Taib's son now admits to being billionaire

Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib arrive Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court, October 11, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib arrive Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court, October 11, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Sarawak tycoon Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir today confirmed his net worth to be in excess of RM1.1 billion after previously claiming that the figure was grossly inflated using “flawed” accounting.

In the continuation of his high-profile divorce from Shahnaz Abdul Majid, the son of Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud agreed with the assessment of auditing firm Ferrer Hodgson MH Sdn Bhd that was engaged by his former wife.

The firm’s audit concluded that the tycoon’s worth based on his equity in over 20 firms to be between RM916 million and RM1.3 billion, according to news portal Malaysiakini today.

“However, that may not include liabilities,” Bekir told the Shariah High Court here after concluding his net worth to be just short of RM1.2 billion.

Bekir previously accused his former wife of “defaming” him by claiming that he was worth billions, and insisted that the figures she cited from bank accounts across the globe “did not exist”.

Today, Bekir said he has stakes in more than 50 companies including two that are publicly listed.

He said Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd that is regularly linked to his family is valued at RM120 million, while another firm, Titanium Management Sdn Bhd, received over 70,000 hectares of land from Sarawak to offset payments for a contract.

“Titanium is appointed to construct more than 300 small bridges in Sarawak and the land was given to my company as payment for the construction,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.

Bekir conceded, however, that he could not provide documentary evidence that the land was transferred to his firm in lieu of payment.

He further insisted that his father Taib would excuse himself from the state’s dealings with his firms.

“My father would leave the (Sarawak) Cabinet meeting in any decisions concerning family-related companies,” he was further quoted as saying.

Bekir’s long-drawn divorce from Shahaz has put the family wealth of the former Sarawak chief minister turned governor under the spotlight, with Taib at one point being described as the wealthiest individual in Malaysia.

In her divorce papers, Shahnaz is seeking some RM400 million in a divorce settlement, including matrimonial property and mutaah (Islamic conciliatory payment), as well as half the assets owned by her ex-husband, including seven luxury cars, thousands of hectares of land in Sarawak, homes in countries abroad and shares in about 15 companies.

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