Why has the MACC yet to go after Taib Mahmud over timber related kickbacks?

TTF: Former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman arrived today at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court where he is expected to face up to 35 corruption charges involving timber concessions in Sabah (see news item below).

However, one wonders what happened to claims made by Lim Kit Siang and Sarawak Report regarding the wanton destruction of Sarawak Rainforests by the Mahathir regime and the illegal kickbacks a former Sarawak Chief Minister received from timber exports.

On the 13th of April 2017, I wrote:

We learned from Kit Siang that between 1981 and 1987, many concessionaires linked to Mahathir’s cronies had increased the rate of logging in Sarawak to encompass a whopping 700,000 – 800,000 acres of rainforest a year. I was told that the concessionaires even encroached forest reserves without the authorities so much as batting an eyelid.

All of that is the truth.

As a matter of fact, timber operations in the Baram and Marudi areas alone were carried out in three shifts, 24-hours a day. These gruelling schedules destroyed entire sections of Sarawak’s rainforests virtually overnight. It almost looked as if a large bulldozer had come in the darkness of night to eat into the life of the Ibans and Penans.

But it is what the senior Lim either refused to report or may not have known that many of you will find intriguing. Between June and September 1989, several opposition leaders were said to have instigated the Ibans and Penans into come out in the droves to protest the logging of rainforests. The number of protesters who turned up were so large that they severely disrupted the movement of timber along logging roads.

The disruption cost Mahathir’s cronies hundreds of thousands in daily losses and threatened to bankrupt the smaller concessionaires. The Prime Minister was left with little choice but to place hundreds of the protesters under lock and key. The arrests presented Kit Siang a golden opportunity to front page the “atrocities committed by the Mahathir regime.”

During his September 1989 trip to Sarawak, the senior Lim made a public call for the Prime Minister to put an immediate stop to the mass arrests. According to him, the Iban and Penan tribes were forced into protests as the destruction of rainforests affected their livelihoods. No mention was ever made of the DAP’s role in flaming the protests. Instead, we were told how the political elite were too busy amassing “indecent amounts of colossal wealth” to bother about “the poor and defenseless.”

Then, on the 16th of February 2010, Sarawak Report wrote:

Taib also makes sure his companies and family members control all the key positions where is it possible to accept big bribes from businesses.  Take the scandal exposed when the Japanese tax authorities revealed some months back that tens of millions of US dollars have been paid in secret, illegal kickbacks by Japanese shipping companies exporting timber from Sarawak.  The money, which adds up to hundreds of millions of ringits over the last 20 years, was paid directly to companies owned by Onn Mahmud, the brother of  Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

Faced with prosecution for not declaring these bribes, the Japanese timber companies explained that the Sarawak government does not allow export permits unless they ‘negotiate’ with a companycalled  Achi Jaya Shipping. Achi Jaya Shipping is owned by Onn Mahmud, the brother of Tab Mahmud.

Taib has taken millions of hectares of native customary rights lands from their rightful owners, the indigenous peoples of Sarawak.  The estimated value of timber exported from Sarawak is US$ 25 billion.  He has taken billions of that profit for himself.  How much went to the rightful owners?  In the process, his careless, unsustainable logging has destroyed one of the world’s most precious natural jungles.

Jobs and concessions for the family

Taib Mahmud has handed out over 1 million hectares of logging concessions to his own family.  He has also made sure that all the most influential jobs in the Government and state companies go to his own family.  Particularly favoured is his cousin, Abdul Hamed Sepawi, Chairman and major shareholder in the developer Naim Holdings Bhd., which has received numerous government contracts.

The Managing Director of Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), which is handing out the contracts for the dam-building,  is Taib’s brother-in-law, Aziz Husain.  Taib’s brother Onn Mahmud controls shipping permits.

Taib’s sister Roziah Mahmud controls a huge business empire in Sarawak and was handed control of the Royal Mulu Hotel in Mulu National Park. Now Taib’s son Suleman has been given a parliamentary seat and as Taib grows visibly weaker every day the talk is all about making him the new Chief Minister!

Everybody knows Clare Rewcastle Brown was hired by Mahathir to run the gamut of conspiracy against former Malaysian premier Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On the 4th of July 2018, when Najib was produced to the Kuala Lumpur High court by the MACC on counts of corruption, lead prosecutor Tommy Thomas more or less confessed that the prosecution’s case was hinged solely upon news reports contained in Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal.

So why has the MACC yet to go for Taib?

I mean, if they’re willing to slap Najib with corruption charges hinged solely on claims by foreign media, whatever happened to Clare’s claim that Taib and his family members received illegal kickbacks from Japanese shipping companies exporting timber from Sarawak?

Is Taib above the law?

And what about Kit Siang’s claim that the political elite were too busy amassing “indecent amounts of colossal wealth” to bother about “the poor and defenseless” in Sarawak?

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman has arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court where he will face multiple corruption charges.

He left the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya 1pm was taken to the Kuala Lumpur court complex.

The 67-year old Sungai Sibuga assemblyman left the MACC building at 1pm in a black SUV in a convoy of four vehicles.

Musa, who was summoned by the MACC at 8.30am Monday (Nov 5), was arrested upon arriving at its Putrajaya headquarters at 10.05am.

He is expected to face up to 35 corruption charges involving timber concessions in Sabah when he appears in court at 2pm.

Sources at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said that the amount involved is around US$63mil (approximately RM243mil).

The prosecution will be led by former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram while Musa’s lead counsel is Amer Hamzah Arshad.

Source: The Star Online

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