Home Civil Society Voices Freeze Taib’s assets, reopen anti-corruption probe

Freeze Taib’s assets, reopen anti-corruption probe

Taib Mahmud

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BASEL, Switzerland – Following the death of Taib Mahmud, the former long-term chief minister and governor of Sarawak, Swiss environmental and human rights group Bruno Manser Fonds has called on Malaysia’s political leadership and judiciary to freeze Taib’s assets and reopen investigations into the origin of Taib’s and his closest family members’ enormous wealth.

“We call on Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to reopen its investigation into Taib assets which was closed in 2016 for political reasons”, said Lukas Straumann, the executive director of the Bruno Manser Fonds in Basel, Switzerland.

“All of Taib’s personal bank accounts and other assets should be frozen immediately to prevent that illicitly acquired wealth might be appropriated by family members.” 

During his 60-year tenure as a public servant, Taib acquired enormous wealth despite constitutional prohibitions for the Sarawak chief minister and governor to get involved in commercial enterprise.

In 2021, a legal opinion commissioned by the Bruno Manser Fonds found that Taib’s involvement as a director and shareholder of a Malaysian company had breached the Sarawak Constitution. The company was involved in land deals in Sarawak.

Taib has also been accused of abuse of public office and corruption when allowing the privatisation of CMS, Sarawak’s largest state-owned company, into the hands of his closest family members in the early 1990s.

During Taib’s tenure as Chief Minister, CMS benefited from public contracts worth over RM4.9bn ($1.4bn).  

During Taib’s tenure, Sarawak lost most of its primary rainforests. In the 1960s, 90% of Sarawak was still covered with primary forests while today less than 10% remain intact.

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Taib’s promotion of industrial logging and plantations was met with fierce resistance by indigenous communities who protested against the disrespect of their customary rights.

The 87-year-old politician passed away on Wednesday less than a month after his replacement as governor of the Sarawak.

Taib’s widow and sons are litigating in a Malaysian court over access to his enormous wealth. – Bruno Manser Fonds

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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pat Adam
pat Adam
23 Feb 2024 11.36pm

The People of Sarawak should DEMAND for a freeze instead of allowing a Syrian and her family to ROB them further . Stand up people and be counted….

Jim sia
Jim sia
23 Feb 2024 6.28am

Switzerland rezponsible for take in laundered money worldwide

Steve
Steve
24 Feb 2024 5.51pm
Reply to  Jim sia

… MACC should seiz all the assets before they are being siphoned off

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