12 Jul 2012

Mystery of Masing’s Million Ringgit Mansion

Mystery of Masing’s Million Ringgit Mansion

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

Profits of office? James Masing is just one of the BN YBs with unexplained wealth

The huge homes belonging to Taib Mahmud’s political allies is one of the unanswered and glaring issues in Sarawak.

How come so many ministers and YBs, who started on their political careers with no wealth at all, have ended up living in such style, when the salaries for public office are quite rightly modest?

There is no ban on a rich man seeking election. However, no one should exploit their political position to make themselves rich.  It is this form of corruption that has destroyed Sarawak.

Masing, who is the Iban leader of the PRS political party, a key constituent of Taib’s BN coalition representing UMNO’s control of the state, is by no means the only example of these flash homeowners.

However, we are entitled to ask where did he suddenly obtain the money to buy this gracious residence in the middle of Kuching’s smartest neighbourhood?

Private home in Kuching's most expensive neighbourhood

Masing moved into the two acre site off Jalan Ong Tang Sui around a decade ago from a much more modest semi-detached house in Lorong 17 Jalan Stampin.

How had a career on a relatively modest salary of around RM8,000 a month for a member of the Sarawak Assembly and local minister paid for this grand move?

The plot, which is walled off from the road and surrounded by pleasant gardens is worth some RM2 million alone at today’s prices!

Visitors relate that the house itself is large with two impressive reception rooms and bedrooms above. They say that it is lavishly furnished with carpets and expensive leather furniture:

“the whole residence oozes wealth and opulence” one guest has remarked to Sarawak Report

So, where did the money come from?

Minister for Land Development

The key to Masing’s unexplained wealth may possibly be found in his pivotal position as the Minister for Land Development, whose primary role is the ‘development’ of NCR lands.  The top target, according to the Ministry website, is plainly to encourage NCR land owners to transform their lands into oil palm plantations and to help private companies get involved in these joint ventures.

'New Concept' - so called Joint Ventures to encourage local NCR landowners to hand over their land for oil palm cultivation

Masing has often made clear his enthusiasm for the conversion of forest and NCR lands into oil palm, even when it means ‘alienating’ the land from its rightful NCR owners.  Already a million hectares of Sarawak rainforest has been converted and Masing is calling for a million more to be turned to oil palm by 2020.

However, the benefits to local people have been hard to detect.  Years after giving up their lands few of the native ‘Joint Venture’ landowners have received more than laughable sums of money from these plantations and many have received nothing at all in return for their valuable lands and timber.

“]

Naroden Majais - another minister who has been building a fine house out of his involvement "joint ventures" with NCR landowners - [Sarawak Report

 

Kickbacks!

Masing and Mong - Representatives who sough kickbacks out of alienating the lands of their own constituents

Meanwhile, Masing himself has been caught out in at least one highly embarrassing attempt to profit personally out of the so-called ‘alienation’ of Native Customary Lands belonging to his very own constituents!

Sarawak Report has recently exposed this scandal, showing how he and his party deputy, Mong Dagang, attempted to secure tens of millions in kickbacks as they negotiated the ‘Joint Venture’ between their own native constituents and private companies seeking to convert their lands.

The pair were demanding RM1,000 per acre for 70,000 acres from companies interested in taking up the deal, a demand that Mong blatantly laid out in a notice for prospective company investors, which he then signed!

Masing’s interest in the deal was represented by his brother, who was to be the named recipient of the money.

Now that is the sort of profit that can buy you a grand house, although Masing has since denied that his attempt at securing this multi-million ringgit kickback was successful!

The opposition lawyer See Chee How is currently representing James Masing’s disappointed constituents who are suing in this case, because this “Joint Venture” was pushed through despite the fact that over 50% of the native land owners had voted against it.

No surprise that 6 years on and none of the native “joint venture partners” have received any profit from the development that their local YB and Land Development Minister forced upon them at the same time as he was trying to secure kickbacks for himself!:

”They tell the people ‘let the LCDA develop your land and you will get 30% of the joint venture and profit’. However the people were not told about this huge kickback. Under the joint venture that money should have been shared among the people, not paid to nominees of the very politicians who were talking them into the scheme!”[See Chee How, lawyer for the NCR landowners]

Rimbunan Hijau – top oil palm plantation company in Sarawak and sponsor of James Masing?

"I was paid with a cheque from Rimbunan Hijau"! says a contractor on the Masing Mansion

However, if Masing did not receive the money that he had been attempting to get in kickbacks from this NCR land deal, how else could he have gained the money to pay for his house?

We have of course identified the lucrative Belian concessions and Approved Permits for selling cars that have unaccountably been handed to his wife.

Also there are the equally handsome public construction contracts that have also been handed to companies in which his wife is a shareholder.

These are all profitable favours from the state, which should never have been handed legitimately over to a politically connected ally of Taib Mahmud.

On the other hand information brought by contractors on Masing’s house to Sarawak Report indicates yet another method by which the Minister may have afforded to build his luxurious new home.  They have testified that their payment for the work came in the form of a cheque from one of the largest timber and oil plantation companies in Sarawak, Rimbunan Hijau!

Rimbuanan Hijau has been one of the major converters of NCR lands to oil palm plantations in the state.

 

 

 

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  • BunyiPutra

    According to BN, a handicapped person earning more than RM2,000 cannot get Welfare money anymore

    But BN YBs Ministers already mega rich but still continue getting help welfare from BN to secure Big Projek

    So you all can see how hyprocrite BN in giving Welfare money:

    1. A handicapped Cacat person (but Pakatan supporter) – STOP BN WELFARE MONEY!

    2. BN YBs Ministers Leaders Cronies – BN KEEP HELP THEM GET BIG PROJEK! THEY’RE CACAT TOO!

    ________________________

    ‘Not a deserving case’

    CLARIFICATION: Disabled man’s welfare aid stopped because he’s making more than RM2,000 a month, says minister Masing

    By DESMOND DAVIDSON, NST, 24 May 2012

    Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing chatting with Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen at the lobby of the state legislative assembly building in Kuching yesterday. Pic by Nadim Bokhari

    THE physically challenged individual, Frusis Lebi, who sparked the Jangan Lawan Tauke (do not fight the boss) row between Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing and the opposition, had his monthly welfare assistance discontinued because he no longer deserved such aid.

    “Frusis is now earning more than RM2,000 a month.

    “He has a house, a van and other facilities.

    “Why is the opposition creating such a fuss when the government stopped giving assistance to a person who does not need aid any more,” Masing told the state assembly yesterday.

    The opposition had claimed that the withdrawal was politically motivated because Frusis supported the opposition in the last state election.

    “What makes me, as a voter very unhappy, and I believe most people of Rh Anyai (Frusis lives in Entulang, Sri Aman) is that the government continues to give assistance to Frusis even though he earns more than RM2,000 a month.

    “He no longer needs such aid.

    “There are more deserving cases out there.

    “Therefore, when the department stopped giving aid to Frusis in October last year, I agreed it was a reasonable decision.

    “As a voter and citizen of this country, I am proud of what the BN government has done to make it possible for people like Frusis to earn a decent income.

    “This is a sign of a responsible government, administered by responsible, elected representatives.”

    Masing added that the opposition’s argument of who was the tauke (boss) “is a polemic exercise in futility”.

    He also said the opposition,especially those from DAP, could not pretend to be ignorant of the “consequences of fighting the boss”.

    “When I hear this phrase ‘do not fight the boss’, I cannot help but think of Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, a very well-respected Malay politician who until a few days ago, was a DAP vice-chairman.

    “He fought the boss in DAP by daring to be different.

    “Consequently, he was reprimanded.

    “Being a man of high integrity, he could not stand it and finally quit.”

    Masing said he had offered many people assistance and “when I offered to help, I never asked for their political affiliations”.

    ________________________

    Taib keeps his YBs wealthy

    by FMT Staff, March 7, 2012

    Taib Mahmud’s 30-year tenure as Chief Minister and Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman has spawned many millionaires within its circle of Ybs, says Sarawak Report.

    KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s secret to staying in power is bribery, at least that’s what the ‘political insiders’ here are saying.

    According to them, Taib has allegedly “bribed” MPs and assemblymen with timber concessions, plantations, contracts and whatnots in return for their absolute loyalty over the past 30 years.

    Taib has been in power since 1981 and whilst he has himself amassed an unexplainable amount of wealth which runs into billions in US dollars, here and abroad, he has also ensured that his ‘immediate’ circle of political allies have also become as wealthy.

    Take for instance his loyal deputy Alfred Jabu Numpang. Jabu has been Layar assemblyman for over 35 years, but the constituency is reportedly in a pitiful state. The man and his family however have reaped millions simply for keeping the native Ibans there convinced that Taib is ‘god-sent’.

    Jabu has allegedly received contracts, concessions and kickbacks each time Taib awarded himself some goodies.

    Jabu’s wealth is now sizzling the internet with disclosures of contracts awarded to him in the last decade.

    Jabu – who may very well be yet another billionaire – and his politically connected cronies have allegedly received over RM500 million in contracts through KACC construction in the last 10 years.

    The company is listed in the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) website.

    The website also offers names of the projects and contract worth. All except two of the contracts awarded to KACC Construction by the Taib government are in Bintulu.

    Shares in KACC Construction are reportedly held, jointly, by Jabu’s family and the families of state secretary Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Fadillah Yusof.

    Fadillah is the MP for Petra Jaya. She is also the Deputy Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

    KACC’s shareholders are Jabu’s daughter Jennifer and his cousin Robert Lawson Chuat (a PBB assemblymen). Other shareholders are Abdul Ghani’s brother Mohd Taufik and Fadillah’s niece and nephew.

    Millions for Sagan’s loyalty

    These details were part of a series of revelations on Taib’s ‘wealthy YBs’ by online investigative portal Sarawak Report (SR).

    According to the portal, KACC Construction is not the only source of Jabu’s wealth.

    Over the years Jabu and Taib have worked hand-in-glove in persuading natives to release their lands to them and their cronies, Jabu and his family run Herba Aromatics Sdn Bhd.

    The state government had awarded this company lucrative concessions which include rights to oil palm plantation, said the portal.

    Early last year it was widely rumoured that Jabu had ‘scored’ when he allegedly sold these lands to Felcra for RM7 million

    Then there is Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority Malaysia (Salcra). Jabu is the chairman of the controversial Salcra which involved the mass conversion of tens of thousands of hectares of native customary lands into oil palm plantation.

    Salcra was promoted as a way of providing the poor landowners with Sarawak with a living from the profits. But the portal said Jabu and his cronies however have happily reaped the benefits of the palm oil boom.

    Meanwhile other juicy bits on Sarawak Report include how federal minister Jacob Sagan, who is the Baram MP, allegedly sold his allegiance to Taib for hundreds of millions of ringgit in timber concessions and construction contracts.

    Sagan gave his support to Taib’s proposal to construct the monstrous Baram dam which will dislocate thousands of natives and destroy their livelihoods.

    Naroden, another beneficiary

    The Sarawak Report also mentioned Sarawak Entreprenuer Development Assistant Minister Naroden Majais who has made himself richer by allegedly awarding himself RM100 million worth of government contracts, with Taib’s permission.

    Details and value of the contracts were posted on the CIDB website. The contracts were awarded to Embun Pelangi Sdn Bhd, whose board of directors include Naroden’s wife, Massenah Ahmad and son Kamaruzaman.

    Since 2002 Embun Pelangi received no less than RM100 million in contracts from Taib.

    Naroden, who is allegedly ‘very close’ to Taib, is also one of the biggest timber concessionaires in Sarawak. Much of these concessions areas are in the region of the Baram Dam.

  • BunyiPutra

    Look how quick this James Masing doing U-Turn:

    In 1987 he said Jangan Takut Lawan Towkey Taib! Lawan BN!

    Then in 2011 he said Jangan Lawan Towkey! Taib is as clean as a whistle! Anang Ngelaban BN! OHHHAAA!!!

    _______________________

    Accept reality, group tells CM

    Dr Masing: “If Datuk Taib truly cares for the people of Sarawak, then he must resign forthwith.”

    Sarawak Tribune, 12 March 1987

    KUALA LUMPUR – The group of 28 elected representatives of Bersatu yesterday welcomed Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir’s advice to the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, that the present crisis be handled within the bounds of the State constitution.

    Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir was reported as having told the Chief Minister this on Tuesday when he met a delegation of Barisan Nasional leaders from the state at Seri Perdana.

    The group also described as “unwise” the calling of a snap state election to solve the crisis.

    A spokeman for the group, Dr James Masing of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), said that “in the period of political turmoil, uncertainty and the emergence of polarisation in the state, there is no guarantee that issues detrimental to racial harmony and stability will not be brought forth during an election campaign”

    Dr Masing said this in a statement issued at a hotel here which is the group’s temporary base in the city.

    The statement was issued after one of its delegations met Umno Youth head Anwar Ibrahim.

    Dr Masing said the group wanted to “get down to the business of the government without delay, for any further delay is bound to afffect the welfare of the people.”

    He said that since 28 of the 48 state assemblymen had expressed their loss of confidence in Datuk Patinggi Taib, the Chief Minister was constitutionally bound to tender his resignation and allow the group to form a new government.

    He reminded the Chief Minister of the meaning of Article 7-1 of the State constitution which states: If the Chief Minister ceases to command the confidence of a majority of the members of Dewan Undangan Negeri, then unless at his request the Yang di-Pertua Negeri dissolves the Dewan Undangan Negeri, the Chief Minister shall tender the resignation of the members of Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri.”

    Datuk Taib and company must accept this because this is what the State constitution provides. The Chief Minister should not cling to power when he knows for certain that he has ceased to command the majority support in Council Negeri. If Datuk Taib truly cares for the people of Sarawak, then he must resign forthwith,” he said.

    “Bersatu does not wish to wash dirty linen in public nor involve in mud-slinging because this will only bring about bitter recriminations and will not help to solve the problem. We want to get down to the business of government without delay for any further is bound to affect the welfare of the people.” he added.

    He said Tun Rahman has denied an allegation that Tengku Razaleigh and himself are the prime movers in the move by Bersatu. “This allegation is part of Datuk Taib’s effort to pit Bersatu against the Prime Minister,” he added.

    The Bersatu group and Tun Rahman fully support the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, he said.

    ________________________

    Masing believes Taib clean

    Borneo Post, June 23, 2011, Thursday

    CENTRE OF MEDIA ATTENTION: Reporters crowd around a speaker in the Media Room as Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud delivers his personal statement regarding the investigation by the Swiss Federation into his alleged assets in Switzerland.

    KUCHING: Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said he believed Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is innocent of all the corruption allegations hurled at him.

    The Baleh assemblyman also lauded Taib for being brave enough to tackle the issue head on yesterday.

    He said this when asked to comment on Taib’s explanations to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) yesterday that he does not own a Swiss bank account or assets and investments in Switzerland.

    “It is very good for him (Taib) to tackle the issue straight on.

    “That is what I expected a leader to do. As a politician you must not hide anything. If you have nothing to hide then go straight on because we are judged by public perception,” Masing said.

    Masing added that he was “impressed and satisfied” with the Chief Minister’s answer and he eagerly awaits the Swiss authorities to respond.

    “The onus of proof is from the other side,” Masing stressed.

    Asked whether the public would be convinced of Taib’s innocence, Masing lamented that members of the public always make judgement based on emotion and not the law.

    That, he added, represented one of the toughest obstacles which all politicians have to endure.

    “We are not judged by the fine lines of the law. We are judged by allegations, half truths and lies.”

    Meanwhile, Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh said what Taib did yesterday was to make it known to the whole world that the graft allegations were unfair to him.

    “Of course once the allegation is made and published in the press, not only the image of the Chief Minister but the state government of Sarawak may be tarnished,” he lamented.

    Therefore, he added, it was important for Taib to make the statement in DUN to redeem himself and to clear his name.

    “I think it is the right thing to do,” Soon Koh said.

    Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s statement failed to impress PKR leaders.

    State PKR liaison chief and Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said it was “quite unfortunate” that Taib’s statement was not put up for debate.

    He pointed out that there was no mention of whether the Chief Minister’s letter had been replied to and that PKR would be interested to know what Taib wrote and the reply, if any, to it.

    “As it has been reported that this involves MACC, we hope that the whole investigation will continue on in spite of the explanations he (Taib) made in the Dewan…as it is only an explanation. If there is really truth in it, then of course it is of concern to the public at large, especially Sarawakians,” said Baru.

    When asked whether the Chief Minister’s denial would help to assuage public concerns, Baru said he did not think so as there was nothing particularly significant about the statement.

    “You need to have concrete facts and evidence and decisions made either by the Swiss President or authority of Switzerland, or even from MACC. The report we hear is about an ongoing kind of investigation, so as for now, we’ll leave it as it is.

    “Unless they come up with a conclusion, it’s nothing that would wipe out any doubts or anything for that matter.”

  • DG

    I would like to give a correct SR’s info; the land on which his mansion stands is not 2 acres. I’d say its size is not more than a third of an acre. Appreciate if SR could verify before it publishes any news to reflect its professionalism and credibility.

  • Money Laundering 101

    Look how James Masing the Land Development Minister happy to close one eye for Sime Darby NCR land scam deals…

    Also it explains the reason why Sarawak top gangster OKAW always let loose by police

    OKAW is good friend of UMNO and crony Sime Darby

    OKAW and UMNO help each other and enjoy big overpriced projects (rural electric supply projects from Shafie Sabah UMNO Lanun) and NCR oil palm plantations

    Look carefully at all these companies all related to UMNO, Sabah Lanun Shafie Afdal,OKAW, Sime Darby, BN Kronies, James Masing lah:

    Esawin Resources…

    Vertical Drive Sdn Bhd….

    Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd….

    Common Enhance Sdn Bhd….

    “…It added Nature Ambience, which was incorporated in December 2008 and would be principally involved in oil palm cultivation and palm oil production, had on October 2, 2009, been granted approval from Sarawak’s Ministry of Land Development to invest in or develop 26,211ha of NCR land in Kapit and Julau in accordance with the state government’s new concept of development on NCR Land…”

    _______________________

    Ex-Sime chief’s CBT case a surprise, DAP calls for further probe

    By Jahabar Sadiq, The Malaysian Insider, July 18, 2012

    Zubir was the only one charged over the RM1.7 billion in losses posted by Sime’s energy division.—Reuters pic

    KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 ― The cheating charge against ex-Sime Darby Bhd chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid yesterday over native land bought in Sarawak has prompted the DAP to push for a White Paper into the government conglomerate’s operations, which posted a massive RM1.7 billion in losses from its engineering unit in 2010.

    The 55-year-old was the only one charged with two counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) and cheating in acquiring Native Customary Rights (NCR) land under the plantations-to-property giant’s Sarawak Upstream Expansion Plan in 2008 and 2009. He pleaded not guilty and is out on a RM200,000 bail.

    “It comes as a complete surprise after all the brouhaha over alleged mismanagement and abuse in the Sime Darby Engineering division which caused Sime to record massive RM1.7 billion losses, (that) Zubir is now being charged for alleged CBT for the purchase of a piece of NCR land in Sarawak,” DAP publicity chief Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider.

    Those in the plantation industry were puzzled over Zubir’s charges, pointing out that the Sarawak expansion was then spearheaded by Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid who headed Sime Darby Plantations from 2006 to 2010. He then replaced Zubir who was forced to quit in late 2010.

    Azhar is now chief executive of the government-owned MRT Corporation Bhd that is developing the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang MyRapidTransit (MRT) city train line.

    “We call upon the government who are the major shareholders of the company to disclose in full via a White Paper on the Sime Darby scandal. We fear that scapegoats are being created to cover up for the multibillion ringgit scandal in Malaysia’s largest conglomerate,” said Pua, who is also the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

    Zubir, who is already facing civil suits by Sime and the government over losses incurred by the conglomerate, was arrested on Monday by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the plantation land deal.

    In the first charge, he is accused of failing to take or instruct legal action between November 17 and 28, 2008 to rectify the award of NCR lands in KJD/Lower Julau, Sg Julau/Sg Pitoh/Sg Jiet and part of Merurun/Meluan/Entabai in Sarikei to Vertical Drive Sdn Bhd, thereby causing Sime to incur losses amounting to RM85 million for having to acquire the company.

    He is also accused of a similar offence involving Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd, over NCR lands at the confluence of Btg Rejang/Btg Baleh, Kapit and the remaining eastern half of the Merurun/Meluan/Entabai and Julau from November 17, 2008 to December 4, 2009, causing Sime RM16.8 million in losses.

    The charges under Section 409 of the Penal Code carry a jail term of up to 20 years, whipping and a fine. He faces two alternative charges of cheating under Section 418 of the Penal Code in failing to inform Sime’s board of directors on November 28, 2008 and December 4, 2009 respectively that the NCR lands in Sarikei had instead been awarded to Vertical Drive and Nature Ambience.

    He faces up to seven years in prison, a fine, or both, upon conviction under the Section. The offences were allegedly committed at the Sime Darby Berhad office in Wisma Sime Darby, Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur.

    Sime’s unit, Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, announced on December 7, 2009 that it had acquired the entire stake in Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd from Common Enhance Sdn Bhd for RM16.82 million to develop oil palm plantations in Sarawak on NCR land.

    “The acquisition will enable the Sime Darby group to develop oil palm plantations in Sarawak under the state government’s new concept of development for NCR land, in conjunction with Sarawak’s Land Custody and Development Authority (Pelita) and the natives holding native customary rights in the land.

    “It is the intention of the group to adopt a differentiated approach to cultivate the NCR land, which is to be developed pursuant to the NCR joint-venture agreement, in compliance with the relevant guidelines issued by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil,” the company said in a statement.

    It added Nature Ambience, which was incorporated in December 2008 and would be principally involved in oil palm cultivation and palm oil production, had on October 2, 2009, been granted approval from Sarawak’s ministry of land development to invest in or develop 26,211ha of NCR land in Kapit and Julau in accordance with the state government’s new concept of development on NCR Land.

    Sime said in the approval letter that the state’s ministry of land development had asked Pelita to issue a formal offer letter to Nature Ambience incorporating the basic terms and conditions to be entered into among relevant parties, the NCR joint-venture (JV) agreement, subsequent to the confirmation of interest by Nature Ambience.

    It said the JV was expected to be between Nature Ambience, as a JV vehicle, Sime Plantation and Pelita’s subsidiary, Pelita Holdings Sdn Bhd, acting for itself and as trustee for the natives holding the rights in the NCR land.

    Under the NCR land development scheme, the equity structure of the JV held by the investor, landowners and trustee would be 60:30:10, it added.

    It said the scheme was an effort by the Sarawak state government to bring together the landowners with their land and the private sector with its capital and expertise to develop the land for commercial farming on a joint-venture basis, for the benefit of both parties.

    “The objective of the NCR land projects is to turn idle NCR land into productive commercial assets and enhance equitable economic wealth distribution in the state,” the conglomerate said.

    ________________________________

    Open tender projects: ‘RM404m gone to waste’

    Syed Jaymal Zahiid | November 10, 2011

    The DAP claims that the money was wasted because the government has refused to award 67 open tender projects to the lowest qualified bidders.

    KUALA LUMPUR: As much as RM404 million extra was “wasted” this year because the rural and regional development ministry refused to award 67 open tender projects to the lowest qualified bidders, DAP Perak chief Ngeh Koo Ham said.

    Ngeh, the Beruas MP, claimed that of the 209 projects planned for the year, the ministry had awarded 129, of which only 68 were given via open tender.

    Although open tenders were conducted for the 68 projects, he said they were not given to the lowest-priced bidder apart from one.

    “There are reasons to suspect the existence of rampant corrupt practices,” said Ngeh, the DAP deputy secretary-general.

    He cited one example of a project where the bidding could have been as low as RM7,775,000 but the ministry eventually awarded the tender for RM41,736,809.77.

    He also claimed the Sarawak Rural Water Supply recticulation system worth RM83 million and the Sarawak Special Rural Water Supply 2011/2012 project worth RM555 million were awarded through direct negotiations.

    Ngeh said he estimated that RM500 million of taxpayers’ money were lost through improper awarding of these projects.

    He claimed that Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Joseph Entulu Belaun had refused to answer his questions on the allegations in Parliament on Monday.

    “I stayed up till 10.30pm in Parliament on Monday to debate and to wait for the answer from the ministry on the issues I had raised.

    “I was greatly disappointed when the deputy minister refused to answer my questions,” Ngeh said

    ________________________

    Black Dog’ no longer a threat

    New Straits Times, Sep 9, 2007

    KUCHING: He is known to have been involved in loan sharking, gambling, prostitution and drugs for more than 30 years.

    In the 1970s, “O Kaw” (Black Dog) was held under the Internal Security Act for passport forgery. In the 1980s, he was detained twice under the Emergency Ordinance and was banished to the penal island of Pulau Jerejak.

    Each time, the gangster picked up where he had left off on his release.

    Because people were afraid of him, it had been impossible till now to make any of the crimes he is said to have committed stick.

    On Friday, the 67-year-old was picked up on another Emergency Ordinance warrant, but this time police are confident they have nailed him.

    State CID chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said yesterday: “The allegations against him are strong. It was only in recent months that we could build a case against him. Information on him has been coming in freely now. I believe this is due to public confidence in police acting against gangsters. People felt intimidated by his threats. That’s why we are only acting now.”

    Black Dog, so called because of his penchant for heavily-tinted black cars, is the latest in a string of gang leaders to be arrested under the Ops Cantas Kenyalang crackdown on organised crime. He is believed to have been flown to the peninsula yesterday and will be held at an undisclosed location for 60 days.

    Police have arrested 21 gang leaders and their lieutenants.

    They are hunting for another 10 to 12 leaders.

    ___________

    Gang lord’s arrest brings number to 21

    The Star, Sunday September 9, 2007

    KUCHING: Another gang leader has been nabbed bringing the total of gang lords arrested under Ops Cantas Kenyalang to 21.

    State CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said a six-man team nabbed the suspect, in his 60s, at a leading shopping centre here on Friday evening.

    He said the suspect and the others nabbed under the five-month operations statewide were detained under the Emergency Ordinance.

    The man is allegedly linked to illegal activities, including prostitution and gangsterism.

    He is said to have business interests in a car company, and holds key posts in several non-governmental education and community-based organisations.

    ___________________

    Michael Teo Kim Huat@OKAW

    -advisor of Miss Cheongsam Malaysia fund raising event Michael Teo

    -Kuching Rotary Club member

    -Kuching Hokkien Association member

    -Kamdar Carpet / Naza Car Dealer Jln Tun Jugah Kch

    -Competitive Supreme Ssangyong Car Dealer formerly along Jln Hui Sing

    -Rasa Sayang pub Jln Sekama Kch

    -Lido Sport pub Jln Ang Cheng Ho Kch

    -Pandan Indah Thai Restaurant RH Commercial Centre Jln Airport Kch

    -Lian Hua Seng group / made the Sarawak state monopoly rice, flour miller by Bernas/UMNO only to smuggle it again to Kalimantan

    -Top DVD pirates dealer in Sarawak

    -Esawin Resources Jln Pending Kch awarded over RM320 Million RES/Rural Electrification Scheme projects by UMNO

    -Favoured by Sulaiman Taib for helping ‘settled’ the Avaa Vanja Ramli assault case in KL by Okaw gangs

    -Favoured by UMNO Pahang in smuggling subsidised diesels via Bintawa – Singapore – Thai market using modified fishing trawlers, big tanker vessels and lorry tankers Metro Sedia Group all kept blind eye by Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri & Kepenggunaan

    -Total OKAW gang/associates empire worth easily RM1 Billion

    _______________

    “…advisor of Miss Cheongsam Malaysia fund raising event Michael Teo…”

    Miss Cheongsam Malaysia makes a comeback

    by By Jonathan Chia, Borneo Post, November 25, 2011, Friday

    http://www.theborneopost.com/newsimages/6716.jpg
    CHARITY BEAUTY PAGEANT: Soh (fi fth left), Chong (third left) and Ellie (second right) hold the Miss Cheongsam Malaysia 2012 beauty pageant posters during a press conference. Also seen (from left) are Lau, Chung, Teo, Richard and Su.

    KUCHING: Miss Cheongsam Malaysia beauty pageant is back again after an absence of three years since 2008.

    The beauty pageant, which started in 2005, is open to all single and unmarried Malaysian Chinese lasses between the age of 18 and 24 years old with a height of more than 163 centimetres.

    “By opening the beauty pageant to all Malaysians, we hope to attract more participants throughout the country. Those from the state should take this opportunity to join the prestigious pageant to play host, help promote Sarawak and at the same time, learn new things,” said Alaric Soh, the organiser and proprietor of Alaric’s Productions Company, at a press conference held at The Club Lobby Lounge of Riverside Majestic Hotel here yesterday. Besides that, he also said Miss Cheongsam Malaysia 2012 would help the participants gain new experience, self confi dence, make new friends and do something for a good cause.

    “Participants will be provided with all trainings for catwalk, stage presentation, personal make-up and beauty grooming,” Soh added.

    According to him, Miss Cheongsam Malaysia is organised as a community and charitable event with the main aim of celebrating Chinese New Year, fostering closer friendship among the Chinese communities and to help raise funds in aid of the board of management of Kuching Chung Hua Middle Schools No. 1, 3 and 4.

    “Before the start of this beauty pageant, we have already raised RM50,000 from Naim Holdings Bhd who has been donating this amount for many years.

    The money donated will be channelled to Kuching Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, 3 and 4,” Soh revealed.

    Meanwhile, Kuching Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, 3 and 4 management committee chairman Richard Wee thanked Alaric’s Productions Company for helping the schools to raise funds through the pageant for many years.

    “I would also like to thank Naim for contributing this amount through Alaric’s Productions Company for the event to be donated to the schools. The money contributed will go to the funds of Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, 3 and 4,” he added.

    He urged more companies here to emulate Alaric’s Productions Company for giving yearly contributions to the schools.

    “We need the support from the community as Chinese independent schools are not financially supported by the government. We welcome any quantum of contribution from the public,” Wee highlighted.

    The grand final will be held on Feb 4 next year – the 13th day of Chinese New Year at Riverside Majestic Hotel here.

    The winner of Miss Cheongsam Malaysia 2012 will receive cash prize of RM6,000 while the fi rst runner-up will receive cash prize of RM3,000.

    The second runner-up will receive cash prize of RM2,000, third runner-up will receive cash prize of RM1,000 and fourth runner-up will receive cash prize of RM800.

    There are also fi ve subsidiary titles to be awarded – Best Cheongsam Design, Miss Talent, Miss Personality, Miss Photogenic and Miss Friendship. The winner for Best Cheongsam Design will receive RM800 and RM500 each for the winners of Miss Talent, Miss Personality, Miss Photogenic and Miss Friendship. As for fi nalists who do not win any of the prizes, they will also receive RM300 cash each.

    “The highlight of the grand fi nal night will be the Cheongsam wear in which the participants will have to design and make their own. By designing and making their own Cheongsam, it is intended to give exposure to the participants to understand more about the origin and profoundness of the traditional Chinese wear. Hopefully, this great traditional value will be preserved,” Soh explained.

    Besides parading in Cheongsam, there will be Chinese casual wear and talent performance. There will be no swimwear.

    Also present during the press conference were Kuching Chung Hua Middle School No. 1, 3 and 4 management committee assistant treasurer Chung Miang Poh, advisor of Miss Cheongsam Malaysia fund raising event Michael Teo, Riverside Majestic Hotel manager Patrick Lau, trainer for Alaric’s Productions Company Shirley Su, Miss Cheongsam Charity 2010 Joycelyn Chong and Miss Cheongsam Charity 2011 Ellie Wee.

    Those interested to participate are required to email their photos, personal particulars such as age, height, weight, hometown, city and phone contacts to misscheongsam @gmail. com or alaricsoh @gmail. com. For more information regarding the beauty pageant, visit www. misscheongsam.com or SMS to 014-6800000.

    The main sponsor for Miss Cheongsam Malaysia 2012 is Riverside Majestic Hotel. The Borneo Post, See Hua Daily News and Utusan Borneo are the official papers.

    ________________

    Dubious deal by Metro Sedia group/ Chew Chiaw Ann/ Okaw Gang:

    A RM17 million price tag

    Anil Netto blog, Dec 26, 2009

    On 4 December 2009, Sime Darby Bhd, through its plantation arm, Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, bought the entire issued and paid-up capital (50,000 shares of RM1 each) of an obscure new company, Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd, for RM16.8 million.

    What makes Nature Ambience, which was incorporated only a year ago (on 12 December 2008), so special? Although it will become an oil palm plantation firm, a company search reveals its nature of business to be “general trading”.

    On 2 October 2009, the Ministry of Land Development, Sarawak granted Nature Ambience approval to be the investor/developer for 26,211ha of Native Customary Rights land in Kapit and Julau, Sarawak. This was reportedly in line with the Sarawak state government’s “new concept of development on NCR land”. The Ministry is headed by James Masing, who is also the state assembly member for Balleh, one of the constituencies in Kapit.

    With its purchase of Nature Ambience, Sime Darby will now be allowed to develop oil palm plantations in the Sarawak NCR development scheme.

    A joint venture is expected to be established between:

    Nature Ambience, as the joint venture vehicle, Sime Plantation and Pelita Holdings Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the Land Custody & Development Authority of Sarawak (Pelita), acting for itself and as trustee for the natives holding the native customary rights in the NCR lands.

    (Under the Sarawak NCR development scheme, the usual joint-venture structure is

    Investor – 60%

    NCR native landowners (with Pelita acting as trustee) – 30%

    Pelita’s own stake in joint venture – 10%

    Under the scheme, leasehold title (usually 60 years) is given to the joint-venture firm with the natives getting a 30 per cent stake in the firm in return.)

    For the purchase of Nature Ambience, Sime Darby paid close to RM17 million to buy the firm from Common Enhance Sdn Bhd. “The total cash consideration for the acquisition was RM16,816,212 which has been paid on even date (4 December) from internally generated funds,” Sime Darby reported to the Bursa on 7 December 2009.

    Company searches reveal an interesting three-tier hierarchy of ownership of Nature Ambience:

    Of Nature Ambience’s 50,000 shares of RM1 each, 49, 998 shares were owned by Common Enhance Sdn Bhd.

    Common Enhance, which was registered on 15 September 2009, in turn has an issued capital of 50,000 shares of which 49,998 are owned by Fuji Perfect Sdn Bhd.

    And surprise, surprise, Fuji Perfect, which was also registered on 15 Sept 2009, also has an issued capital of 50,000 shares, of which 49,998 are owned by Chew Chiaw Ann, who reportedly happens to be CEO of Metro Sedia Group (see report in The Star here.)

    The two remaining shares in each of the three companies are held by a Yap Liee Mee and a Loh Kuan Chween. All three firms have an identical registered address: First floor, Lot 2137 and 2138, Jalan Utama, Pending Industrial Estate, 93450 Kuching.

    Several questions spring to mind:

    Why the three-tier ownership?

    How does the Ministry justify granting an approval letter to Nature Ambience? What is Nature Ambience’s track record, bearing in mind that the company was set up a year ago?

    Why was the approval letter not given directly to Sime Darby?

    What sort of work has Nature Ambience done in two months since getting the approval in Oct 2009?

    Where did the RM17 million that Sime Darby paid actually end up?

    How much have the natives who own the NCR land actually received so far?

    Coincidentally or otherwise, Kapit was chosen as Sime Darby’s first location in Sarawak for a corporate social responsibility project. In January, the firm reportedly donated RM500,000 for repairs to and new facilities for five schools in the division.

    __________________________

    Firm gives towards improving schools in Kapit

    The Star, Saturday January 17, 2009

    KUCHING: Five rural primary schools in Sarawak can look forward to enjoying better facilities.

    SK Nanga Mujong, SK Lubok Mawang, SK Nanga Meluan, SK Nanga Entuloh and SK Nanga Tiau, all located in Kapit division, will receive RM100,000 each to repair and build classrooms, hostels and other facilities for students and teachers.

    The financial assistance is part of Sime Darby’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) project through its school adoption programme.

    Corporate generosity: (From left) Metro Sedia Group CEO Chew Chiaw Ann, Mohd Ishak, Mohd Ismail, Masing and state deputy education director Mortadza Alop posing after the cheque presentation in Kuching recently.

    “This is our first CSR project in Sarawak as far as education is concerned. We are also assisting schools in Peninsula Malaysia,” Sime Darby’s group human resources executive vice-president Mohamad Ishak Abdul Hamid said after presenting a cheque to State Land Development Minister Datuk Dr James Masing here recently.

    Thanking Sime Darby for the contribution, Dr Masing said it was a move in the right direction for the company to focus on schools.

    “The best way to develop our human capital is by supporting our schools and making sure they have good facilities. I hope other companies will follow suit,” he said.

    He added that the schools would probably start their infrastructure projects next month.

    A total of 340 pupils in the five schools will benefit from the projects.

    _______________

    More on Metro Sedia group/ Chew Chiaw Ann/ Okaw Gang/ Esawin Resources rewarded big projects by UMNO (Rural Electrification Scheme RES by Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar & Wilayah/ Datuk Shafie Afdal one of Najib’s close crony ally and UMNO Semporna chief/ MP and big RISDA project Datuk Rahim Thambi Chik) TOTAL PROJECT SUM OVER QUARTER BILLION RINGGIT:

    A. Maklumat Syarikat: :

    Company Name : ESAWIN RESOURCES SDN. BHD.

    Address : 1ST FLOOR, LOT 2137 & 2138 JALAN UTAMA PENDING INDUSTRIAL ESTATE

    Postcode 93450

    Town : KUCHING

    State: SARAWAK

    D. Maklumat Ahli Lembaga Pengarah:

    Bil Nama Warganegara Jawatan

    1.ABDUL HALIM BIN RIJIE MALAYSIA PENGARAH

    2.CHEW CHIAW ANN MALAYSIA PENGARAH URUSAN

    3.KADER BIN GANTI MALAYSIA PENGARAH

    4.MUT BIN ELON MALAYSIA PENGARAH

    G.Modal Berbayar / Modal Terkumpul :

    a.Modal Dibenarkan (RM):

    b.Modal Berbayar / Modal Terkumpul (RM): 1,000,000.00

    H.Maklumat Projek:

    Bil Tajuk Tarikh Anugerah Nilai (RM) Kilen

    1. Projek Bekalan Elektrik Luar Bandar (BELB) Talian Grid Negeri Sarawak Tahun 2011-2012 Berasaskan Kaedah Reka & Bina (Kapit, Mukah, Sibu, Sri Aman) 20-06-2011 RM 120,000,000.00 KEMENTERIAN KEMAJUAN LUAR BANDAR DAN WILAYAH

    2. Pelaksanaan Projek Bekalan Elektrik Luar Bandar (BELB) Talian Grid Negeri Sarawak Tahun 2010-2011 (Bahagian Mukah, Sibu & Sri Aman) 01-08-2010 RM 120,000,000.00 JABATAN KEMAJUAN ORANG ASLI MALAYSIA

    3. Projek Bekalan Elektrik Luar Bandar (BELB) Talian Grid Negeri Sarawak Zon Satu B (1B), Zon Dua (2) & Zon Tiga (3) Tahun 2009-2010 Secara Rundingan Terus ‘Design & Build’ 23-07-2009 RM 80,000,000.00 RISDA DAERAH SEGAMAT

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