24 February 2011
For immediate release
Canadian government under fire over Taib ties
OTTAWA (CANADA) Days ahead of announced street protests against Taib family properties in downtown Ottawa and central London, the Canadian government is coming under fire over its close business ties with the Taibs. A number of ministries of the Canadian federal government and the Ontario provincial government are renting their office space from Sakto corporation which is being controlled by the powerful and extremely corrupt Malaysian Taib family.
Sakto corporation, an Ottawa property developer, was founded in 1983 by Onn Mahmud, the brother of the then newly-elected Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”). Its rapid development has allegedly been funded with illegal timber trade kickbacks channelled through two Hong Kong businesses funded by Onn Mahmud and an accomplice in the same year. Today, Sakto and its subsidiaries in the UK and the US are estimated to be worth several hundred million Canadian dollars. They are being directed by Taib’s daughter Jamilah Taib and her Canadian husband Sean (Hisham) Murray.
No less than eleven Ontario Government Ministries are occupying offices at Sakto’s Preston Square site in downtown Ottawa. These include the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Health Promotion, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Transportation. Another Sakto building at 2745 Iris Street is occupied by federal government of Canada offices.
Mutang Urud, an indigenous leader from Sarawak who has been living in exile in Canada since the 1990s said: "It is disgusting to think that the Canadian government would be renting office space from the Taibs who are running such an oppressive government in Sarawak. This is a shame and I hope it is being done out of ignorance. There should have been due diligence. A probe should be launched into the Canadian and Ontario government rental contracts with Sakto and there must be consequences."
Mutang was arrested and placed in solitary confinement by the Taib government in February 1992 for running the Sarawak Indigenous Peoples' Association (SIPA). He will be leading a street campaign protest in front of Sakto’s 333 Preston Street premises in Ottawa on coming Monday, 28 February, at noon.
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Sources used for this release: www.sarawakreport.org; research by BMF.
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