KUCHING: An earnest appeal has gone out to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to do some serious soul-searching of his role in the mismanagement of Sarawak’s resources.
“The chief minister has a lot to explain for the negative focus on Sarawak today – the widely reported allegations of his massive wealth in particular. The wealth he had acquired in his 30 years as Sarawak chief minister is known throughout the world,” Movement For Change, Sarawak (MoCS) leader Francis Paul Siah said here today.
Noting that Taib has just returned home from a haj trip to Mecca, he suggested that this was the most appropriate time for the chief minister to reflect deeply on the widespread allegations against him.
Answer to God
“So far, the chief minister did not respond to the many declarations released by the Sarawak Report website of how he allegedly abused his position to amass wealth for himself, his family members and cronies.
“If Taib does not want to explain the allegations to the people of Sarawak, at least he has to answer to God. So I’m asking him to search his conscience, if he has any left to reflect on,” Siah said.
He said that one reason Muslims go to Mecca was to seek forgiveness and atonement for their sins, adding that Taib with his public image as a deeply religious person, should know what to do.
Siah also reminded Taib of what popular blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin wrote in his blog recently:
“And after doing all these evil deeds, they purport to repent and put on a public show of visiting God’s house in Mecca to seek forgiveness. And they think that all their sins can be cleansed and that God will forgive them by that single act of being seen to be performing the haj. I suppose it is that easy to take the Good Lord for a ride.”
Siah said he hoped Taib can prove RPK wrong on his take about certain Muslim leaders in the country.
The MoCS leader pointed out that the majority of Sarawakians are not atheists but have a religious faith and are God-fearing.
“Hence, it is still not too late for the chief minister to come clean. If he does so, his fellow Sarawakians may find it within their hearts to forgive him. As a Muslim, Taib must surely believe that God works in wondrous and mysterious ways,” he said.
On the extent of the foreign and local properties owned by the chief minister and his family, as revealed in a series of recent exposé by Sarawak Report, Siah expressed “sheer disgust” and “total shock”.
In the latest Sarawak Report exposé, and in what appears to be a first, Taib has put his own name to a controversial million-ringgit project – the Royal Mulu Resort – that has benefited from huge injections of taxpayers’ money and state backing.
Can do what he wants
The whistleblower website said the chief minister had in 2007 not bothered to go through the usual process of disguising his moves to deflect claims of corruption and conflicts of interest, and is said to have inked his own interest in the Royal Mulu Resort.
The report suggested a growing confidence that “Taib can do what he likes in Sarawak and get away with it. As the chief minister, finance minister and state resources and planning minister, Taib stood to gain personally.”
“So our appeal to the chief minister today is to ‘search your conscience and come clean’ with all the allegations against him,” Siah added.
Last Sept 16, MoCS had set a deadline – August 2011 – for Taib to step down as chief minister.
“If Taib remains stubborn and refuses to listen, we may have to resort to other courses of action when the time is up,” the movement had said. – MM