In the league table of corrupt countries robbed by greedy rulers, Sarawak’s name must come very near the top in terms of the sheer magnitude of theft. For over thirty years the reason has lain with one man, the billionaire Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud.
As the Mahmud family and their associates bask in extraordinary riches, with assets and properties strewn across the world, the ordinary people of Sarawak, Malaysia’s richest state, remain amongst its poorest inhabitants. The profits from timber, oil and now oil palm (much of it grown on land illegally sequestered from the indigenous communities) have gone straight into the pockets of the state government cronies, who have run the country like a personal business and plundered it indiscriminately for the past four decades of continuous rule.
The once unparalleled tropical rainforests have been denuded – scarcely 3% remain uncut – and the tribal peoples who depended on the forests for their food are now deprived of their means of subsistence and starving.
In Taib’s Sarawak there is no platform allowed for those who wish to bring this corruption to light and no voice given to the opposition parties, who are denied access to the state-controlled media. Sarawak Report exists to provide that platform and to offer an alternative vision of justice, transparency and a fairer future in Sarawak.
Sarawak Report and its sister organisation Radio Free Sarawak were founded by investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown in 2010. Radio Free Sarawak has gone on to win the IPI International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneers Award 2013. Sarawak Report has been heralded for its “impact on the political debate” in Sarawak, with the New York Times calling Rewcastle-Brown “one of the most effective voices calling attention to deforestation in Malaysia”.
Sarawak Report launched
Sarawak Report exposes the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud’s foreign property portfolio in Canada, USA and London.
Sarawak Report exposes how the sister of Taib Mahmud grabs multi-million dollar rainforest land in Sarawak for just RM250.
Sarawak Report exposes how a US$285 million bank loan was granted to a Taib family construction company with modest assets.
Radio Free Sarawak launched
Sarawak Report reveals exclusive photographs of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s London property, which overlooks Hyde Park.
Sarawak Report exposes how the family of Taib Mahmud own and run the Royal Mulu Resort in Sarawak.
Sarawak Report reveals further illegal land grabs on native customary rights land by the Chief Minister of Sarawak and his family.
Sarawak Report reveals how Taib Mahmud’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir received land in Sarawak totalling the size of Singapore. Sarawak Report reveals further illegal land grabs on native customary rights land by the Chief Minister of Sarawak and his family.
Sarawak Report launches video interview with former Taib aide Ross Boyert who revealed details of Taib family property portfolio in the USA.
Sarawak Report exposes further corruption by Taib family members and Sarawak’s government elite.
Sarawak Report unveils Taib’s brother’s links to Australian property empire.
Sarawak Report leaks official Sarawak Land and Survey data which reveals which companies own plantation land in Sarawak and publishes an interactive land map.
Sarawak Report launches a unique election monitoring platform “Beat the Cheats” allowing Malaysians to enter information of election bribes and abuses online.
Sarawak Report becomes victim of hacking, DDOS attacks and cyber warfare leading up to the Sarawak State Election.
Sarawak Report exposes shoddy construction practice on the controversial Bakun Dam.
Sarawak Report reveals links between Taib Mahmud’s first cousin and logging activities in Sarawak/Tasmania.
Sarawak Report unveils links between Taib Mahmud’s brother and timber kickbacks in Hong Kong.
An investigation by Sarawak Report reveals that FBC Media, a UK media production company had been acting as a public relation firm for Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and other Malaysian politicians. Sarawak Report publishes Taib Mahmud’s USD$5 million contract to counter negative publicity. This expose causes BBC and CNBC to axe their relationships with FBC Media and for the BBC to issue a public apology. FBC Media closes down shortly after the Sarawak Report expose.
Sarawak Report launches film on Sarawak’s indigenous Penan people, which highlights amongst other things the rape of Penan women by loggers.
Sarawak Report reveals further corruption by the Taib family.
Editor of Sarawak Report Ms Clare Rewcastle Brown is featured on Canadian Global News programme 16×9 to discuss Sarawak Report’s investigations into Taib family wealth in Canada.
Editor of Sarawak Report Ms Clare Rewcastle Brown becomes victim of PR attacks by Bell Pottinger.
Sarawak Report reveals how two of the UK’s leading DIY stores, B&Q and Wickes are knowingly selling wood from Sarawak which is falsely labelled as responsibly sourced.
Sarawak Report reveals how Taib Mahmud is profiting from Aluminium Smelter in Sarawak and that Australia’s Rio Tinto appear to no longer be involved in business deal. Rio Tinto later officially pull out.
Sarawak Report launches it’s “Dirty Datuk” series, revealing how Sarawak’s government elite are corruptly handed timber concessions, palm oil plantations and construction contracts.
Sarawak Report publishes a series of leaked documents from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), documenting the business relation between Chief Minister of Sabah Musa Aman and a nominee named Michael Chia. Michael Chia was caught trying to smuggle SGD$16 million out of Hong Kong in 2008. Abdul Ghani Patail, the Malaysian Attorney General, who is closely related to Musa Aman was accused of trying to block the MACC investigation into the scandal.
Sarawak Report reveals how Malaysia’s government owned Astro news channel censored BBC and Al-Jazeera coverage of a large Malaysian protest against electoral fraud.
Sarawak Report reveals further corruption by Taib family members and Sarawak’s government elite.
Editor of Sarawak Report Ms Clare Rewcastle Brown is featured on Australia’s primetime SBS Dateline show to discuss links between Taib family members in Sarawak and Tasmania.
Sarawak Report leaks the secret Murum Dam Resettlement Action Plan for indigenous peoples affected by the Murum Dam.
Sarawak Report continues to report on corruption by Taib family, government elite and highlight abuse of Sarawak’s indigenous peoples.
Sarawak Report reveals that UK environmentalist Ben Fogle was used as a PR greenwashing frontman for Sarawak government.
Reuters article vindicates Sarawak Report expose on Sabah’s Chief Minister Musa Aman.
Sarawak Report reveals how Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is linked to timber kickbacks in Hong Kong.
Radio Free Sarawak is featured on Al-Jazeera.
Sarawak Report reveals how a Taib family company was loaned RM1.9 billion from the Development Bank.
Radio Free Sarawak broadcasts are systematically jammed prior to Malaysia’s general election. Sarawak Report website is victim of DDOS attacks.
Sarawak Report leaks a report by the government appointed human rights commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) on indigenous peoples. The report reveals how indigenous peoples in Malaysia have been forced to become “coolies in their own lands”
Sarawak Report reveals secret maps showing that land allocations for displaced families of the Bakun Dam are a sham.
Radio Free Sarawak wins the International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneer Award 2013.
Sarawak Report editor Ms Clare Rewcastle Brown arrives at Kuching Airport in Sarawak, only to be detained and put back on a plane for Singapore.
Sarawak Report reveals how the Sarawak State government rigged the election in Baram.
Sarawak Report exposes how slave labour is rife at the Murum dam construction site and further allegations of the abuse of Sarawak’s indigenous peoples.
Editor of Sarawak Report Ms Clare Rewcastle Brown is featured in the New York Times and is “labelled as one of the most effective voices calling attention to deforestation in Malaysia”. Bridget Welsh, a political science professor and an expert on Malaysian affairs, credits the two news outlets that Ms. Rewcastle Brown runs for their “impact on the political debate” over deforestation in Sarawak.
Sarawak Report reveals how one Sarawak government official is abusing State islamic funds. The official is later reported to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).