Friday, April 15, 2011

How Taib Made His Billions

Taib’s Ten Income Streams

How did he get the money?

Recently we spoke to one of Taib’s key business partners in strict confidence. He explained to us what he described as the 10 main income streams that have turned the Chief Minister into a multi-billionaire over the past 30 years. In the process he gave us a fascinating insight into the business practices of Abdul Taib Mahmud.

They all involve the abuse of power, corruption and the exploitation of the people and environment of Sarawak. Our interviewee, who has done years of business with the Mahmud family, told us he believes that Taib is probably the richest man in South East Asia, having cashed in the Sarawak Rainforest.

Income Stream 1

He got nothing of course!

Timber Licences– The Ministry of Forests issues timber licences for 5, 10, 15 years. It is the Chief Minister who decides the price and he demands money to issue them.

Cronies who deal with the Chief Minister are instructed to pay their bribes and kickbacks into foreign bank accounts outside of Sarawak, often in Hong Kong or Singapore in the early days.

The informant told us that, because the timber companies declare so little profit, very little tax is paid and hardly any of the money made from felling the trees came back into Sarawak.

Income Stream 2

Taib has admitted he "started daughter Jamilah up in business". CAN$4.5 million was invested in the first year into Sakto alone.

Tonnage- On top of this, our informant told us, he charges the timber company a kickback of RM100 per ton of wood they log. This alone is worth RM2 billion a year, since for the last 30 years around 20 million tons have been felled each year.

Income Stream 3

Extending Timber Licences – Companies wanting to be listed on the Stock Exchange have a requirement that the expiry date for their assigned areas has to be at least 15 years, meaning they have to extend their licences.

They go to the CM who says “Ok can you see my brother Onn” [in the earlier period Onn managed Taib’s businesses in Sarawak and abroad].

Sakto in Canada is worth hundreds of millions of dollars

Because the requirement by the KL Stock Exchange was 30% Bumi Shareholders the timber tycoon would invite a Taib family member of Taib’s choice to take these 30% of the shares for free!

But these family members are usually nominees – they sign a blank share transfer form and a blank director resignation form, which Taib takes and keeps in his safe or in the foreign bank’s safe deposit box. In this way Taib can make them resign whenever he likes and keeps ultimate ownership of the shares!

Income Stream 4

Lucrative monopoly over shipping licences meant Taibs could squeeze the Japanese shipping firms.

Achipelago Shipping- Using their control over the monopoly over timber export licences, handled by Onn Mahmud’s company Achipelago, the Mahmuds charged US$ 4.00 per cubic metre in kickbacks from the Japanese shipping companies.

Since 16 million cubic meters were exported most years, this was worth US$64 million a year (RM200,000,000).

Another insider has explained to us the system. The logs would be weighed going onto the ships and every ship’s tally would be recorded and sent to Onn Mahmud’s office manager in Hong Kong, who was Mr Shea Kin Kwok.

The Japanese shipping companies would pay the money into one of around six companies in Hong Kong. In 2007 the Japanese tax authorities fined a number of companies for undeclared tax on some of these payments to the Taibs.

Income Stream 5

Grandiose - one of Sakto's sister companies, Ridgeford, has a string of properties in London

Achipelago Shipping (2)- Agency fees from the shipping company. Achipelago had the monopoly of all documentation for shipping. One shipment would have to pay US$2,000 in agency fees plus other charges.

It would amount to US$10,000 (RM30,000) per ship per visit. All this of course just added to the cost to the buyers in Japan.

Onn Mahmud was only a nominee in this enterprise, we are told. Taib would give him 10%. The insiders say that Achipelago Shipping was the major ‘cash-cow’ for the Taibs. Onn had not wanted to take on the job of managing it at first, as he did not understand the potential, but in the end and it made the family billions in black money.

Income Stream 6

Development? What development?

Privatisation of Government Companies- Taib corporatizes and then privatises state assets, selling them off to public listed companies, which are in fact majority-owned by the Taib family and nominees. Sarawak’s largest company CMS was formed in this way, it is mainly owned by Taib’s family and the Chief Managers are his son Abu Bekir and son-in-law Alwee Alsree.

According to our insider, the method is to pretend the state asset is losing money and decide to sell it. Before privatisation money is poured into up-grading the facilities and then it is corporatized. Then finally, it is ‘privatised’. He will make an offer from eg CMS to buy it and the negotiations all go on behind closed doors, where he represents the State of Sarawak as Finance Minister.

Taib makes a big play at the closing stages of the negotiations, when there is a meeting to make the final decision. He excuses himself on the grounds that he has an interest and leaves the meeting to be chaired by Jabu or George Chan, who waves it through.

Income Stream 7

Logging or plain theft?

Illegal Logging in Indonesia- Hardwood Timber Sdn Bhd licences wood which has been illegally logged and brought over the border, according to the business associate.

“They levy handling fees in the border area. They charge RM17 per ton. There are many, many little companies doing this. A lot of jobless gangsters”.

It legitimises the theft from the Indonesians. Indonesia has complained in the past, but it is still going on.

Income Stream 8

Federal payments for infrastructure or just graft?

Federal Government Contracts- Nearly all the Federal Government projects in Sarawak are done by the Taib family companies. Roads, schools, hospitals – nearly all the projects that the Prime Minister is going around promising now as he tries to buy the election, will end up profiting the Taib family more than anyone else!

This is because the CM has the sole authority to endorse an application to pre-qualify to tender. In order to get a permit to tender for a project you need a supporting letter from the CM and generally only his family companies get them!

Adelaide Hilton is another Taib foreign property

Hardly anyone else gets a chance, says our business insider. Some Iban companies do get projects, because the Federal Government does not want to be seen to be giving them all to Taib, but he gets 70-80% of them!

Once the Taib company has received the Federal Contract it then sub-contracts the work for a nice profit and lets someone else do the work with a much smaller budget. This means there is a likelihood that it will be sub-standard and everyone else is squeezed.

Income Stream 9

The Alienation of State Land to Oil Palm Plantations – Our business leader informant tells us that Taib charges at least RM 1,000-1,500 per acre in kickbacks.
This amounts to at least RM20,000,000 for a 10,000 hectare plantation His chosen negotiator will explain this to the purchaser. The licensee has to pay the money outside of Sarawak into an off-shore account.

YB Ali Mahmud is just one of the family members to have done well out of land grabs.

Leaked records from the Land and Survey Department to Sarawak Report shows that around 1.4 million hectares has been handed out by land and survey for plantations. So if our informant is right this amounts to a very nice sum of money for Taib 1,500 X 1,400,000 is RM 2,100,000,000 or RM2.1 billion.

How it works is the person who wants land writes to the Land and Survey Department run by Taib. You pay the official premium to the Government, which is for example RM300-350 per acre, but on top of that it is the secret RM1,500 that you have to pay to Taib.

Now the prices are rocketing, Taib likes to complain to his business cronies that he regrets having sold so much off so quickly in the early years!

Income Stream 10

Borneo Convention Centre and just about any other State Contract you care to mention goes to Taib companies.

State Contracts- Taib has full control over these and at least 70% goes to his own family companies, bringing in hundreds of millions annually.

Recent eye-catching state projects that went to the Taibs have been the new DUN Parliament Building and the Borneo Convention Centre.

Our contact says this is by no means a complete list of the money-making opportunities the Chief Minister has enjoyed in Sarawak, but it goes some way to explain the enormous wealth visibly enjoyed by himself and by his family.

Plenty of questions to answer - staged interviews are not enough.

Once this wealth has been taken abroad and invested in property and other ventures there has been a whole new opportunity to multiply the wealth several times over.

Taib is known to have done very well investing in rocketing property markets in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. However, he is also believed to have lost money in poor investments such as the Icelandic banks!

River view. Taib's Sarawak home.

Not far down the road from Taib's house in Kuching.


Anonymous said...

I think the death sentence is too good for this scoundrel. Since he is a muslim, I sure would like to know how he is to be punished according to syariah laws. An eye for an eye?
C'mon all you Mullahs, what are you waiting for, 72 virgins to fall from the sky??

The Toe Hunter said...

Where is his F**king Old Uncle Tun Rahman Yaacob.Last time he fought with Taib like hell. Now he also succumbed to Taib.

So, if Taib goes to hell and Rahman Yaacob goes to hell too. Hey Rahman Yaacob, please la... never pretend that you don't know what Taib did to Sarawak.

You both go to Nereka Jahanam.

elizabeth said...

I think, even an alien from outer space would be better than this crook!! Dear Sarawakians, please vote for change.

kee said...

I believe that the majority of those reading all these expose' on Taib are either not Sarawak voters or Sarawak voters who are already non Taib/BN supporters.

If Sarawak Headhunter and Sarawak Report cannot convince the descendents of Sarawak headhunters to stop voting for Taib and BN, all the expose' amount to no more than syiok sendiri.

Anonymous said...

Please Sarawakians..for your own good..change your government tomorrow.

Mohd said...

All politicians are corrupt!
We have to choose the lesser evil.
Now we all know why the Pakatan wants desperately to rule Sarawak which is gold mine.
Look at Selangor, the Pakatan government dig up big holes and sell the sand to Singapore.
Look at Penang, where the Malays and Indians are chased out of their own lands.
Look at Kedah where the MB, his relatives and cronies rob the people of the states's money.
Look at Kelantan, where the Orang Asli lands are given to outsiders as Ladang Rakyat. And the Kelantanese are deprived of clean water ever since PAS's rule.
Do the Sarawakians want this?
If the answer is yes, vote for Pakatan Rakyat and you deserve it.

Aril said...

Vote for BN.

But don't vote for Taib. Get rid of him.

mohammed said...

In reply to Mohd.

I agree that all positions that require elections are prone to corruption in one way or other. However in coming to the conclusion that BN is the lesser of the 2 evils you are delusional. 54 years and possible a couple of trillion ringgint in seepage thru corruption and still they are better?

The big holes as you claim that are in Selangor are probably not big enough to bury you.

Anonymous said...

Where is MACC? sibuk dengan video sex and other petty stuff? Enough is enough! Give Pakatan Rakyat the chance to rule and see the difference in 40 years time. We gave BN 40 years and what did Sarawak get?

Anonymous said...


If PR do win this state election, then later PRU13..Can all this scumbag brought to justice??

Anonymous said...

even if we get rid of Taib, there may be well another Taib in making. The problem is not Taib but the system.

Old Fart said...

Even if PR were to win and BN loses, and after all evidence is assembled against Taib, he will be free to live on to the end of his days and his children and family will be left to enjoy the harvest of their crime for the next several generations. MACC will not investigate and the police will not prosecute him.

Anonymous said...

How can you say choose between two devils? Sounds like we are doomed. I don't think children of Adam are destined for doom. No, I do not believe that. There must be a way to get rid of our rotten system.

elizabeth said...

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is why we need a strong 2 party system for check and balance. If we allow Pakatan to rule Sarawak for as long as Taib did, corruption would set in. However, I am comforted to know that, in the short to medium term, the state would be developed, infrastructure improved, education level raised, and the people become wiser and more discerning. By the time pakatan becomes corrupt, the people would be wise to vote them out.

Anonymous said...

yes. the system is call mahathirism.

Anonymous said...

We definitely need to change,BN is too long ruling the country. They thought they can manipulate anything. PR is good or not, I'm not sure, but we need to show to the politician, if you are NO GOOD, YOU ARE OUT!!!

Anonymous said...

It is not necessary that the more educated is wiser. Knowledge not wisdom is sown in our education system. Education makes people more knowledgeable but not necessary wiser.

Anonymous said...

BN already ruled the state over 30 years. Pakatan is not perfect but why not give Pakatan 5 years to try. If they r worse than BN then next election can always go back to BN. U never tried u never knew. Say GET OUT to BN!

Anonymous said...

The whole world is watching if the voters in the interior of Sarawak notably those Iban/Dayak have the resolve and courage to boot out the BN/PBB in today's State Election. They have been hoodwinked for 30 years by the Taib regime.

The End said...

unless sarawakians can change their mindset BN will forever rule this i don see any change in sarawak at all...not the people,sad isn't it?you have to look at the fact that so many idiotic ignorant sarawakians doesn't even bother to know what is goin on,am not cursing sarawakians but the facts are that without corruption sarawakians cannot survived.its what they do best,look around you,sarawak has a lot of rich bastards,these ppl became rich from cheating their own people especially the native YBs which are basically your state cocksuckers,they cheat from the citizen,employees and etc.what do they do? a citizen it is your right to change and vote,but a few drops of alcohol and money will always change the future.youngsters nowadays don even bother to know what is happening to sarawak and even the newspaper isn't read,not the news nothing,the favorite quote of every sarawakians which west malaysians always signifies sarawakian stupidity is "why should i vote?its not like they're gonna give me any money?so don let your hopes high,sarawak will never change,even after 2020 the people and the state will always remain shallow.well thank god i've migrated from that shithole,but sad to see i will be missing the sarawak come on you really think you're up for it?long gone is sarawak under the the autocratic rule.after all,we all know what 1Malaysia is all about....1 MALAY-IN-ASIA...remember,malaysia doesnt have human rights only MALAY not a muslim am a catholic and always vote the opposition but when the word allah and the bible became a huge issue.i don see any future in this country,sad but true.tomorrows result will be another decade of corruption and inflation.let me ask you again...are you up for it sarawakians?

Anonymous said...

And yet Sarawakians still voted for him bigtime.

Anonymous said...

To the owner of this blog, I believe I am the rightful owner of the photograph of the Iban Warrior that you have used in your blog. I have never given you my permission to use it. Please be kind enuf to have it removed. I am in no way affliated to any political party in your blog. You may want to popularise your blog but I will have nothing to do with it.

How would you have felt if someone uses your work without permission for personal gains?

You have accused certian quarters of being a thief in your blog, would you like me to label you as one too?

Al Tugauw said...

Dear Anonymous, which Iban Warrior? There are many on my blog. I have nothing to gain personally from anything on my blog. How do I know you are who you say you are, i.e. the "owner" of any particular image?

If you can prove that you are indeed the owner of any particular copyrighted image used on my blog without your permission, I will certainly have it removed.

Kiat said...

I am referring to this one...!/photo.php?fbid=134732226542612&set=a.133655316650303.24744.100000175050730&type=1&theater

Thank you.

Al Tugauw said...

Kiat, I cannot access the link you provided.

Kiat said...

Just open up new tab, copy and paste and then press enter...
simple as that..

Kiat said...


How about this link..


Al Tugauw said...

Kiat, It has been removed.

Kiat said...


Thank you for removing my photo. I wish you well in your persuits and have a nice day..