Group Calls for Deep Probe into Taib’s Wealth

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Graft watchdog tells Pakatan to live up to promises and probe Taib.

  • Potential conflict of interest with new Sarawak state oil company Petros backing South Sea Energy, which signed a financing agreement for US$150 million with Oman’s Bank Nizwa
  • Allegation that executive vice-president of South Sea Energy was Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, son of Taib Mahmood
  • Later, Chief Minister’s Office denied links between Petros and South Sea Energy, except for lapsed MoU for local investment

C4 Center says a report by a portal provides fresh details needed by authorities to investigate graft allegations against the former Sarawak CM.

An anti-graft group today called for fresh investigations into Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, following new allegations against the former chief minister in Sarawak Report.

C4 Center said the Pakatan Harapan government must live up to its promise of anti-kleptocracy and anti-corruption by decisively settling Taib’s case.

“We cannot be hawkish on 1MDB and yet allow this to pass,” said C4 Center executive director Cynthia Gabriel.

Sarawak Report had recently questioned the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Sarawak’s state oil company, Petroleum Sarawak (Petros), and South Sea Energy, which signed a financing agreement for US$150 million with Oman’s Bank Nizwa to enable investment in a massive oil exploration.

It cited a media statement by the bank which stated that Taib and his son Mahmud Abu Bekir had been present at the signing ceremony on behalf of South Sea Energy. The report said Mahmud was the company’s executive vice-president.

The Sarawak government has denied that Petros was involved with the company.

“It was merely an understanding for Petros to assist should the company intend to invest in Sarawak,” the state government said, adding that the MoU signed with the company had lapsed.

Cynthia said: “Now the public sits in a ‘he-said-she-said’ situation without clear information about whether there is a real conflict of interest or not.”

In a written parliamentary reply recently, de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had cleared Taib of wrongdoing in 2013.

MACC chief commissioner Mohd Shukri Abdull had also said that investigations on Taib did not find anything to implicate him.

Cynthia said the latest allegations by Sarawak Report should trigger a new investigation.

“Furthermore, Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) has expressed willingness to share evidence of corruption,” she said, referring to one of Taib’s biggest critics.

Cynthia said BMF had estimated Taib’s wealth to be in excess of RM46 billion.

She said an “impartial investigation” into Taib’s wealth was needed to “clarify if the state had truly been kleptocratically plundered”.

“Malaysians who have voted in the spirit of anti-kleptocracy and anti-corruption in Malaysia cannot tolerate this impunity to continue on. C4 Center calls on the Pakatan Harapan government to take stern and necessary action,” she added.


Related reports:

Jul 3, New Evidence, Witnesses Needed to Reopen Probe on Taib

Jun 14, Bruno Manser Fund Willing to Share Info on Taib with Putrajaya

Feb 5, Seeking Financial Records in Taib-Linked Case in Rare Court Proceeding in Toronto