Taib’s Landgrabs – The Breakdown

Taib’s Landgrabs – The Breakdown

18 Jan 2012

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

Don't take our forest! Bruno Manser Fund has looked behind 'development' at the real motive driving Taib - Money.

Bruno Manser Fund’s research team have done the world another favour.  They have conducted a careful and painstaking analysis of the leaked Land & Survey Department information that we first revealed on line here on Sarawak Report [click for land grab map and data].

From the BMF report we can now see clearly, in black and white, the extraordinary extent of the theft carried out by the Chief Minister and his family of Sarawak’s native and state-owned lands.

In the name of ‘development’ Taib has filched an area three times the size of Singapore for himself and close family members.  Indeed, the Chief Minister, who claims he ‘does no business in Sarawak’ is himself an owner of the company which has received most of all in terms of land, Delta Padi [see our previous expose].

Dirt cheap (or free)!

Just as outrageous is the fact that these handouts by the Chief Minister to himself and his family were made either for free or for a ridiculously low cost.  According to BMF, 50% of the land handed to Taib family companies were given out for free under the guise of “payment in kind”!

This means the poor people of Sarawak did not even get a proper premium for the land that has been taken from them, which could have at least paid for some compensation or basic amenities for the state.

What kind of government carries out this sort of theft against it people?


Leadership cult - Who is Taib that he wants to take everything?

Taib Mahmud runs what is known as a kleptocracy, from the old Greek word ‘klepto’, which means I steal.

Taib is himself a kleptocrat, which means that his primary motive, from the moment he gets up in the morning till he goes to bed in the evening, is to abuse his power to grab as much as he possibly can from the people who have placed their trust in him.

Sarawak has given a thief all the keys to the nation’s wealth and he has been stealing from them ever since!

The headline figures of the BMF report are that 200,000 hectares of native lands have been handed out to 31 Taib related companies over recent years to chop down and turn into oil palm.  Altogether these companies have paid a mere RM100million in premiums for that land, a fraction of its worth in terms of timber and palm oil production.

Take Taib’s brother Onn’s recent advertisement for his own Achi Jaya plantation lands for example.  He has been asking RM31million per acre, which makes a price of RM77million per hectare.  This would place a worth on the 200,000 hectares grabbed by Taib at an eventual RM15.4 billion!

Compare that figure to the miserable RM3.47 million that Taib’s BN state government just announced was all it could afford to allocate this year to alleviate hard-core rural poverty!

Top Ten! - The top ten Taib companies to receive land grants from .... well Taib

Consider what Sarawak could do with RM15.4billion to help the impoverished communities of the interior. What a mistake to allow such wealth to pass through the hands of greedy old Abdul Taib Mahmud!

MACC – stubbon silence

At what cost? Taib's money-making obsession has destroyed Borneo's priceless heritage

Once again this is new information that has prompted yet another call to Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission.

BMF in its latest press release reminds that it was only last month that the NGO presented another key dossier on the Chief Minister to the same authority, showing how Taib’s closest family members have stakes in 332 Malaysian and 85 foreign companies.  The net worth of just 14 of those companies adds up to US$1.4billion (around RM4.5billion).

Just one last statistic – Taib’s salary is around RM20,000 a month!





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  • aborium

    The elephant is 3 times the size of Singapore and if they’re those who still deny this for reasons best known to them, then they’re ‘elephant blind’, a condition where first response is total rejection, then doubts and self-questioning, to awareness and understanding, and final acceptance. The problem with elephant blindness is by the time they fully recover, the jumbo is already on its way to Hong Kong! Changing hands and fast deals, that’s the name of the game, you see. How fast are you in spotting an elephant?

  • aborium

    “No one is above the law” and if we still uphold this dictum dearly, why are we then selective in disallowing the due process of the law to run its course? Why exclude certain personalities from the police identification line-up? What are we afraid of, if we’re not the guilty one? Can this ‘non-action’ on the part of the government to hasten the case against Taib be construed as an act of a willing accomplice in a criminal or illegal act? Not even the government is above the law.

  • Pingback: Satellite images show Malaysia deforestation faster than all of Asia | Asian Correspondent()

  • aborium

    Your point regarding the protection by KL as long as Taib delivers the votes for BN raises some more interesting questions:

    1) In this case, is the act of ‘protection’, ‘obstruction’, ‘delay’, ‘inaction’ or ‘dismissal’ on the government’s part a legal or illegal act when the evidence against the perpetrator is overwhelming?

    2) Is the government condoning corruption and criminal acts by some individuals and not others? On what legal basis?

    3) Are there two sets of laws – one for the elite and the other for the rest of us?

    4) Are we then led to believe that the government of the day has a strangle-hold on how laws should be interpreted and enforced? Or is own judiciary really independent?

    Lastly, do we need to wait for an election to arrive at answers or resolutions to the above questions? I think not.

  • DGg

    Aborium n SR, I am afraid this abuse of power stuff doesn’t mean anything to the rural simple folks and Taib knows that and that is why he couldn’t care less and continue to fool them. I have even heard from these poor people that Taib is “entitled” to do whatever he thinks fit including enriching himself whilst he is in power. The rural Dayaks, including most Dayak leaders revere and fear Taib just like the North Koreans worship their Kim as if he is god. To them, without Taib, Sarawak will be a goner. As long as the rural folks look up to Taib as their saviour and could not see through his evil scheme, Taib will be here to stay (in power). So, in order to dispose this kleptocrat, total focus must be to change the belief of the rural people that Taib is not what they think he is.

  • aborium

    Bro, we share your sentiments and know the importance of the coming GE, a window of opportunity, if missed, you may find it hard to come by again. The GE battlefields in Sarawak are the rural areas and that’s where we leave the political parties and their candidates to battle it out.

    You can help out by becoming one of their volunteers or observers if you so desire. The new media will play its part in as much as the NGOs would also,in hope,lend their support.

    If at first it looks insurmountable, when you chip away the pieces, and with others coming in to help, the load will be lighter. No matter how corny it sounds, one cannot rule out divine intervention and prayers can move mountains!

    Pray for A New Beginning for Sarawak that you and I can be proud of, even if we’ve to pick up the broken pieces. If there’s a time that calls for your true grit, this is it and beware of the bogeyman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406071902 Driss

    Whoa..And i didnt get to read all those gone posts even..Sorry 4 ur loss.Thankfully most could be retrieved! Sorry it took so long 4 me to drop by.Only mgaaned to reply comments and go blog hopping..[cdason]It’s oke Mar, noticed your blog is also kind of dry’. Must be hard having no broadband. Hope everything goes well though.[]