Eye Of The Needle – Ibrahim Mahmud

Eye Of The Needle – Ibrahim Mahmud

4 Feb 2012

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

Ibrahim Mahmud - an honest policeman sucked into the family corruption?

One very old adage is that you can’t bring your material wealth into the next world.

Plenty of ancient cultures hoped otherwise, packing fabulous riches into the tombs and pyramids of greedy past rulers. But it was the tomb raiders who had the last laugh on them.

More recent sufferers from excessive greed have invested in cryogenic freezing technology, in the hope they can buy immortality. Or they have simply supposed they could set up a dynasty that would always revere them by passing on the money to their children.

However, sooner or later, those children or grandchildren will succumb to the consequences of unearned wealth, plunging into fast lives, alcohol, drugs and despair. They will certainly forget to revere the old money-grabbers, who supplied their original riches.

Did Taib think of these things as he buried his brother this week?

Ibrahim’s wealth

Ibrahim Mahmud, like all his ex-colleagues, could have retired to his police pension. After all, unlike most of the other Taib family scroungers and hangers on, he had at least pursued a respectable career.

However, what was good enough for others turned out not to be enough for the brother of the CM!

Of course, if Taib had run the country less corruptly, then that police pension could have been a lot more generous.  But, rather than sharing, the Taibs have always grabbed resources that should have gone to the state to pay for such improvements for honest working people.

Harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle?

Investigations by Sarawak Report have already detailed some of the corrupt methods by which Taib enriched his now dead brother, at the expense of the people of Sarawak and his former fellow state employees.

We showed how the Chief Minister abused his power to secretively hand vast areas of state and NCR territories to companies owned by Ibrahim at nominal prices.

This meant that Dayaks were thrown off their lands and their forests were cut down without compensation to them and without any benefit to the state, all so that Ibrahim could sell on the concessions for a massive profit and make himself rich before he died.


One of these shoddy deals was Masretus Plantations.  Leaked Land & Survey Department details show that Taib awarded a massive concession of NCR land in Sungai Retus to a company owned by Ibrahim, Masretus Plantations, for a mere half million ringgit premium in 2008.

Sustainable palm oil?

Yet, within just six weeks Ibrahim had flogged off the 750 hectares to a major oil plan company, Tradewinds, for the dramatically increased sum of seven and a half million ringgit!

Not many police officers make that sort of profit from a month’s work.  But then, not many police officers get offered that sort of opportunity!

The scandal is that not only did the State of Sarawak receive so little from this valuable deal (money that could have been channelled into better pensions for government workers), but the rightful owners of these lands were deliberately kept ignorant of what had gone on.

By the time the dwellers of Sugai Retus had discovered that Taib had handed their rightful territories to enrich his brother, the courts told them they had passed the time period for complaining!

It is episodes like this that clearly show how Taib has enriched his family by impoverishing the people and the state.

Meanwhile, the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil would do well to consider on what grounds it granted Tradewinds its membership status, given that environmental and social responsibility are the key criteria?  Why should international buyers of palm oil be duped into believing that the product of Tradewinds did nothing to damage the environment or peoples’ lives?

Amgreen Plantation

Equally greedy and corrupted was the even bigger money-making deal that Ibrahim made out of the company Amgreen Plantation.  Sarawak Report has exposed how Taib handed no less than 5,000 hectares to this outfit, all under the guise of making a donation to the Sarawak Foundation, which is supposed to make grants to students.  For this reason the company was originally called Yayasan Sarawak Plantation.

But, in fact, behind this front of providing some public good, Taib made sure that the lion’s share of the company was owned by Ibrahim.  This is all made clear by the details of yet another huge profit-making sale, this time to the company Kumpulan Firma Bhd just last year.

The details of the sale, which were publicised on the Malaysian Stock Exchange show that Firma bought 80% of a company called Network Jaya for RM21 million.  The stock exchange documents explain that the reason for the purchase was that Network Jaya owned Victoria Square Plantations, which in turn owned 65% of Amgreen Plantations!

Ibrahim Mahmud owned 50% of Network Jaya, which was valued at over RM20 million, because of its stake in Amgreen Plantation!

Since Ibrahim turns out to own over 50% of Network Jaya that meant a fat pay out of RM11million.  So, how much profit had he made?  Our leaked Land & Survey Department records show that Taib had only asked for a premium of RM3.7 million for the whole concession of 5,000 hectares.  Network Jaya would have only paid roughly half of that.

So, Ibrahim and his partners had paid under RM2million to the State for land they then sold for over RM20 million (and they got to keep 20% of it)!   This excerpt below from our Land & Survey Department documents shows the detail of the corrupt deal.  It also shows how Ibrahim’s company Victoria Square Development received further land in a separate handout from brother Taib!

Amgreen's 5000 hectares had been offered at just RM3.7 premium to the state. Note that Amgreen shows the same address and same phone numbers as Ibrahim Mahmud's company Victoria Plantation. So much for it being run by Yayasan Sarawak!

So, who lost out to make Ibrahim so rich?  Well, the owners of the land, students and the taxpayers of Sarawak did, of course.

Now, he will be passing this wealth on to his family it is assumed.  That should make his son Ahmad Ibrahim, currently one of Taib’s political favourites, very compliant.  His corrupted old uncle is expected to encourage ‘the people of Mukah’ to ‘select’ this nephew to stand as their BN candidate at the next election.

SR suggests that the people of Mukah should consider whether they really want to continue to be robbed by another generation of the corrupted Taib family.  It is their absolute right to chose someone else!

Sarawak Pulp Industries

Of course there have been plenty of other means for enriching family members like Ibrahim.  None perhaps more outrageous than Sarawak Pulp Industries.

This is yet another Taib backed enterprise, supported by the State owned STIDC. Sarawak Pulp Industries has been given well over 10,000 hectares of oil palm, again for less than half a million ringgit when it could eventually be sold for tens of millions!

Sarawak Pulp Industries was also commissioned to construct the huge Bintulu Similajau Industrial Park, supported by public money.  The public face of the company was Taib crony Ting Peck Kiing.  So who owns the major shareholder, Hanib Corportation?

Guess who owns Hanib Corporation!

It will come as no surprise that a major shareholder of this massive state company, which has benefited from such vast concessions and contracts is none other than Ibrahim Mahmud.

And look who else has an even larger stake – Taib’s own daughter Hanifah!  The other equally major shareholder is Taib’s daughter in law Anisa, wife of playboy son Sulaiman.  When is this milking of the Sarawak State going to come to an end and when is the MACC going to do something about it ?

Family Affair - the Hanib Corporation is the owner of Sarawak Pulp Industries

Cats Radio

One of the main reasons that Taib has got away with all this enrichment of his own family at the expense of Sarawak has been that he has taken care to control all the papers and radio in the State, so nobody has been able to hear or read about what he has been getting up to.

Take the example of Cats Radio.  This is the only private radio station that Taib, in his capacity as Chief Minster, has agreed to give a licence to. Of course, it is easy to see how he controls what it said on the public radio, because it is paid for by the state.

But, what of this private radio station that has been so lucky to be the only recipient of a licence?  Well Cats Radio is owned by the company Kristal Harta.

So who owns Cats Radio?

And, lo and behold, the owner of Kristal Harta is none other than Hanib Corporation!  So, Sarawak’s only “private’ and ‘independent’ radio station is run by Taib’s daughter, daughter-in-law and Uncle Ibrahim, who postured as a Director of the Radio Station as he did as a Director of Sarawak Pulp Industries.

Private and Independent?

Ibrahim Mahmud could have been buried with a great deal more dignity this week if he had not been dragged into such filthy corruption and had remained instead an honest policeman charged with the duty of upholding the law.

Meanwhile, the truth at last about the Taibs can be read on the internet… and listened to on Radio Free Sarawak, which has declined to apply for a corrupted licence from Taib’s Sate of Sarawak!



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  • aborium

    Yes Bro’, the figures don’t tally. With so much of natural resources, yet we are being reduced to be the 4th poorest state in Malaysia after years of plunder and squander by the present government. Much of the riches have gone in the hands of a few politicians, their close relatives, friends and business partners. If you compare their total personal net worth which runs into billions of Ringgit with the total population of Sarawak which is slightly over 2.4 million, you get a clearer picture of the lopsidedness in wealth distribution. You don’t need to be a Math wizard to figure out that if the distribution is fairer or even, every family in Sarawak would literally be a millionaire!

    But sadly, this isn’t the case and Sarawak is a story of greed, corruption, leakages, foul play, abuse of power and the legal system, and a tyrannical rule. After half a century of so-called ‘development’, we can’t even have a decent highway linking Kuching to Miri, let alone the other basic infrastructure, facilities, and amenities which many rural areas are still lacking. Still we stand in awe at the Petronas Twin Towers as a firm testimony of where our riches have gone to!

  • Athanasius

    Apart from crooked cronies that shall denied entry to heaven, the crooked greedy Millionaire Priest also must be banished to hell by God

    Yes just like taib good old pal Fr.Chua (uncle to Audie61 blog/Audie Chua) that sold off lands(next to EPF HQ Kuching) to private hospital group rewarding himself easy money RM3 million not bad for a Millionaire Priest

    Wonder how much Fr.Chua pay tax anyway perhaps donate all the profits back to poor church folks like the rural poor dayak christians (whom made poor by taib)

    It shows that a man of faith can be made faithless by befriending taib greed

    Catholic Church simply disgraced itself by sleeping with the devil taib


    – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? – Matthew 16:26

    – “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” – Matthew 6:24

    – “Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15

    – Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.- Proverbs 28:6



    Year of Birth – 1935

    Year of Ordination- 1964


    Blessed Sacrament Church, BDC

    Postal Address

    P O Box A809,

    Kenyalang Park,

    93816 Kuching,



    A. Maklumat Syarikat: :


    Address : NO. 26, 2ND FLOOR, LOT 7038 JALAN SEKAMA

    Postcode 93300

    Town : KUCHING

    State: SARAWAK

    H.Maklumat Projek:

    Bil Tajuk Tarikh Anugerah Nilai (RM) Klien

    10. Prop. Private Specialist Hospital On Sublot 1 Of Lots 9887, 9888 & 9889, Section 64, KTLD At Jln Tun Jugah, (New Lot 10992), Kuching 23-02-2010 RM 29,665,000.00 MEDICAL-BORNEO SPECIALIST HOSPITAL SDN BHD


    74 years ago on this day…Taib Mahmud

    Some of his classmates joined the civil service after leaving school while one of them joined the priesthood, becoming Father Lawrence Chua.

    by James Ritchie, Sarawak Tribune, Friday, 21 May 2010

    Mahmud Abang Yahaya and Hamidah Yakub were blessed with their first child, Abdul Taib Mahmud.

    Born in Miri on May 21, 1936, Taib was just four years old when the Second World War broke out.

    Soon after Japanese troops landed in Miri in December 1941, Mahmud decided to move to his ancestral home in Mukah, where he felt his young family will be safe.

    Growing up in Mukah, young Taib picked up several of his father’s good traits.

    Taib recalls: “My father was a very strict person, and he was very frank. He taught us to be always truthful. He was very hardworking and his ambition was simple – to see his children do well in life.”

    After the war, Taib returned to Miri where his father worked with Sarawak Shell and continued with his primary education.

    Determined to make something of himself, Taib was only 13 when he became one of three students from Miri to win a scholarship to study at the prestigious St Joseph’s School in Kuching. This was a moment that would help define his life in later years.

    In Kuching, Taib stayed with relatives at Jalan Jawa (now Jalan P Ramlee) and had his first taste of living away from home. This would toughen up his resolve.

    At St Joseph’s, Taib made many friends. Among his peers were two other scholars – Miri-born Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, who is now the Deputy Chief Minister and former Sarawak state secretary Tan Sri Bujang bin Mohammed Nor.

    Some of his classmates joined the civil service after leaving school while one of them joined the priesthood, becoming Father Lawrence Chua.

    Taib excelled in his studies and, after his Higher School Certificate (HSC), won a Colombo Plan scholarship in 1956 which took him to Adelaide in Australia when he planned to become a doctor. However, while there, he decided to read Law instead.

    “ We have to take care of our visitors. This is one Sarawak trait that we must not forget. It is this trait of hospitality and genuine friendship that has made Sarawak one of the most popular spots in Malaysia”


    Even then, Laila was his source of strength and the “pillar” behind Taib. Because both had come from good families, they treated all the people they met with respect.

    As a young man Taib cut a dashing figure, flamboyant and suave, yet he preferred to project the other side of his personality – the “kampong boy” or the sincere village lad.

    His mission in life then, as it remains today, was to protect the “little man”; this being the main role and responsibility of all leaders and rulers in that days of old.

    Taib clearly remembers that coming from a society where not too long ago, slaves were considered normal for some aristocratic families.

    But he was averse to such practices from the very beginning. In fact, he became “defender of the weak”.

    For this very reason, Taib had time for one and all. In the old days Taib and Laila mixed freely with people from all spectrums of life. They walked the towns and villages and were greeted by people from various strata. The older folk held Laila in great respect, not only because she was married to a Sarawakian, but also because she was gentle and elegant.

    After Taib moved to Kuala Lumpur as a federal minister, the couple maintain a decorum that was befitting their position. Taib developed a close friendship with all the Prime Ministers he served under – from Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Hussein Onn.

    He also drew close to many others including the talented musician- cum-actor and producer Tan Sri P. Ramlee. Taib is not ashamed to say that until today, he is still Malaysia’s number one fan of the late P. Ramlee, a personal friend. In the old days he even dressed like P. Ramlee. Today, he even sings like the superstar.

    After returning to Kuching, where he stepped up to the state’s top job on March 26, 1981, Taib revived his dream of instilling the very values of change that would propel Sarawak forward.

    Like before, history repeated itself as Laila and Taib would go on their tour of the state, reaching the smallest fragments of society, disregarding all religious and racial boundaries.

    They would travel by river and road, jet planes and helicopters, to the towns and most isolated villages of the state, touching the hearts and lives of people of all ages.

    The couple had always believed in the personal touch; a kind word here, a gift to a poor villager there, spontaneous help to some worthy cause, be it through the government or from his own pocket.

    They continued to formulate programmes that would help the neglected, destitute and underprivileged segments of society.

    In the sporting arena, Taib has always been Sarawak’s number one sports fan because of his personal involvement in all sporting activities. He was famous for his spontaneity, always surprising the public on many occasions with generous gestures and donations.

    Religious institutions, communities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were also not left out. There was a time when Laila and Taib would go for long brisk walks in the family garden at Demak Jaya off Jalan Bako.

    And Taib had been on the occasional jet-skiing trip along the Sarawak River. These jet-ski trips were not just a carefree water spree because, as chief minister, he had a first-hand view and experience of what needed to be done.

    Perhaps this was when he decided that it was time to beautify the riverbanks and rid the river of the “romantic” stilted village toilets that faced the Holiday Inn?

    In the old days it was not uncommon for Taib to walk in the kampung without shoes. In modern times, Taib attends social and informal events functions in ordinary gear – T-shirts or even a track suit.

    This humble touch goes back to the early days to Taib’s humble beginnings, especially when he was championing many causes. At the same time, Taib has carried himself well at official functions, not only dressing for the occasion.

    A trait that he still maintains is the tie with the Sarawak flag colours – red, yellow and black.

    Over the years, Taib has never failed to stress upon the government and its people the need to sell Sarawak to tourists as a destination of a “community with a heart”.

    Taib feels that if the visitors love the people of Sarawak, they will act as ambassadors of the state and, indeed, visitors and tourists, from backpackers to the rich and famous and, old and young, always speak of Sarawak’s legendary hospitality.

    Taib said: “ We have to take care of our visitors. This is one Sarawak trait that we must not forget. It is this trait of hospitality and genuine friendship that has made Sarawak one of the most popular spots in Malaysia.”

    Despite his busy schedule, Taib still has time for the other people from all walks of life meeting all sorts of people-whether they are Malay, Melanau or Bidayuh from the kampungs, Iban or Orang Ulu from the longhouses, Chinese farmers or Penan from the jungle.

    In the early days the Taib had “open house” during Hari Raya where people from all walks of life, races and religions would come to meet the family.

    The poor, disabled and handicapped would also make the journey to his residence-first his official residence-first at “Rumah Sarawak” at Reservoir road and later his own home at Demak Jaya. Later the venue was moved to the State Indoor Stadium’s “Stadium Perpaduan” (Solidarity Stadium).

    On all festive occasions, Taib has also made it a point to visit the various communities comprising almost 30 ethnic groups-from the Chinese, Dayak or Indian who celebrate Chinese New Year, Gawai Dayak, Deepavali and Christmas in the true spirit of camaraderie.

    Having lived in the rural areas and served in Kuala Lumpur as a Federal Minister for 13 years, Taib is appreciate of the multi-racial Sarawak which has emerged after 35 years of Independence.

    The interaction of various communities such as visiting each other during festivities (though visiting each other is a normal practise of the many ethnic races in the State) is a practice which is unique to Malaysia, Sarawak in particular.

    Taib and his family are friends of the ordinary citizens. During functions or press conferences, Taib also mixes freely with everyone. Over the years he has developed a strong and lasting bond with the local journalists.

    It was Taib who suggested the government interact with the journalists. He mooted the idea of a “Fancy Dress” gathering at which members of the media would get to know the Chief Minister better.

    As singing is one of Taib’s hobbies, the media practitioners have learnt to develop their vocal skills.

    For the past 47 years, Taib has been a dedicated father and devoted grandfather. In fact, the Taib clan extends far and wide. The children, siblings and family members are married into all communities- Canadian, Chinese, Eurasian, Sarawak Malay, Peninsular Malay, Iban and Lebanese.

    Over the years, Taib has instilled the values that he was brought up with, both in his own family and his larger family – Sarawak.

    As Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud celebrates his 74th birthday today, we can be proud to have a leader whose heart has a place for each and every one of us, all Sarawakians, great and small!


    Mixing politics(AND GREED!) with religion very dangerous — Taib

    Borneo Post, April 10, 2011, Sunday

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

    RELIGIOUS UNITY: Taib signs the plaque of the new St Peter/St Paul Roman Catholic Church Mukah. Looking on are Mukah Catholic Church Charitable Trust and Roman Catholic Mission chairman Datuk Aidan Wing (Taib’s right), Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, and church rector Father Michael Lee (right).

    “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