EXCLUSIVE An undercover investigation by an international NGO has revealed video evidence of how Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family members and business associates abuse logging licences to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary Sarawakians.
Two of Taib’s first cousins, a family member of Taib’s key business partner and a lawyer who represented the cousins have been caught on video explaining the mechanisms of circumventing existing laws to profit from the scheme.
The video was discreetly recorded by an investigator with Global Witness, a London-based NGO that investigates and campaigns against environmental and human rights abuses.
The undercover investigator was sent to Sarawak last year posing as a “foreign investor” looking to buy land to set up oil palm plantations.
The investigator approached the Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda), the state government body charged with handling foreign investments, and was immediately directed to certain members of Taib’s family who were selling companies licensed to log and clear land for plantations in Sarawak.
These licences were issued by Sarawak’s Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, which is headed by Taib…
WHAT IS THIS FILM ABOUT?
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.
For over thirty years, Sarawak has been governed by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who controls all land classification, forestry and plantation licenses in the state. Under his tenure, Sarawak has experienced some of the most intense rates of logging seen anywhere in the world. The state now has less than 5 per cent of its forests left in a pristine condition, unaffected by logging or plantations and continues to export more tropical logs than South America and Africa combined.
The film reveals for the first time 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 and hiding their dirty money in Singapore. Taib and the local lawyers we approached denied Global Witness’s allegations of corruption. A summary of their responses are included at the end of the film.
ABU DHABI – Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) celebrates Abu Dhabi International Airport’s victory in the “Best Airport for the Middle East region” revealed by Airports Council International (ACI) ASQ’s Survey results.
The ASQ (Airport Service Quality) Survey, which gauges passenger satisfaction, is a key benchmark for customer service in the global airports’ industry, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The awards, announced by ACI in Montreal, Canada, showed that Abu Dhabi International Airport had the biggest overall improvement in ASQ satisfaction results in the region for 2012.
The airport excelled in categories that measure operational efficiency and quality of service. The airport scored 4.40 in the ASQ indicators for 2012, up from 4.31 in 2011, to place the airport 1st in the Middle East. It was ranked 2nd last year.
The ASQ Awards recognise and reward the best airports in the world based on ACI’s ASQ passenger satisfaction survey and they represent an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of airports worldwide to continually improve the passenger experience.
by Hend Mohamad
Life is full of ups and downs – we have times of joy and times of disappointment, we have our eman increase or decrease, sometimes we feel close to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, and sadly at other times we turn away. We must identify if it is our nafs or Shaitan that’s deviating us or decreasing our faith, thus directing us to prepare the appropriate weapon.
If it’s your nafs stop the habit and replace it with a good habit as Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) said: “And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” (Surah Hud Verse 114)
It is important to educate ourselves about the sin or reflect upon the detrimental habit and then think about the akhirah.
To fight Shaitan’s whispers, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala gave us a strong system of defense and the best of it is our faith:
Increase in Knowledge
The Qur’an and Sunnah are our reference and guides for knowing what is permitted and forbidden in life as Muslims, it is therefore an obligation to learn about Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and thus increasing in our pursuit of knowledge strengthens our faith. We should also turn to scholars when in doubt or needing clarification. Try to read The Noble Qur’an, ahadith, various books about Islam to increase your eman to put into practice, and to increase your reliance of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala as that knowledge will bithn’illah be your protection next time Shaitan tries to make you deviate.
Know that there is no might nor power except with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and without Him you can not succeed.
Seeking Refuge: Al-Istiadah
Sincerely seek refuge with Allah from the accursed; do so before entering the toilet, entering your house, when leaving the house, when having bad thoughts, when beginning to recite The Qur’an, so on.
Make du’a for help and protection, and find the Sunnah du’a which can be found in the supplication book Fortress of the Muslim.
Remembrance of Allah:
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Exalted says: `I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e. in the assembly of angels).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
You can listen to the Qur’an on your mobile phone, your iPod or MP3, or in your car, on your way to work or school or at home. Make a habit of reading the Qur’an daily, even if it is just a few verses. It is our source of guidance and protection for our eman.
Finally, Shaitan is our enemy and let us wage a war against him and our nafs by devoting ourselves to increasing our eman and serving Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. At the end of the day, Shaitan does not make us do something, he whispers. If you fall, which we are all bound to do as humans, don’t give up and turn back to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala:
Say: ”O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Az-zumur 53)
YOURSAY/Malaysiakini 19 Dec 2012
SENIOR LAWYER AND SON IN SPOTLIGHT OVER BALA’s SD2.
Anak, Bangsa, Malaysia: With all the revelation exposed so openly, it is shameful to see that the powers-that-be are going on as if nothing has happen. Umno, what have you got to say about this?
Kelate: Though I did not study law, logically I believes it is not right for any lawyer to help draft a SD (statutory declaration) without consulting the person who is going to sign it.
If that lawyer is also a member of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel that helps clear controversial corruption cases under investigation, then it is really a sad day for all Malaysians.
Is it any surprises then that MACC is so lame and not able to catch any big fishes?
Chiabee2: Do not be distracted by this SD thing, the main puzzle here is why the deafening silence from the ‘I help you, you help me’ couple?
Surely one with any pride/dignity will response to such serious allegations and revelations by the carpet man (Deepak Jaikishan).
It’s amazing too that not a squeak is heard from all those chest-thumping Perkasa-type groups/NGOs.
The carpet man’s assertion that “surely 28 million people are not under the control of just one couple” is indeed true and correct.
Abuminable: “PI Bala had claimed in an interview with Malaysiakini that he signed the second SD out of fear. However, Deepak’s recent series of revelations painted a different picture, alleging that Bala signed it for money.”
It’s the old carrot-and-stick strategy: first put the fear into Bala, then tempt him with lots of cash. He’s just a former SB (Special Branch) officer supporting his family as a private eye – has he ever claimed to be a martyr or saint?
He got caught up in the drama when Najib’s friend Abdul Razak Baginda engaged his services.
The story I’m waiting to hear is what happened to Bala’s assistant, who ended up in the hotel room with three Mongolian women for several days. I’m sure he has a juicy story to tell.
Bartimaeus 2020: In the next few days, MACC may produce serious incriminating evidence against the Bar Council chairperson and members of its disciplinary committee.
I am basing my conjecture on the principle of binding precedent. A suicide note written by Teoh Beng Hock was used to exonerate key MACC officials of blame for his mysterious death in their premises. Also, Suaram was said to have violated certain by-laws of the Companies Commission.
However, the most important case in this regard was the trial of the honourable Lord President Salleh Abas. At that time, Salleh was intending to convene a full bench of judges to hear a petition against the legality of Umno as a political party.
He was tried not by a kangaroo court but by an international tribunal, and was pronounced guilty of sundry offences and dismissed from high office.
James1067: What is the agenda here? Are Malaysians going to be taken for a ride? Who is writing this script? Can Deepak be doing this without a strong backer? Is he in for the benefits promised if everything goes according to the plan?
Malaysians must always be alert not to fall into the game plan of the politicians. This cannot be happening unless somebody who is in authority is allowing it for his or their own selfish purposes.
Headhunter: Should anyone still doubt that the MACC is biased in favour of the Najib regime, this should put the matter to rest.
The lawyers concerned should be immediately suspended from practicing and if found guilty, barred for life. In other countries, they would probably be sent to jail too.
Malaysiakini/19 Dec 2012
Umno has been urged to censure Utusan Malaysia and former information minister Zainudin Maidin, over an escalating row which stemmed from the latter’s article containing scathing criticism of several Indonesia leaders.
In a press release today, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim warned that Zainuddin’s vitriol has spread from former president BJ Habibie to another former president, Gus Dur, and prominent reformist Amien Rais.
Anwar said that the comments were rude and Umno, as Utusan Malaysia‘s owners, should compel the daily to apologise for publishing Zainuddin’s original piece.
He also urged Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim to take action.
“Rais should not beat around the bush and give excuses in view of concerted attempts to insult Indonesian leaders which were published by Utusan Malaysia, which is owned by Umno.
“In view of this, is it not appropriate for Umno leaders to urge Zainuddin and Utusan Malaysia to apologise openly?
“I believe that such rude behaviour does not reflect public sentiment and is rejected by the majority of Malaysians who respect those Indonesian leaders,” he said.
On Dec 10, Utusan Malaysia had published an article penned by Zainuddin, who mocked Anwar for inviting Habibie to deliver a lecture at Universiti Selangor on Dec 6.
Zainuddin’s article accused Habibie of being a puppet of foreign powers, who wanted to see East Timor’s secession from Indonesia by means of a referendum.
He argued that Habibie had betrayed his country and his race, which resulted in his presidency lasting only 17 months.
Zainuddin accused Habibie and Anwar of sharing similar traits, labelling them both as the “dogs of imperialism”.
Following this, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesian media condemned Zainuddin, who continued to fuel the war of words through his blog.
In a post last Thursday, Zainuddin accused Habibie and his successor Gus Dur of visiting Malaysia on Anwar’s invitation to spread democracy.
“This act really hurts the feelings of Malaysias and it is disrespectful to our country’s official leaders,” wrote Zainuddin.
In a post this morning, Zainuddin drew Amien Rais into the fray by accusing him of conspiring with Habibi and Gus Dur to hold demonstrations in Indonesia back in 1997.
On Dec 12, Zainuddin told Indonesian news organisation Tempo that his disparaging remarks against Habibie were designed to expose the latter’s occasional attempts to interfere in Malaysia’s affairs.
The Truth : This Joker is the grade one product from BTN. His real target is DSAI. He hate DSAI because DSAI is threatening the dominance of Umno in Malaysian politic, thus directly affecting badly the concept of “Ketuanan Malayu” which is core ideology of Umno. But he forgot, Indonesia is not easy to be bully as most of our fellow Malaysia which had been subjected to for decade.
whatever : This mamak is a Malay celup and an umno cetak rompak. Ptuiiiiiiii.
Cascara : You must forgive Zainudin Maidin for his outburst. He must have been having his once every five year ‘erections’.
Mohican : He is of toilet character whose parents never taught him manners and so the toilet utusan will also give this gutter snipe some space to spread lies and dischord.
BTN : Indonesia is one country that we can ill afford to offend. I believe malaysia no. 1 toilet paper utusan has crossed the line this time and they cant wriggle themselve out. Padam muka with umno and its propaganda machine utusan.
Ming : Maybe, I said maybe…the “new voters aka new citizens from Indonesia may decided to vote for PR now because the Umnogoons have belittle their Former President….
One Hand Cover The Sky : This is a very dangerous incident. It could spark off another ‘konfrantasi’ with our giant neighbour. Our country top leaders should take stern actions to punish Utusan editors and Zainuddin Maidin including all those who are responsible for making such a disparaging remarks on Indonesia’s leaders. Malaysians living in Indonesia will never be safe again after this incident.
Jiminy Qrikert : It’s three strikes against Zainuddin Maidin and confirms that he should never ever have been appointed information minister – (i) Maidin is single-handedly delivering the Indonesian immigrant votes to PR. No wonder Umno-Utusan moved as quickly as they did to pull the article (ii) he is doing this by insulting 3 Indonesian leaders all on his own and (iii) he tried (stupidly) to draw a parallel between the ‘failings’ of these Indon leaders with DSAI as being unfit to lead the country by ‘spreading democracy.’ Thank goodness this uncouth Umno goon of misinformation, Maidin, is no longer information minister for Msia.
Ex-wfw : YB DSAI, please don’t waste your time with this 4th rate ex-minister. He thinks that his behaviour can cross international border without any fallout, that is his LIMITED capability only in this Bolehland did he ever had a chance to become MINISTER. Anyway, that has been the quality available among most of the BN ministers. He himself had been ERECTED Minister so he expected others to be of the same quality! Our hope is when you take over, NEVER EVER REPEAT what BN had done!
Slumdog : Did I get this right? Zainuddin said that spreading of democracy “really hurts the feelings of Malaysians and it is disrespectful to our country’s official leaders.” If he can come up with such pearls of wisdom, he is a pathetic imbecile. Which planet did he come from?