By Tashny Sukuraman
KUALA LUMPUR – Suaram has called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.
The rights group said it was appalled by the government’s continued silence following the shocking exposure of a long list of foreign assets allegedly linked to the politician’s family.
Suaram coordinator Hasbeemasputra Abu Bakar also questioned why MACC had not swung into action despite the overwhelming evidence put forth by the Bruno Manser Fund and a number of other whistleblowers.
“This inaction could be seen as tacit approval of corruption and an inability or even unwillingness to crack down on corruption despite many public statements to the contrary,” he said.
Apart from initiating a probe, Hasbeemasputra also said that MACC should identify and freeze Taib’s alleged assets if need be so that they can be used for future restitution to the people of Sarawak.
“Taib has allegedly failed to be accountable for over RM4.8 billion in state funds over the past three years. He has given preferential treatment to businesses in which he has a vested interest, and engaged in the mistreatment and forced evictions of the indigenous population of Sarawak and land grabs of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land,” he added.
Taib, who has been chief minister since 1981, is also the state finance minister as well as planning and resources minister.
He and his family are believed to have set up a global business empire across eight countries and are allegedly worth several billions of ringgit, according to the list released by the BMF on Feb 21.
The 49 companies listed are located in across Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the US, UK, the British Virgin Islands and Jersey. – FMT