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 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.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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?
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 ?
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.
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.
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!