Ironically, it was his uncle who had started this trend, when to become Chief Minister in 1970 he had to depend on the support of SUPP and thereby thwart SNAP's attempt to come back to power in the state.
His uncle was in power for almost 12 years, but in 6 years Taib's group of cronies had almost closed the gap in terms of the timber concessions held by them as against those held by Rahman's cronies.
While Taib did benefit personally from arrangements with his group of cronies, by that time it is likely that he could not as yet match the money-power of his uncle's group of cronies. He also knew that the 1987 elections which he was forced to call because of the rebellion was going to be a very costly affair, with his uncle's group spending as much as they could to try and overthrow him, while he had to at least match their spending to defend himself and his cronies.
Partly to neutralize his opponents' money-power and also to gain access to the necessary funds for himself, he ordered the transfer of all state government funds out from Bank Utama which was then under the control of one of his uncle's cronies, Bidari, who was also PBB Treasurer.
This he was able to do with the kind assistance of his brother-in-law, Aziz Hussain, who then just happened to be the Assistant or Deputy State Financial Officer. In fact it was Aziz Hussain who inadvertently spilled the beans, unaware that he was talking to the Sarawak Headhunter at the time.
Taib then made a deal with 5 robber baron timber gang lords - if you don't know who they are, just look for the top 5 timber concession holders in Sarawak. The deal was that they would each pay him RM30 million if he won the elections. In return they would not only get to keep the concessions they already had but they would also be given many more - and Taib would also make much more, the RM30 million each just a small down-payment.
So Taib used RM150 million of state government money to fund his (and the BN's) election campaign. Money flowed like water on both sides, but it would appear that on Rahman's side much of the money did not get where it was supposed to go, so much so that after the elections, Nor Tahir's house in Satok was raided by the federal authorities who found and confiscated more than RM90 million in unaccounted for cash that had not been spent.
Yes, good folks of Sarawak, that's the illegally-earned money from your own natural resources, particularly timber, that they were using to bribe you to support them.
When the elections were over and Taib's group had won by a mere 4 seats, the RM150 million was immediately replaced and no one was any the wiser what Taib had done to survive the 1987 elections.
This is how Taib survived the 1987 elections and how at least 7 million hectares of timber concessions came to be controlled by Taib's family, henchmen and cronies (of which no less than 5 million hectares came under the dominion of the top 5 robber baron timber lords who had reimbursed Taib the state government money that he had used for the elections).
Elections in Sarawak and many other parts of Malaysia are nothing more than a mockery and subversion of democracy, until the people decide that they cannot be bribed with their own money to support and vote for their elected representatives to abuse their trust.