Ex-Wife Says Taib's Son Has More Than RM2 Billion In Bank Accounts

The undercover documentary video called 'Inside Malaysia's Shadow State' by Global Witness has swept more than 200,000 views in 24 hours, surfacing across social media on 19 March 2013. The video reveals that Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family who has governed Sarawak for over thirty years has exploited the natural resources of the country at some of the most intense rates seen anywhere in the world. Now that the truth is out, what will happen next? 'Follow this story' and we'll update you.

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3 Sept: Taib's son has more than RM2 billion in bank accounts all over the world

Shahnaz, who holds an MBA in Finance from a university in Washington DC, said, "The company recorded RM60 million profit a year with turnover of more than RM200 million," adding that she didn't know the exact turnover figure.

"He earns a net RM2 million a year as all his entertainment, travel and cars are all paid for by the companies."

Shahnaz also said that the Sarawak Chief Minister's son, Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir, is a very rich man & comes from a very rich family, "He has 150 companies, out of which he is a shareholder of 21 of them & has RM1 billion in share equity."

Shahnaz was testifying in the trial of her application to get RM300 million in matrimonial properties and RM100 million in gifts (mutaah) as a divorce settlement.

Ex-wife of Taib, Shahnaz A. Majid, told the Syariah High Court in KL that she couldn't remember where the bank accounts are specifically, but that Taib's son has over RM2 billion in bank accounts all over the world.

31 May: Taib Mahmud says he has mandate to continue as Chief Minister

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud says the Sarawak government under his leadership obtained a clear mandate to govern until the next state election due in 2016.

“I am grateful for the support of the ‘rakyat’ (people) and will continue to serve them based on the mandate they had given to me and my government in 2011 (state election).”

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said he has every right to reject the shameless and unethical campaign by the DAP that he should resign as chief minister.

He said the DAP did not have the mandate and blessings from the people to make such a call, and in the true spirit of democracy should realise that its attempt at painting a bad picture of the state government and its leadership had been unconvincing and largely ignored by the voters.

“The state election must have been free and fair because there was not a single election petition filed to challenge any of the results for the seats won by the state BN,” he said.

Taib said he would respect and honour the principle of his accountability to the august House and the people of Sarawak, who had repeatedly given him the mandate to lead the state government since 1981.

19 April: Global Witness accepts Taib's challenge to open debate

Global Witness has accepted Taib Mahmud’s challenge to an open debate about the activist group’s allegations of corruption, land grabbing and tax evasion in Sarawak.

“In an interview with the ‘Let’s Talk’ program on The Malaysian Observer, you challenged Global Witness to a debate on the allegations of corruption, land grabbing and tax evasion shown in the film’.

“We are writing to accept your invitation,” said Global Witness in the letter copied to The Malaysian Insider on the eve of Nomination Day for Malaysia’s May 5 general election.

Global Witness also gave the long-serving Sarawak chief minister four conditions to ensure an “open and transparent” debate including a live and moderated broadcast.

Guarantee that Global Witness staff can safely and freely enter and exit the country; Taib provide full disclosure of any directorial or shareholder interests and legal cases or financial dealings.

The group also provided a document it said was in response to comments made by Taib about its research into the allegations of wrongdoing in Sarawak’s timber trade.

Global Witness did not give a time frame for the debate but said that “we look forward to hearing from you soon” in the letter to Taib.

17 April: Taib Mahmud's administration sues Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen

Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's administration is suing Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen for questioning the whereabouts of the missing RM11 billion from 7 state budgets.

Chong said the state filed a writ of summons in the Kuching High Court over the publication of ‘Budget Black Hole: Where did the RM11 bil go?’ a tri-lingual pamphlet widely distributed by the party.

Chong, "It is an attempt to suppress us from seeking the truth, its a suppression of freedom of speech and also suppression of our duty as elected representative."

Taib says Global Witness is "licik"

Tan Sri Taib Mahmud has challenged Global Witness to debate him on the issue of illegal land deals in Sarawak.

He accused the international environmental activist group of having a hidden agenda by visiting Malaysia’s biggest state in a “sneaky way”.

“Jangkamasanya keterlaluan untuk diabaikan ... saya fikir ada kaitan antara mereka dan pembangkang,” kata ketua menteri Sarawak.

“Global Witness sepatutnya… tidak menyorok di belakang maklumat terpakai dari NGO,” kata Taib kepada saluran The Malaysian Observer (MobTV).

Taib refuse to cooperate with "naughty, dishonest" MACC

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has today accused the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigation of himself for graft as "victimisation".

“They don’t deserve my co-operation because they have been naughty... and they have not been honest,” he said, reserving his cooperation with the MACC.

Taib said he was not afraid of being investigated by the anti-graft body.

“Let them victimise me. Let them do what they want as long as they are fair... I am not scared”

When asked if he feels that the shadow of the corruption investigation made him a liability to BN, Taib has dismissed the matter, saying 'MACC probe has no major impact'.

Angry Dayaks say respect our native land rights

The Dayak community are seeing red over the sisteres and lawyers remark that stripped them of their land rights, culture and heritage.

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Sarawak's Dayak corporate chiefs are reportedly seething with rage over a video exposing racist remarks in the Global Witness video and want Putrajaya to address their economic woes.

DCCI members took offense at the views voiced by two lawyers and cousins to Taib which were seen to demean the indigenous tribes described in the video as "squatters" on state property.

"Our rights in land have been well entrenched in our laws, culture and customs which are duly recognised and accepted by our courts," DCCI secretary-general Libat Langub said.

"We firmly believe that the natives have rights in our land.These rights should be respected by all," he said.

Libat urged the federal government to recognise Sarawak's native customs, culture, conditions and circumstances when drawing up and carrying out policies.

Sarawak NGOs says 'apologize to Dayaks'

Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), the most influential Dayak non-governmental organisation in the state, and its women’s wing, Serakuap Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS), want a public apology from former Sarawak Chief Minister Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub’s daughters – Fatimah and Norlia.

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Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) and Serakuap Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS), want a public apology from former Sarawak Chief Minister Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub’s daughters – Fatimah and Norlia.

SDNU VP Anthony Banyan: We view such remarks as demeaning and deplorable. We also condemn the remark suggesting that the Dayaks are squatters on state land as it is baseless.

“We request the persons who uttered the remarks to issue public apology and own up their doings in disparaging the image of the Dayak community,” Banyan added.

“We call upon all quarters to stand up for the Dayak community and recognise our rights over land as well as be sensitive towards the feelings of the Dayaks.”

Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) is the most influential Dayak non-governmental organisation in the state with more than 100,000 members. It is headed by Social Development Minister William Mawan.

Free Malaysia Kini estimates Taib's family fortune worth

An estimation of Taib's family fortune and worth on Free Malaysia Kini.

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Malaysian Citizen Initiative says why is Najib so silent on Taib's case, but so prompt on allegation towards Suaram?

A coalition of NGOs calling themselves Malaysian Citizens Initiative want an “immediate” response from Najib on its call for the MACC to be given an “unambiguous mandate” to investigate Taib.

The coalition also want the PM to approve the setting up of an Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into power abuse and land scams in Sarawak linked to Taib and his family.

“Why is the PM silent on the Sarawak corruption issue when he was quick to act on Suaram’s issue," Linus Chung, spokesman for the coalition, asked.

Najib had been quick to order the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry to investigate the allegation towards Suaram for its links to currency speculator George Soros.

Chung said Taib should be investigated thoroughly. Whatever the decision Najib takes now “will reflect on the current administration”.

Najib says MACC is probing, but the problem will not go away overnight

Barisan Nasional is “equally as concerned about corruption” as its critics but the problem cannot go away overnight, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in relation to Taib's video expose.

Najib declined to address the expose by Global Witness directly during the interview, pointing out that Malaysian graftbusters were already investigating the allegations against Taib.

“Prostitution and corruption are two things that mankind has had to live with for so long. But we are determined to tackle it. It is a scourge,” he was quoted saying.

Transparency International Malaysia President says the government's hands are tied

Datuk Paul Low: The government's hands are tied when faced with the moral predicament of asking elected leaders to vacate their post while under investigation for graft-related charges.

"The chief minister Taib is not appointed by the prime minister, but by the people in Sarawak who voted for him. Therefore, Najib has no direct authority to order Taib to step down."

Low noted that this is the "political reality" in Malaysia as compared to the ideal situation of an elected leader voluntarily stepping down to facilitate investigations.

Low said there is no written legislation or moral compulsion for any person holding office in Malaysia to step down if named as a corruption suspect.

Low also called for the Sarawak state government to initiate an independent probe into the allegations raised and for its findings to be made public.

National Geography shows the truth of Sarawak's forests on website

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The majestic forests of Borneo are vanishing in smoke and sawdust, but there’s still hope for the island’s fabled biodiversity—if the palm oil rush can be slowed.

14,000 signed petition for Royal Commission of Inquiry on Taib

Fourteen thousand people have signed an online petition urging Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to probe the corruption in Sarawak.

The petition was printed on 400 pieces of paper, measuring three-inches thick, and handed to the prime minister's office by civil society groups this morning.

"If Taib is innocent, than nothing will happen to him," he said, after submitting the documents to one of Najib's aides, who promised to bring the matter to his boss.

Global Witness admits funding from George Soros but says no political motives

Global Witness said it had been receiving funds from George Soro's Open Society Foundation (OSF), who is a major funder of human rights, democracy, justice and anticorruption projects worldwide.

GW campaigner Alex Helan said "we are proud to have their support". However, the NGO stressed that its "campaigns are determined by the organisation and not its funders".

"It is a regular tactic for the subjects of our investigations to try and read something into our funding as a way of deflecting the issues that our investigations raise."

Helan responded: "We have no idea about the relationship, if any, between Soros and Anwar Ibrahim -- you'll have to ask them."

Taib says dont trust anyone claiming to act as my agents

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud today warned the people not to easily trust anyone who claim they are acting as agents for purchasing Sarawak land.

"Some people can say that they are my agents, they can act as my agent but it doesn't mean it is true. We have our own system here, so stick to the system." Taib said.

As to whether he or the state government will be taking any action, including suing the NGO, Taib said he was now looking into it.

"It is quite obvious now that they not really fighting for what they say, but they are trying to support the opposition especially during this coming election, nobody can deny that,” he said.

Video: Global Witness says lawyer's claim to be trapped is a lie

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Global Witness today released another video to rebut the claim of lawyer Huang Lung Ong implicated in the initial video.

Huang Lung Ong had said that he was trapped by the undercover investigator sent by Global Witness who posed as a foreign investor, claiming that their conversation was merely “coffeeshop” talk.

Huang: "I was trapped. I was consulted on legal matters regarding land… Why should I speak about the chief minister?"

“I may have uttered some words out of frustration as he (the investigator) kept on asking me many questions. I was pressured,” the partner of law firm Huang & Co was quoted saying..

Could Global Witness be a US plot regime change?

A source has revealed to The Mole that Global Witness has received funding from an organisation founded by currency speculator George Soros.

In 2011, Global Witness received £1,249,970 from Foundation Open Society Institute (OSI), which was founded by Soros.

Among Global Witness' funding in 2011 was £19,083 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NDE), which is in turn largely funded by the United States government.

Kuala Lumpur-based American journalist Nile Bowie wrote last September that NED funds both Malaysiakini and Suaram.

US has recently begun shifting its focus to Asia Pacific. Anwar maintains close ties with senior American officials and was even a panelist at NED's 'Democracy Award' event in 2007.

Malaysian journalist Shamsul Akmar wrote in Dec 2012: Soros and the OSI will aim to use the Malaysian NGOs, which they fund, to pursue their regime change agenda.

George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist who supports progressive-liberal causes. He is the chairman of Soros Fund Management.

Implicated lawyers Alvin Chong and Huang Lung Ong will face criminal investigation

"All-Taib-Can Eat Sarawak State Buffet" image, released on DAP's Facebook page on 22 March 2013.

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The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) has lodged a report with the police over the Global Witness video, as it believes that there is a basis for alleged criminal infractions.

“AAS membuat laporan polis dengan tujuan untuk polis menyiasat kandungan video tersebut dan mengambil tindakan ke atas tindakan yang boleh didakwa sebagai jenayah,” kata AAS presiden.

The two lawyers secretly recorded will face an inquiry and a criminal investigation for possible misconduct after the Advocates' Association of Sarawak (AAS) lodged a complaint with the police today.

The Advocates Inquiry Committee will also investigate possible instances of professional misconduct under laws and regulations governing the legal profession in Sarawak.

Got Google Maps? See the deforestation yourself!

we believe that Malaysia’s trees shouldn’t be for sale. Not in Sarawak, not in Sabah, not in Kelantan, not in the Klang Valley, not on our streets or at our parks or in our neighbourhoods.

2,500 to sign petition addressed to Najib

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This petition calls on Prime Minister Najib Razak to act immediately to initiate a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into corruption in Sarawak.

Wan Junaid says Global Witness is trying to attack Taib Mahmud

PKR will translate the video into several local languages and copy them into CDs to distribute to longhouses to reach the key indigenous voter group living deep within the jungle state’s interior.

PKR akan menggunakan video yang mengaitkan pengelibatan Taib dalam rundingan mendapatkan tanah secara tidak sah sebagai bahan kempen mereka untuk memecahkan cengkaman BN.

"Apa yang mereka lakukan juga jelas cubaan campur tangan pihak asing, sedangkan Malaysia tidak pernah campur tangan dalam soal politik mana-mana negara,"

Beliau berkata lebih buruk, tindakan kumpulan berpangkalan -Global Witness di London itu dilihat satu cubaan pihak asing untuk campur tangan dalam hal politik tanah air.

The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) says action will be taken against the lawyer

The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) will investigate and act against the lawyer, Alvin Chong, featured in a covert video by Global Witness (GW).

“AAS will take appropriate action after due inquiry. One of the possible courses of action is to refer any complaints received on this matter to the Advocates Inquiry Committee."

Taib says they were being naughty, nothing to do with him

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"Do you know that cousin? Did you find out what was the relationship between their father and me?" "We were fighting at one time. That cousin cannot be my most trusted, but up to you."

Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud menafikan dakwaan sepupunya bahawa mereka menjadi pengantaranya bagi kontrak pembalakan.

Al Jazeera's 'Malaysian expert' says political system is at fault

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"He lives, the rest of us suffer," Tamin Sepuluh Ribu, a former village headman, told Al Jazeera. "We have no land to farm, our rivers have become muddy, there's hardly any fish left anymore."

How rich is the family? Ex-wife of Taib's son, Mahmud Abu Bakir Abdul Taib, Shahnaz Abdul Majid, testified that Mahmud had an estimated $233 million deposited in more than 100 bank accounts around the world.

Anwar says, "The Sarawak CM seems to be more powerful than the PM."

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been urged to act swiftly on allegations of corrupt practice by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and those close to him.

Anwar: "If Najib has backbone and courage, it is impossible for him to stay silent on this. We expect Najib to immediately respond to the allegations or take appropriate action."

Lim Kit Siang: "The Sarawak CM seems to be more powerful then the PM". Najib had said there would be a new chief minister after the last state polls but that Taib is still in office.

Lim also said this is the second person - after former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad - that Najib seems beholden to.

Watch Now: 'Inside Malaysia's Shadow State'

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For the first time, this investigation provides undercover footage of the corruption and illegality at the heart of governance in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state, on the island of Borneo.

The film reveals the instruments used by the ruling Taib family and their local lawyers to skirt Malaysia’s laws and taxes, creaming off huge profits at the expense of indigenous people.

The video with BM subtitles

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GW: Kenapa anda rasa dia bersetuju?

Fatimah: Kerana dia yang beri tanah kepada kami. Dia sepupu saya [ketawa]. Maknya dan ayah saya adalah adik beradik. Dia sepupu saya jadi semuanya senang.

Highlights from the video

Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: Taib's family says that the indigenious people are squatters on government land.

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Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: Taib's cousin admiting to his corruption

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Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: Taib's family own shell companies with state land leases issued by the government.

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Inside Malaysia Shadow State: Huang Lung Ong explains Taib releases land leases to his family at low price but expects a percentage in return.

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Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: Lawyer Alvin Chong admits that they keep the dirty money in Singapore banks because Singapore do not entertain Malaysian authority's questioning.

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Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: Taib's cousins reveal how they how evade Real Property Gains Tax.

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Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: Lawyer Alvin Chong revealing a trade secret to control the 51% Malaysian shareholder rule by manipulating poor and uneducated villagers.

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Global Witness posed as a “foreign investor” looking to buy land. They went to a state government body charged with handling foreign investment and was immediately directed to Taib’s family.

Taib family members were looking to sell their shell company which was issued with licences by Taib, to log and clear land for plantations.

What the Taibs and accused have to say at the end of video

Inside Malaysia's Shadow State: The Sarawak government denying the allegations.

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Inside Malaysia Shadow State: Lawyer Alvin Chong denying the allegations.

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Inside Malaysia Shadow State: Huang Lung Ong denying the allegations

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Corruption in Sawarak: indigenous land rights, environmental destruction, cronyism

Timber corruption in Sarawak

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Taib linked to timber corruption in Sarawak.

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Snowdan Lawan declared that BN should never be voted out of office, because it had ruled so long that it had become like a prestigious ancient university, like Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard!

“the suspected overseas assets of the head of government of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and of persons from his entourage”

Sarawak’s Chief Minister Taib has ruled the state for over three decades and controls all land allocation and forestry licensing.

Corruption is destroying the fabric of Sarawak’s society and squandering the state’s natural resources. Ancestral land has been routinely licensed for logging, badly damaging livelihoods and violating the people's rights.

Taib is widely understood to abuse this power to enrich his family and associates. Members of the Chief Minister’s family were direct shareholders or beneficial owners of many land leases.

SEPT 2012 - Taib is reported to be the richest man in Malaysia with an estimated wealth of RM46 billion. He is said to control all the land titles for an area roughly the size of England.

JAN 2012 - Leaked government records show that 31 companies linked to Taib have been given land for oil palm plantations amounting to almost 200,000 hectares.

Environmental destruction in Sarawak worst in Asia

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Taib’s office has spawned some of the world’s largest and questionable logging companies that have a catastrophic effect on forests and indigenous communities in almost every region in the world.

Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils of the Sarawak coast are being stripped even faster.

Sarawak has only 0.5% of the world’s tropical forest but accounted for 25% of tropical-log exports in 2010.

Sarawak has lost more than 90% of its “primary” forests to logging and has the fastest rate of deforestation in Asia.

About the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud

Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, born in Miri, is the fourth Chief Minister of Sarawak. Holding the post since 1981, Taib is the longest serving Chief Minister in Malaysia for over 30 years.

He is the state Minister of Finance and the Minister of Planning and Resource Management. He is the President of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the state coalition.

Being a member of the Malaysian Parliament for 38 years, Taib is also the second longest-serving parliamentarian in Malaysia after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Taib and his wider family are regularly accused of corruption and personally benefiting from Sarawak's natural and economic resources.

About Global Witness

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Global Witness investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource related conflict and corruption, and associated environmental and human rights abuses.

From undercover investigations, to high level lobby meetings, we aim to engage on every level where we might make a difference and bring about change.

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