1 Dec 2011

Keeping It In The Family! – How Taib ‘The Godfather’ Corruptly Controls CMS

Keeping It In The Family! – How Taib ‘The Godfather’ Corruptly Controls CMS

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Iban, Malay

The Godfather – Evidence that Taib is the true main shareholder of CMS

New research by Sarawak Report has produced further proof that Taib’s claim that he “does no business in Sarawak“ is shockingly untrue.  

To the contrary, we can name him as the ‘Godfather’ who blatantly controls most of the shares in Sarawak’s largest public company, CMS.  

We can also show that he has further manipulated that power to produce maximum wealth for himself and his family, by ensuring that CMS does as much of its business as possible with other family firms. 

This practice is against stock exchange rules, because it is at the expense of other shareholders and the wider public. 

Mafia-style business boss

This matter is all the more disgraceful, because CMS is a conglomerate that Taib himself created by privatising key assets that used to belong to the State of Sarawak.  As Finance Minister and Chief Minister he caused valuable state interests like PPES, Steel Industries Sarawak and PCMS to be sold for knock down prices to CMS and then engineered extraordinary ‘share-swaps’ with cheap companies belonging to his own family members.  This enabled the Taibs to take control of the majority of CMS shares by 1996!  

CMS continues to make its huge income from state monopolies and the massive public contracts handed to it (without proper open tendering) by Taib himself.  By these means he has blatantly exploited his political power to enormously enrich himself.

““If I do business inside the country people will say I use my influence to enrich myself. So, we did it outside” [Taib Mahmud March 2011]

Thus, although the Chief Minister has admitted it would be corrupt for him and his family to be involved in Sarawak business, our revelations show that this is exactly what he does on a massive scale through CMS, exploiting his political role to act as the mafia business boss of the State. 

Family line up, the top Management at CMS - (Front row from left) Hanifah Taib's husband, Sulaiman Taib, Abu Bekir Taib. (Centre back) Brother-in-law, Robert Geneid and son

Passing around the shares – and the top jobs!

Our most recent revelations are based on the publicly recorded movement of shares within CMS.  These show how huge chunks of the company have been passed round Taib’s close family members, providing only one feasible explanation, which is that it is Taib himself who is controlling their ownership. To all intents and purposes, therefore, he created the company and he IS the owner!

To cement this control over the company, Taib has also made sure that his family members occupy all the key management roles.  However, again he has shifted round these positions between close family members, once more revealing the pattern of ultimate control by him. 

Onn Mahmud

No longer in favour! – brother Onn Mahmud is still worth billions

Public documents show how in the early years, while his children were still students, the largest shareholder and main Director of CMS was Taib’s brother Onn Mahmud. 

Onn was Taib’s original key business proxy in Sarawak and abroad, until the brothers fell out in 2003.  His name can also be found on all the documents relating to property companies linked to Taib’s children in Canada and the US and also to Taib related companies in Hong Kong. 

According to research available at the London School of Economics, Onn acquired the family’s first 27% stake in the publicly-owned CMS in 1989  for an undisclosed sum.  This followed a shadowy deal with the Sabah Economic Development Corporation, which was reported as a ‘share swop’ between Sabah and Sarawak, but turned out to be a private acquisition by Onn (the Sarawak’s Chief Minister’s brother).

According to CMS records, by April 2002 Onn, as Director and Group Chairman, owned over 30% of CMS shares.  At that time Taib’s two sons Sulaiman and Abu Bekir (Deputy Group Chairman and Group Executive Director) also owned a further 12% each.

CMS Major Shareholders in 2002 – Taib’s brother and sons rule the roost

This gave the three relatives of Taib a controlling interest over Sarawak’s biggest company – a company that had grown exponentially due to favourable state contracts and the absorption of state companies on inexplicably good terms.

The sons take over

The real owner/controller of these shares, however, was Taib.  The movement of jobs and shares in 2003, after Onn lost favour, show this clearly. 

Family break up – Onn lost his job as Group Chairman at the same time as most of his shares are transfered or ‘sold’

The above CMS document shows that during 2003 Onn Mahmud went from being the largest shareholder to holding relatively few shares, while Taib’s sons acquired 44,925,102 shares during the same period. 

Because of CMS official declarations, we know that those 44,925,102 shares were held through the company Majaharta, which was originally ‘owned’ by Onn Mahmud.   

How did housewife Lejla manage to buy these shares off Onn to become the largest single shareholder of Sarawak’s largest single company?

The question therefore is why should Onn transfer such a valuable company as Majaharta, with so many CMS shares, to his nephews, rather than say to his own children or indeed selling the shares for a big profit?  The answer, clearly, is that he only held those shares by proxy.

Leila becomes CMS’s largest shareholder

Even more significant is what happened to the remainder of Onn’s shares.  Company reports show that these went straight to Taib’s wife Lejla! 

Can we avoid the conclusion that when he could no longer hide behind his brother Taib opted to hide behind his own wife as the real shareholder of CMS! 

Onn was replaced as Group Chairman by Taib’s younger son Sulaiman, the youthful car fanatic, who enjoyed his own period of favour as the simultaneous Chairman of the Taib controlled RHB bank, Deputy Tourism Minister and MP for Kota Samarahan. 

CMS’s own Annual Reports (produced a year in arrears) illustrate the share transfers after Onn left in 2003.

Where Onn’s shares went! – CMS Annual Reports

Next the shares move from Taib’s sons to his daughters!

Taib did not leave his two boys in control such a huge chunk of the company for long however.  Or is it that the young lads decided to be very generous to their sisters? 

Subsequent records show that by March 2007 Majaharta had been transferred to a joint ownership by Hannifah Taib and Jamilah Taib.  This left the 4 children with fairly equal shareholdings in CMS and Taib’s wife with an even larger personal share.  Who alone could have been controlling all this?!

CMS top dogs for now – Abu Bekir Taib and son-in-law Alwee Alsree

Jobs changes reflect the same pattern.  It was Sulaiman Taib who originally took over from Onn, but this soon changed. 

Singaporean, Syed Ahmad Alwee Alsree, married Taib’s daughter Hanifah in 2000 and soon joined CMS, straight into the position of Group General Manager – Human Resources.

By 2006 he was Deputy Group Managing Director and after Taib’s  second son Sulaiman fell from grace he took over as Group Executive Director in 2008.  He and second son Abu Bekir now pose as the main figureheads of CMS. 

One should not forget the nice management job offered to Taib’s favourite sister Raziah’s 3rd husband, Robert Geneid, as well.  He acts as Managing Director of CMS Premix.

Who can be controlling this succession of ever-changing management positions for Taib’s family members at the top of this public company?  Again the only conclusion can be Taib himself.

Corrupt business management!

CMS is a publicly listed company on the KL stock exchange, with a duty to get best value for its shareholders.  It is also the recipient of State contracts for which it should also obtain best value.  However, records show that overwhelmingly the management’s strategy has been to subcontract to companies owned by Taib family members instead.  This has ensured that even more money goes to the Taibs at the expense of shareholders and the public.

In 2002 an extraordinary meeting of shareholders was called to confront the issue of so-called ‘recurrent related party transactions’, demanded under stock exchange rules.  The list of Taib family companies benefitting from longstanding contracts from CMS that was presented to the May 2002 EGM is jaw-dropping.

From that list we can see that over the previous year alone RM35million worth of business went through some 20 companies belonging to Taib family members.  These companies, described as recurring business partners, included:

Achi Jaya Industries Sdn Bhd, Achi Jaya Holdings Sdn Bhd, Satria Realty, Asterix Incorporated Sdn Bhd, Insurepo Sdn Bhd, Wisma Printing Sdn Bhd, Sarawati Sdn Bhd, Centigrade Resources Sdn Bhd, Grogrow Sdn Bhd, Trans Dimension Sdn Bhd, Duta Bistari Sdn Bhd, Alpha Jelita Sdn bhd, Alpha Mantra Sdn Bhd, Alpha Wira Sdn Bhd, Mylink Communications Sdn Bhd, Bormill Line Sdn Bhd, Lanco Shipping Sdn Bhd, Hager Elektronik Sdn Bhd, Automobili Sdn Bhd, Bank Utama Bhd

These companies were providing CMS with such services as rental of buildings, property letting, shipping services, transportation, petrol, printing and stationary services, general trading, insurance consultancy, management services, radio and telecommunications services, consultancy services, computer hardware and software services and servicing cars!

Family members involved in these companies included sons Sulaiman and Abu Bekir, as well as brothers and sisters Onn Mahmud, Tufail Mahmud, Arip Mahmud, Puan Zaleha Mahmud, Datin Amar Fredahanam Bt Mahmud, Ibrahim Mahmud, Raziah Mahmud & Robert  Geneid plus various wives and family members. 

The vast majority of these wealthy transactions went through companies ‘owned’ by Onn Mahmud, although we can see that a considerable amount of property rental went through a company Satria Realty Sdn Bhd, which was until 1999 still publicly 55% owned by the Chief Minister himself !

Deals within the family

Unsurprisingly, the extraordinary meeting, called under Stock Exchange rules to review this outrageous situation, voted in favour of keeping these recurring arrangements with related companies.  After all the Taibs controlled the majority of shares!  To this day, despite recent attempts to cover up this in-trading, it can be seen from the Annual Report that the corrupt practice continues.

CMS current annual report – related party (family) transactions

Time to restore this money!

The above information, which is publicly available in company and stock exchange records, is quite enough for the MACC to issue a warrant for the arrest of Taib Mahmud.  He and his family have not only done business in Sarawak, they have run Sarawak as a business along the lines of a family mafia, using his political power to extract virtually all the country’s wealth.

Meanwhile, just last week the Public Service Department’s director-general, Tan Sri Abu Bakar Abdullah, announced new measures to fight embezzlement.  “If there are cases of missing government funds or properties, then an immediate internal probe should be conducted” he announced, and he said that those found taking money should be made to pay it back. 

Top of the list should be Taib Mahmud who has stolen more from Sarawak than a million civil servants could do in ten life-times.

  • Blunt Speaker

    As I said, the billions stolen from Sarawak by Taib for himself and family members is enough to make this beloved state of ours a fully developed state with zero poverty! Also, the trillions stolen by federal GOVT from exploitations of our natural resources ever since Mahathir era till now is enough to make us 30 times richer than Singapore. Look at us now, one of the poorest state in Malaysia with a deficit owing hundreds of billions in debt and near bankruptcy due to poor governance by reckless, inept and voraciously greedy men! Wake up SARAWAKIANS! When are you going to act? Do you want our fair land to be continually raped by these serial rapists until all hope is gone? It is just like letting an innocent girl with great potentials be raped or victimized by satanic and evil men until all chaste, future and goodness is gone! Committing the despicable acts and allowing without doing anything are both horrible sins in the eyes of God! HOW EVIL AND CRUEL CAN ANYONE BE!!!???

  • Money Laundering 101

    Looks like the next big looting by Taib is the proposed 2nd General Hospital in Petra Jaya area

    After many conflicting reports on the actual site one can guess it gotta be at CMS Bandar Baru Semariang area in classic contra-deal land swap

    While cheap native NCR Semariang lands looted earlier by CMS, surely Federal BN UMNO willing to pay overpriced many times original price in “I help U/U help me” deal

    So this is how BN treating the health care needs in Sarawak – robbing the poor and the sick with inflated overpriced hospital project for cronies!

    __________________

    Taib dismisses allegations on personal benefits at Semariang projects

    Bernama, Sunday, April 08, 2001

    Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud denied yesterday that the development projects implemented in the state had benefited him personally as alleged by some quarters.

    Stressing that the projects were for the people’s benefit, he urged them to think rationally all allegations of nepotism and cronyism which were levelled at him before making any conclusion.

    Speaking at the Kuching-level celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), he cited as an example the low-cost housing project in Rampangi, Semariang of which he was accused of benefiting personally.

    Taib, who is PBB president, said the project did not bring much profit to the developer Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd due to the peat soil condition.

    Not many companies wanted to invest in the project because of the high cost involved to prepare the site for the project, he said.

    But in the interest of the people, the project had to be carried out to provide housing to the low income group, he said.

    “We do not want them to remain without houses and live far away from the city. That’s why we continued with the project,” he said.

    On the issue of Bank Utama, Taib said many Sarawak bumiputra businessmen had benefited from loans given out to improve their businesses.

    He said that if in the past, they had problems getting loans, now no more given the strong position of Bank Utama. – Bernama

    ____________________

    Federal govt agrees to second general hospital – Abg Johari

    The Borneo Post, October 19, 2010, Tuesday

    KUCHING: Overcrowding at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here may come to an end soon as it was announced that the federal government has agreed in principal to accept the proposal for the construction of a second general hospital.

    To be built in Petra Jaya, details of the project were yet to be determined but Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg was sure that the second general hospital has the capacity as large as SGH.

    Speaking to the media after the earth-breaking ceremony of the Sungai Bedil Besar embankment project at Kampung Sungai Bedil here yesterday, he said: “I am yet to not know the details but I’m sure it would be as big as SGH at the city.

    “Commencement of project was also yet to be determined. Now we have to wait for the announcement from the Ministry of Health. One thing for sure, it has been agreed in principle.”

    Abang Johari explained that Petra Jaya was confirmed to be the preferred site for the second general hospital due to the size of population there.

    “We have to take account the population demography. There are about 200,000 people living in Petra Jaya, so a general hospital is very much needed on that side of the city,” he highlighted.

    An attempt by The Borneo Post to contact Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai for further comment was however, unsuccessful.

    The issue of adding another general hospital to complement SGH has been the main talking point for the people here for years.

    Apart from the construction of a new general hospital, there was a suggestion earlier this year that the Sarawak International Medical Centre (SIMC) in Kota Samarahan was to be run as a public hospital within this year to help ease the congestion.

    In a news report by The Borneo Post on January 9, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said that the centre would be operational as soon as the renovation work was completed.

    ___________________

    Taib proposes second GH built in Semariang

    by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith, The Borneo Post Dec 13, 2010 Monday

    KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has suggested that the second general hospital in the city be located at up and coming Semariang township in Petra Jaya.

    The hospital to be completed in 2014 was confirmed to be built in Petra Jaya to cater for the population of the northern part of Kuching city.

    “Semariang is a new township being developed with orderly planning. It has a population of more than 15,000 and is situated near a soon-to-be developed ‘family park’ project offering recreational activities for the people.

    “While Semariang attracts various health facilities in its surroundings such as recuperation centres, the location of the new hospital there within the park would be ideal,” he said at the launch of ‘The First 100 Years of Hospital Service in Sarawak’, a coffee table book at the new Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) complex at Petra Jaya near here on Saturday.

    ‘Petra Jaya Hospital’ built to complement the development planned at Bandar Baru Semariang together with Lawas Hospital to be built under the 10th Malaysia Plan, would contribute to the health industry.

    He said the master plan for the development of the health industry in Sarawak must be drawn up after careful thought since the situation here differed from elsewhere in Malaysia due to geography.

    “For instance, the ‘one hospital, one district’ concept is laudable to spread out amenities but the concept might not be practical as settlements are spread over large areas in the state.

    Also 60 per cent of such settlements comprise less than 50 families that are scattered all over.”

    “Even if we implement ‘one hospital, one district’, I’m afraid the hospital could not be properly manned. It is not easy to get doctors nowadays, every country in the world is short of doctors,” Taib pointed out.

    There are 31 districts in the whole of Sarawak – one district in Sarawak could be as big as one state in the peninsula.

    Sarawak needed to be treated differently until it became like the rest of Malaysia, he said, adding that some measures had to be designed to deliver effective service under present circumstances.

    Later in the night, Taib launched a coffee table book ‘The First 100 Years of Hospital Service in Sarawak’ before proceeding to present a copy to centenarian Sister Annie Wan in recognition of her service.

    “She was born in Sabah and came to Sarawak to serve as a nurse. The state would like to express its gratitude for her service before her retirement in 1965,” Taib said.

    Also present at the ceremony were Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Assistant Industrial Development Minister Datuk Dr Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen, Health Ministry’s Health Development Department director Datuk Dr Azmi Shafie representing Health Minister Dato Sri Liow Tiong Lai, and State Health Department director Dr Zulkifli Jantan.

    State Secretary Datuk Amar Morshidi Ghani and State Federal Secretary Datuk Mohd Yahaya Basimin also attended the function.

    ___________________

    RM460 Million For New Hospital In Petra Jaya

    Bernama News April 07, 2011

    KUCHING, April 7 (Bernama) — The Health Ministry will allocate about RM460 million to build a specialist hospital and a polyclinic in Petra Jaya following the rising population in this city.

    Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Liow Tiong Lai said currently the ministry was in the process of identifying the site and the project was expected to be completed in 2014.

    “With the existence of the new hospital and clinic, congestion at the Tanah Putih Health Clinic and Sarawak General Hospital could be reduced. The construction plan for the hospital had been approved under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

    “For the moment, we have no information on its cost because the structural plan had not been released. So, the actual allocation cannot be announced. After the design and requirements are ready, I feel the cost will be between RM300 and RM460 million,” he told reporters after a working visit to the Tanah Putih Health Clinic, here Thursday.

    He was accompanied by the candidate from the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) for the Pending state constituency, Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also a heart specialist.

    – BERNAMA

  • Louis

    TYT: Discard subsidy syndrome

    Borneo Post, Friday, May 11, 2001

    KUCHING – Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng today urged the people to eradicate the subsidy syndrome and be less dependent on government aid.

    He said it was important to change their attitude to strengthen the foundation for self-reliance and to develop a spirit of competitiveness. “Mindsets and attitudes which hinder development must be discarded.

    The subsidy mentality and government dependency must be discarded to enable us to stand on our own two feet and to have a competitive spirit,” he said when opening the State Legislative Assembly sitting here. He said the people had to have a dynamic entrepreneurial attitude and be well-versed in information technology (IT) to face the global economic challenges.

    “In order to meet even bigger challenges in the future, our entrepreneurs must prepare themselves to face competition in the international market, be knowledgable and have high integrity and self-reliance,” he said.

    He said highly knowledgeable and skilled entrepreneurs would motivate the new economy and prepare the State for the increasingly tough competition in the era of globalisation.

    “The globalisation trend is besieging us and whether we accept or reject it, is not the question. What we should ask is to what extent we are prepared so far,” he added.

    His Excellency said trade liberalisation _ an aspect of globalisation _ required the people to enhance their competitiveness.

    “This means they should be efficient in terms of the quality of the produce and production cost. A mind and attitude still inclined to traditional work practices which stifle progress should be discarded,” he said.

    He also stressed the importance of research and development (R&D), saying the government should reap optimum benefits from the State’s vast natural resources.

    On human resource development, the Head of State said he appreciated the State government’s efforts to develop a ready pool of highly skilled workers, who were knowledgeable and trained in information technology.

    “A huge allocation has been set aside for educational facilities and skills training. There is also a fund for Sarawak students to further their studies and upgrade their skills, especially in the technical and professional fields,” he said.

    He thanked the Federal government for establishing community colleges in all parliamentary constituencies.

    “This will certainly enable us to have more opportunities for the youth and members of the public to increase knowledge in technical and vocational skills,” he said.

    His Excellency also reminded elected representatives not to neglect their constituents, saying they should try their best to help them.

    “As representatives of your constituents, you are in the best to understand the problems of the people such as on issues pertaining to education, social and economic development,” he said.

  • Exorcist

    Preserve our eastern values: Taib to churches

    Borneo Post, Thursday, April 26, 2001

    KUCHING – Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud today called for the preservation of the eastern values alongside the moral teachings of the various faiths to promote religious tolerance in the plural Malaysian society.

    This was imperative to ensure continued economic advancement and closer spiritual fellowship among the people of different religions, he pointed out. The Chief Minister was addressing a luncheon reception for leaders of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) who are attending their 10th Triennial General Assembly (TGA) held for the first time in Kuching. For instance, Abdul Taib said the tendency of avoiding getting too-near relatives for fear of being accused of nepotism or the ‘mother-in-law phobia’ and so forth should be done away with. The people must continue to establish relationship with members of their bigger extended family even though they may be distant in the physical form, he said.

    He said: “It is a major challenge to preserve the feeling of love in the family especially with globalisation.

    “The faster pace of changes taking place in the homes has surrendered the role in religious upbringing to the religious leaders in the church, mosque or temple.”

    Abdul Taib suggested that one way to do it ‘is to have the school get the children of different races and religions to mix with one another, even though it may only be doing some small charitable works.’ He believed this would help promote a sense of caring for one another regardless of their religious backgrounds.

    “It is important to ingrain tolerance among the people in the context of encouraging more understanding in interacting with one another,” he said.

    He said another challenge that came with the advancement of materialism was generation gap and how to mould the spiritual wellbeing of the youths of today.

    “Parents are now more busy with material pursuits with more women joining the workforce, resulting in less and less mothers looking after their children. With the economic changes taking place so rapidly, family cohesion is suffering and the generation gap is getting wider,” he pointed out.

    There was therefore the need to spend more time and resources to develop social activities to encourage healthy interaction among the people of various races and religions, Taib said. One hundred delegates, fraternal guests and accredited observers from 16 member churches and eight associations of national Christian organisations are attending the TGA from April 23 to 26 to review past programmes and provide new directions for work in the next three years.

    _______________

    Taib advises Muslims to follow the middle path

    The Star, Thursday, September 13, 2001

    KUCHING: A sombre Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday advised Muslims in Sarawak to be moderate in their outlook towards life and to avoid extremist actions.

    “Islam teaches us to be moderate in all aspects of our living and also to be thankful for what we have been given,” he said.

    Taib, who was launching the RM28.3mil Islamic Development Department (Jakim) at Matang in the Malay-majority Pantai Damai constituency of 12,424 voters, said they should not only be thankful to God but also to fellow human beings.

    The Pantai Damai seat is tipped to be one of the hottest seats where Parti Keadilan Nasional is expected to put up a strong fight against PBB, the backbone of State Barisan Nasional coalition.

    PBB is expected to field new comer Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi who is taking over from incumbent Datin Paduka Sharifah Mordiah Tuanku Fauzi who has moved to Samariang seat.

    Sixty-five-year-old Taib, had been travelling extensively in the south and central parts of Sarawak since the dissolution of the State Assembly on Sept 8.

    Taib said the Quran taught Muslims to take care of their elderly parents during old age and this clearly indicated that Allah wants human beings to be thankful to those who had helped them.

    “We must avoid teachings by certain Islamic groups in the Peninsula which says there is no need to be thankful to any human being but only to Allah,” said Taib.

    Short of saying that the people of Matang should know how to be thankful to the Barisan Government for giving them good roads, electricity and water supplies and schools, Taib said Malays must not allow outside influence to disunite them.

    He added that they should maintain close ties with each other to ensure Sarawak continued to prosper.

    On Tuesday in Samarahan, Taib, who was in a fiery mood, took the opposition to task for accusing him of being zalim (cruel).

    He said: “If I am cruel, how can Sarawak be what it is today. This shows that the opposition does not know what they are saying.”

    He said voters should not be swayed and duped by opposition sweet talk.

    _____________

    Mixing politics with religion very dangerous — Taib

    Borneo Post, 10 April 2011

    MUKAH: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday warned the people of the great dangers involved in mixing politics with religion.

    “Never mix religion with politics. There is nothing more volatile, nothing more provocative than mixing the two.

    “Inevitably, we will quarrel if we try to politicise religion…also racial issues as well,” he said when opening the RM10 million St Peter/St Paul church here yesterday.

    Touching on the issue of some 30,000 copies of Malay language bibles left uncollected at Kuching Port, Taib said it was he himself and not the opposition who had rectified the situation.

    “I talked to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (on the matter),” he said.

    Taib said the opposition only knew how to make people angry and that there were much “at stake for us all if we have anger and suspicions against each other… Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhist.”

    “We must not allow religious extremists a free hand to divide and destroy society and the country,” he said.

    Taking a swipe at the opposition coalition’s slogan which called on the people to vote for change in the coming election, Taib said the people should think very carefully.

    “I have made the change in this state since 50 years ago. People are now better off. They have better standard of living, better lifestyle now. We have good roads, amenities, schools, there are many graduates too,” he said.

    He said they should ask themselves if this change was for the better or for the worse, whether there would be stability or instability, certainty or uncertainty.

    Taib said the people would face a very uncertain future if they were led by leaders like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

    “We must maintain what we already have…a united, harmonious, stable, prosperous, progressive and respectable society where we have the freedom to aspire for what we believe is good.

    “That is why when I step down I want to hand over the state to new people, qualified people so that there will be no change for the worse,” he said. — Bernama

  • aborium

    What politicians say is one thing, and what they do is quite another. It’s the right hand and left hand syndrome. They say don’t mix politics and religion. The fact that we’re in such a moral dilemma is because our political leaders can no longer differentiate between good and evil. The line is blurred and the justification needed for them to continue being greedy and selfish at the expense of others.

    Corruption and plunder, in any religion, is a grave sin. Now they blame others for being ‘extremists’ whereas their own actions are extreme and divisive to say the least, and which have led to the creation of many problems for the people. How can the table now be turned around against the people so as to throw favourable light on politicians’ own screwed-up theology, glorification and self-righteousness?

    No, politicians will be the last people on earth to look up for religious guidance and advice. Their areas of expertise are doublespeak, double-cross, corruption, greed and gluttony, betrayal and brutality, and making use of people and institutions as pawns in their political chess game. It’s the Dajjal’s favourite game!

    It’s ‘back door’ tactics and the grandmaster cheats! That’s the issue and we’re far from being ‘jealous’ of someone who cheats at his game or even to lay green eyes on his ill-gotten earnings or illegal trophies. The rules of game say he has broken many rules, that he’s disqualified and should retire and return the trophies to the people gracefully.

    Red Flag. What say you?