10,000 hectares and RM 3 million for the Poh Zhen plot of 5,000 hectares.  However, in just 12 days on 31st May they had sold on the companies to their crony tycoon Ribunan Hijau/Jaya Tiasa chief Tiong Choong for RM 33 million and RM 16 million!  This represents a RM 40 million clean profit for the Taib family in a matter of 12 days! 

Arip's first wife Azerina controls a million shares in Jaya Tiasa, the company that bought out the land obtained through Taib's Land & Survey Department deal. So they still profit from the NCR Land acquisition.

Further, true to the pattern we have identified, the Aripfamily have continued to enjoy profitable ties with the company they sold out to.  Sarawak Report has identified a large chunk of Jaya Tiasa shares continue to belong to the Arip family (he died in 2005).   These shares were clearly handed to the family as an added ‘sweetner’ for the deal.   This means that the Mahmud family continues to reap big profits from the palm oil plantations and the timber extraction from the lands that were stolen from the local communities on top of the fat profit they made from selling on land that Taib had handed to them well below market price.  

More 

Sarawak Report will be following the fortunes of the impoverished islanders of Palau Bruit as they campaign to save the little remaining area of their lands and to receive compensation.  However, their tragic case is just one of  hundreds of land grabs by the Chief Minister and his family across the State.  We will be unveiling more about these outrages and the effect on the people of Sarawak in later reports. 

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  • Rude

    Where or when will this end ? This parasite Taib and his blood sucking cronies need to be brought to justice. Vote them out at the next election. Bring back this wealth to the people of Sarawak. International arrest warants need to be issued . Impound this stolen wealth , invest in back into Sarawak to benefit the country and its poeple , this money has no place as diamond chains around the necks of Yaibs offspring living it up in Manaco, London and other playgrounds for the rich . People are starving and destitute yet these people still feed off their blod and misery. If any of you bloodsuckers read this then i hope you hang your head in shame . The starving women and children off whose misery you feed have had enough . Enjoy as it lasts. Hell is a hot place and there is still plenty of room for parasites like you. You make Marcos look like mother Theresa.

  • http://none Arun

    Dear Malaysians,

    The next election will be full of cheating, vote rigging and all the dirtiest tricks by SPR and UMNO. UMNO will go to any length to be in power.I simply hate to see the bloody Taib's face. Taib is the curse of Sarawak and Najib Bin Rosmah is the curse of the whole of Malaysia. So what should we, hte people do?

    • Rude

      What we the people should do is what is right for the people. Democracy is the answer. The people should decide. When the day comes do what is right. Those who lead us should do so with the mandate to uphold the law. The State law, not Taib "greedy all for me" law. Being the leader is not about self enrichement. It's about fullfilling your duty as leader to serve those who intrust in you their confidence. These people have a moral and ethical duty to apply the the last lettre of law and serve those with less means to do those things they are not able to do. It is not a mandate to rape and pillage us for self enrichement. Politics used to be a "noble" profession. Now its become a vehicle to defraud, abuse, corrupt all those who hold in good faith those who are elected to represent our best interests. Do not forget my fellow freinds.. Taib is supposed to be our servant, not our Raja. He is elected to serve US. What do we have after 30 years? We have the world's largest palm oil plantation, Malaysia's poorest state, the word's most devestated forest and worst of all…… THE WORDLS RICHEST MAN…… We can be really proud because what do we have for that? Nothing… No life, no futur, just slaves scavenging to feed our children …. Just the title of being the most abused people on the planet. Taib wipes his feet all over us and all we do is say thank you Sir…. Kick me again sir….. I'm sorry Sir …. Can i polish you Rolls Royce sir…. You want my land sir? … Sure 80 Ringit sir .. You so good to me sir…I give you good price …It's for the development of our state and the good of our state….Bulls*it…

      He has been buying our votes for years . With what ? Peanuts .. Why because we are so desperate anything is better than nothing. It's a meal.. This week we can eat .. then what? Nothing .. Not till next elextion when he comes again and gives us another speach and throws some rice around . Then he flies home to his palace and his western freinds to spend our money.

      Now we say no. We want more.. we want to benefit as a people from our wealth . Not just one dictator and is westernisned degenerate family.

      The time for hange has come. There is no other option otherwise we will all die.

      Do what is right for allm of us , not what is right for ONE man.

  • aca

    will the Sarawakians rise up in unison to take back whats theirs rightfully? Isnt it time to stand up against BN, the corrupt coalition that works hand in glove to enrich themselves at the expense of Sarawakians.

  • si chong kai

    These would not have happened if the people of Sarawak, esp. the dayak leaders, did not sell their soul to Tiab for a pitiance. Remember Dr. Patau Rubis?

    He was against the implementation of the laws for NCR land in Sarawak What happened to him in Sarawak Politics?

    The biggest traitor ? ask Jabau, the shadow.

  • RIP

    The pawprints of the Samling Stategic Group is in Selangor. Having divested Sarawak & her gentle people of their God given wealth, they build genteel neighbourhoods on 473 acres of urban land just north of KL.

  • Eric

    Sarawak Rangers

    Hanya pada bulan September tahun ini, selepas Barisan Nasional tewas pilihan raya kecil Sibu, Sarawak, barulah seorang Iban, Stephen Mundaw, dilantik sebagai jeneral (buat pertama kalinya bagi seorang dari Malaysia Timur). Orang Malaysia Timur harus menuntut supaya setidak-tidaknya Jeneral 4-bintang dilantik dari antara kaum Iban yang begitu ramai gugur kerana menyahut panggilan ibu pertiwi. Keberanian mereka tiada tolok banding.

    http://english.cpiasia.net/index.php?option=com_c

  • Gelling Kepala

    Evidently, this grand exercise in negative thinking and power-grubbing is still on. Well, this is definitely democracy in action, although I never knew that spreading lies and believing in them wholesale is part of that right.

    Well, I'm glad that most people are not like you and can think beyond their own self-serving purposes. Well, keep it up. At least we'll have this zoo for creative escapism.

    Great novel, SR…I'll come and visit again, but I'm getting really bored of this sensationalization and fact-distortion. Telan, guys…telan, but take it with a giant pinch of salt if you know how to think for yourselves.

    The author of this site should be voted as the next CM. The future is bright indeed… No…better yet, let's have Anwar as the next CM. Or even better, the state 'Advisor' for life. How about that? Wait a minute. Unlike Taib, he doesn't even need to stand for elections of any sort. Brilliant twist of democracy, I think! Geil!

  • Philip Chong

    This news has been well spread through internet, what about the native in Sarawak? Have they made known to this news? Are they ready to change or despite knowing this but still vote for them? Any gangterism happened as previously happened in Sibu long house where they block the entrence of the long house? How to overcome it?

    • Native

      i dnt think so bro,The short waves radiofreesarawak is not reaching them.i supposed they are not well inform as well.we only can hear it thru website

  • zainudin

    Dear Serawakian,

    Please ensure that u dont be mock anymore…30 yrs bullshit by BN..All voter, pls do your part. We change the goverment, let the taib regime die. All the expose news must be known to all voter including all natives

  • Eric

    Soldiers who have served, the non-Malays, know what it is to be discriminated against because of their race and religion. Even the Bumiputras of Sabah and Sarawak are discriminated against, as most of them are Christians.

    While at this, being an ex-soldier and all, I have seen many East Malaysian officers serving in combat units. Why did not any one of them make it to General? Not good enough?

    Sarawak Rangers

    Look at how brave, loyal and patriotic they are. See in the archives for the records I've compiled. After seeing the results of the Sibu 'buy elections', where the BN lost, I guess they saw the writing on the wall and recently promoted an Iban officer to become the first Iban who made it to General, Stephen Mundaw, in September this year.

    Anyway that is peanuts, East Malaysians should demand and expect at least a 4-star General from amongst the Ibans, whose bodies have been littered across the battle fields in Malaysia. Their courage and ferocity in battle is unmatched.

    http://english.cpiasia.net/index.php?option=com_c

  • Iban Abroad

    I am wonder how the Malay-Melanau feel of their corruption leader like Taib.

    Are they feel happy or disturb? I can believe that they are happy and still support such leader.

  • keester

    Taib and his fully oiled election machinery will still win in the next state election unless conscientious Sarawakians themselves start canvassing the entire length and breath of Sarawak's rural interior. The rural folks need to be told what is happening to their land and resources and stop at once at the instant noodles maggie mee election gifts. The same is true of Sabah and to a lesser degree rural folks in West Malaysia. Hey, if Taib could con his own Melanau folks, what is non-Melanau to him and his families. They are, after all, without any souls. Don't mind me saying this, if Sarawakians have allowed Taib to rule this rich state for close to three decades, it also speak volume to just how passive Sarawakians in general are when it comes to being rob. Common brothers and sisters, do something. Enough of complaining. Start hitting the rural areas. Start educating them of the level of lies and corruption of the current regime. Do it. Deeds not words.

  • keester

    If I were a concerned Sarawakian, I will start printing all the expose gathered by Sarawak Report, make copies of it and hit the road. Identify which of the rural communities have been Taib's voters in the past and start disseminating Sarawak Report's findings. Tell them, it's their land, their resources, and the future of their children that they should be concerned about. Hey, if these folks try to laugh at your endeavor, what more can you do. We all know about election fraud but at least give the Taib regime a real good fight. Otherwise, start a revolution.

  • Pingback: Deepening Scandal – Taib’s Land Grabs Exposed ! « Hornbill Unleashed

  • Strategist

    Looks like there is no end and let up in his plundering and mismanagement of Sarawak's natural resources and still wants more. He takes anything he wants and there is no law that can stop him.

    The forest trees, the river sand, the coal in the earth, the fish in the deep sea, the rubbish and waste, the human excreta, the road maintenance and cutting grass, the taxes of timber

    businesses and palm oil plantation

    NCR and state lands and etc now are all under his control

    If he is given another 5 years' mandate in the next election, Sarawak will be stripped of stock and barrel and nothing will be left for our progeny except bones and skeletons.

    There is a theory that if Taib loses the election, he may abscond in the government private jet to one of the countries where his ill gotten properties are and he thinks there is no way the new government can bring him back to trial. No matter where he goes into hiding, he will be hunted down to the end of the earth and be extradited to face trial and be sent to prison. We can get Interpol to issue a global warrant for his arrest just like the case of Julian Assange,the founder of Wikileaks for cable leaks.

    Taib’s ill gotten properties in Kuching such as CMS,the building that houses Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd., the 269 acre state land in BDC, & etc will be nationalised and returned to the people of Sarawak and all of his ill gotten overseas property empire will be confiscated and returned to Sarawak.

    There will come a day not in the too distant future when Taib will be brought down to face trial and sent to prison just the like the former president of Taiwan who was given a 19 year sentence for mis appropriation and embezzlement of state funds and money laundering and then sent to a prison to mix with common criminals and murderers. Other classic examples are Marcos of Philipines, Suharto of Indonesia, Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

    History has shown that corrupt leaders cannot outlive their crimes.

    • Gelling Kepala

      There's a gaping hole in your half-baked theory/strategy: would you at this point in time rather be citizens of those countries that you have so proudly portrayed as 'models' of democratic progress? Pick one and please move there. Obviously, you'd rather that than building up on what's already in place.

      Stupid anarchist.

  • tuan

    All sarawakian should give money to Taib so that he become one of the richest man in the earth. Puas hati taib.

  • Miring Kepala

    @Gelling Kepala :

    Please refute THIS report. I would love to read it. You have a link? Blog? Tweet? FB?

    Come on now, anybody can say "Liar!", "Nonsense!" but chances are that he has no answer! So I hope you're not like that.

    • Gelling Kepala

      Read my comment again. No need for links.

      • winner2me

        Obviously Gelling Kepala doesn't have a compelling answer. His comments up there is EMPTY. After, he CAN'T REFUTE all the so-called 'claims' or 'novel' by SR.

        SR has indeed done an EXCELLENT and professional joib in exposing Taib and his family's greed.

    • pening kepala

      @gelling kepala

      he is on the payroll and now that election is soon coming,i believe his role is just to response and refute all claims abt the "thief" minister here at SR..

  • http://none observer

    PULAU BERUIT IS A MELANAU HEAVEN AND TM IS THEIR GODFATHER. TM BLOCKED FELCRA FROM MOVING IN AND IN THE END GOT MERE 500 HA WHILE THE REST AS YOU ALL CAN SEE ABOVE.

    NOT BAD RM40 MILLION PROFIT SO I HOPE THAT LHDN MUST MOVE IN TO SEE HOW MUCH TAXES ARE THERE. SELLING NCR LAND FOR HEFTY PROFITS.

    AFTER ALL TM IS MELANAU'S GODFATHER WITH TR AS THEIR GOD GRANDFATHER AND TR'S DAUGHTER AS GOD DAUGHTER.WELL DONE THIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK. WHAT'S NEXT? AFTER PULAU BELADIN AND BERUIT??PULAU TALANG TALANG?? HA AHA HEHEHEHEHEH

    • Strategist

      Yeah, not bad RM40 million profit within a space of 12 days. TM makes a pretty good businessman. Methinks he had better resign and go into doing business instead of staying on as CM. But then, no more

      power to issue and sign timber licences.

      So no "kang tow". Totally conflict of interests. Right?

      Paying tax to LHDN? How much? Only 5% of RM40 Millions is RM2 millions. Peanuts to him, man!

  • Obee

    This is the trend the ones in suite and coats will hoodwink those in loin clothes. this very rampant now. The order of the day squeeze the rakyat and make hay while the sun shine

  • PisangBarat

    Sarawakians- especially from the rural areas, which this UMNO Government has kept dumb, must rise and vote out this bestial crooks out..

  • Saralara

    NOW THE PRICE OF FUEL AND GOODS GOING UP AND PEOPLE STILL SUPPORT BN…THIS IS BULLS**T AND TAIB AND CRONIES ENJOY THEIR LIFE FROM SARAWAK'S WEALTH…THIS IS BULLS**T…AND SARAWAKIAN PAY TAXES FOR WHO??THIS IS BULLS**T AND MASSAGE TO GELLING KEPALA–YOU ARE TAIBS**T

  • Miring Kepala

    @Gelling Kepala:

    I was talking about your "fact distortion" charge in Post No. 7

    In any case Gelling the fact that Western Democracies are 'just as bad ' doesn't make Sarawak's democracy acceptable. Two wrongs doesn't a right.

    Come on Gelling, tell us which SR facts has been distorted.

  • http://sarahosting.com Sara

    Pray hard..this will end in no time.

  • whatever

    the iconic thing is why these

    rural folks still vote for

    BN ? Vote them in 1 more term n they'll

    lose their pants altogether. Land of the hornbill or land of the merciless ?

    • Saralara

      the rural folks wear BN t-shirt until it's torn apart, that only they will get..and its really pathetic.

  • http://none Politic of Corruptio

    Land of the hornbill? No,no .No more hornbills.where are they gong to fly? TM has given all tropical forest to ching kulung already.WTK,KTS,SAMLING,RH,etc,etc. Land of the barren and the damn?

  • MACC/SPRM

    U know the fact, our country listed as one of the most corrupted country in world. We are targeting small people only instead of powerful ministers. BN stand for Bolot Negara.

  • Moin

    The people of Sarawak please dont vote foolishly, bring changes to your country first by voting out your present government and vote for a regime that would safeguard your generation to come.

  • http://none LIEW SUK KOK says…

    VERY VERY GUD. ADA LAGI KAH PEK MO,TANAH LAYA/ SAYA PUN MAHU,BIKIN LUMAH,TANAM SAYOT,INANG AYANG. SEMUA NY MANYAK BABUT LO.

    AMBIL SAJA LAH,LAYA TITUN ,LIA ORANG TIDAK TENOK,LU AMBI SAJA LAH. PEK MO LU MANYAK PANDAI

  • http://saribasjati.blogspot.com anaksaribas

    kalau kita masih mahu taib kekal jadi CM, alamat sarawak akan bangkrap. lama kelamaan sarawak kena jual.

    tolong kawan-kawan, PRN10 undilah calon-calon pakatan rakyat. kita tukar pemerintahan BN kepada PR.

  • http://none Crying without tears

    SR SHOULD ALSO INVESTIGATE BORNEO HIGHLAND AND THE MANNER TM SOLD THE HIGHLAND TO LEE KIM YEW OF SRI KEMBANGAN..PALAACE OF THE GOLDEN HORSES.POOR ANAH BIDAYUH..ALL FRUIT TREES

    GONE..NATURE DESTROYED.

    WHAT DO THE BIDAYUH GAIN FROM IT? NOTHING ,ABSOLUTE NOTHING AT ALL.

  • http://none Observer says…

    CAN WE HAVE HALAL MONEY SO THAT PEOPLE WILL FEEL GUILTY IF MONEY EARNED IS NOT HALAL?

    FOOD NEEDS HALAL CERTIFICATE.

    FACTORIES NEED HALAL CERTIFICATE.

    DO WE NEED HALAL CERTIFICATE FOR MONEY TOO SO THAT THOSE WHO EARNED MONEY NOT HALAL WILL BE PUNISHED??

  • http://none Apai Daya says…

    All those clowns in traditional uniforms,please stop dancing to tourists as TM took Berawans land for pea nut and used State funds to develop the place and then transfer it to his family.This is clearly abuse of power.

    I am sick to the teeth but I need all dayaks help to get rid of this greedy thief minister.

    Oh LORD please raise our people from deep slumber so that they all realise what the thief minister is doing to us dayaks in Sarawak,in JESUS name..AMEN!!

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