KUCHING, May 17 — Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was state Barisan Nasional chairman and chief minister for more than two decades, has become the latest target in the call for graft investigations under the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian wants Taib to be probed, insisting that Sarawakians wanted to know the outcome of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigations that were supposedly carried out on him.
“It was revealed some years back that the MACC had examined 500 files and opened at least 10 investigation papers in complaints linked to Taib Mahmud but no results had ever been forthcoming,” Baru said in a statement.
“We expect the authorities to walk the talk on the eradication of corruption and prosecution of those involved, regardless of rank and position.”
Claiming that corruption in the state was “well-documented and known worldwide,” he urged the authorities to carry out investigations on other Sarawakian political figures who are alleged to be involved in corruption.
Numerous corruption allegations had been made against Taib during his time as the state’s third chief minister from March 26, 1981, to February 28, 2014, but none had been substantiated.
These allegations include abuse of power, land grabs, receiving kickbacks from the state’s lucrative timber trade and lining the pockets of his family members.
Most recently, it was reported that a Swiss environmental group had failed in its attempt to link a Canadian real estate company to corruption involving Taib.
Bloomberg had reported on April 21 that Bruno-Manser-Fonds had filed a suit in Ontario last year to get information from banks on Sakto Group, which is owned by Taib’s daughter Jamilah and her husband Sean Murray.
The Canadian court was reported to have ruled that there was not enough evidence for the group to support its claims that Taib’s family had funneled in money to fund the expansion of the company’s RM778 million real estate empire.
“The links between the assets of the Sakto Group in Canada and the alleged corruption of Taib in Malaysia depend upon conjecture and suspicion more than evidence,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Sean Dunphy said in a ruling on Feb 7, dismissing the lawsuit.
A separate Ontario judge had ordered the court documents to be made public last month.