Tasmanian Times

Economy

Revealed: Taib, deforestation and illicit outflow

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An undercover video reveals the manner in which Sarawak’s vast natural resources are being sold for profit by the powers-that-be, and the corruption involved.

KUALA LUMPUR: An international NGO recently posed as foreign investors seeking to buy land for oil palm plantations in Sarawak and unravelled in shocking detail the outflow of funds in Malaysia, the level of corruption in Sarawak and the depth of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s family’s involvement in raping the state.

According to Global Witness, they had approached the Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA), a government body charged with receiving foreign investment.

“An official at RECODA during a meeting in March 2012 directed our investigator to certain members of Taib’s family looking to sell their company licensed to log and clear land for plantations.

“Out of four land leases offered to Global Witness during 2012, members of the Chief Minister’s family were direct shareholders or beneficial owners of three of these.

“The fourth deal was proposed by an intermediary on the understanding that Taib would receive a multimillion dollar kickback from the selling party,” said Global Witness.

Among the key findings of their investigations were:

• Kickbacks – A representative of one of Sarawak’s biggest tycoons indicated that Taib would be likely to receive a multimillion dollar kickback for a plantation licence;

• Corrupt land deals – Members of Taib’s family were allocated land through directives from the state Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, headed by Taib, for a mere RM300,000, which when sold would make the family multi-million ringgit profits.

• Tax evasions – A Taib-family owned company was offered for sale through an illegal transaction in Singapore designed to evade Malaysian tax.

Additionally, Global Witness also found out that there was a “well-established” team of lawyers who routinely facilitate illegal transactions in violation of Malaysian and Sarawak laws.

Global Witness was also told by senior government officials and a timber company executive that it was standard practice in Sarawak for companies to pay a personal kickback to Taib in return for obtaining timber and plantation licences, typically amounting to 10 per cent of the commercial value of the licence.

Read the full story, FMT News here

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Robin Halton

    March 26, 2013 at 2:02 am

    #6 John Haywood, nonsense the areas Sue Smith is referring to is State Forest that the Green slimed Premier of this State told FT in 2010 to withdraw from while the so called “peace” talks were in progress.

    These are Interim Reserves not Forest Reserves, Sue Smith would know the differences however some of the TT respondents are just enjoy stirring the pot!

  2. john hayward

    March 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    We like to think there is some point where corruption is so blatant and egregious that it simply has to spark an outcry.

    Tassie regularly sails by such points without a peep. Yesterday Sue Smith made an impassioned plea for forest reserves to be not only severely reduced, but also opened up to special timber logging, if necessary.

    Being as the loggers’ safety considerations dictate this can only be done in the context of clearfelling , Sue is effectively calling for all proposed reserves be abolished. She is also insistent on the “durability” provisions be enforced, meaning that it would be illegal to call a fraud a fraud.

    If there is a limit to the public tolerance of either corruption or stupidity in Tas, we haven’t reached it yet.

    John Hayward

  3. Robin Halton

    March 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Get over it folks, Asian business principles are vastly different to ours. Asian populations are usually controlled through stealth. Asians seek new launching pads by stealth.
    Australians need to be more wary of their motives. It could be worse as the Chinese move in on buying up big farming properties, both Federal and State government’s need to stop this in its tracks.
    That is one good reason that I support Barnaby Joyce of the Nationals, we will be hearing more about that issue!
    The TaAnnification of Tasmanian forestry remains as a hot issue, The Sarawakish local CEO Mr Rolley needs putting in his place, no more gifts from either the Federal or State government, fine they are welcome to stay till 2027 on their own back, not ours!
    It is pointless to lumber HUON MLC Paul Harris with all the bad press, the problem squarely lies with former FT CEO Evan Rolley and Current CEO Bob Gordon both who should have been truthful with the sustainable yield volumes for eucalypt regrowth required for the Ta Ann plants in Tasmania.
    Paul Harris acted in good faith on behalf of the timber industry baseing his invitation for Ta Ann on the word of those two coves, Rolley and Gordon.
    Although I support the continuation of commercial forestry in Tasmania, I remain angered with the shoddy management by both those CEO’s who have effectively left us to somehow deal with this messy arrangement till 2027.

  4. phill Parsons

    March 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

    How the Obied families tentacles have spread out to touch others. Richard Torbay was the local light the Nationals pinned their hope in attemting to pull the thorn of Tony Windsor from their side.

    Now Torbay is under investigation by ICAC for his links to the Obeid family in relation to payments.

    Tasmania and certain Tasmnanians have hooked up with the Obied of Sarawak.

    It would be no surprise to find they behave alike, the surprise would be somebody looked to see if it were so.

  5. john hawkins

    March 21, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Erich Abetz, Harriss and Ta Ann have a common link through Sarawak possibly the most corrupt nation in Asia.

    With the demise of Gunns the forest interests of the ruling family in Sarawak as promoted by all three now head the Tasmanian Forestry agenda.

    All three have a lot to hide, Harriss the extent of his connections to Ta Ann, Abetz the influence gained by Gunns through a gift of $50,000 to the Liberal party when Abetz became Minister of Forests and the protection of Ponzi MIS Forestry tax scams and Ta Ann the track record of Taib Mahmud in Sarawak .

    Do these connected, wheelers, dealers and unlikely bedfellows promote the best interests of the Tasmanian Forest Industry ?

    Rolley may know the answers.

  6. john hayward

    March 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    You can see why the LibLabs are so keen to legislate to make it a criminal offence to inconvenience the logging industry.

    The kleptocrat head office in Sarawak makes critics disappear. The least we can do here is throw them in the slammer.

    John Hayward

  7. Karl Stevens

    March 20, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Media siloing happening in Tasmania concerning Taib’s alleged cartel is the joke of the year. The Examiner has suppressed all references to Sarawak in their reporting of Ta Ann and forestry. The Examiner would have us believe Ta Ann is just a normal company with a girly name. The fact is the Global Witness expose leaves a lot of Tasmanians with egg on their faces. People like Paul Harriss, Eric Abetz, Ruth Forrest, Evan Rolley and even the Tasmanian Wilderness Society. I hope the ENGOs that went to Japan watched the video and think about how Ta Ann and Sarawak really operate. Taib has bought extreme misery to his people and for Tasmanian enviros to act as gophers for them in Japan is ignorance in the extreme in my view.

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