Sunday, February 27, 2011

Will The FBI Investigate Taib?

February 26, 2011

FBI’s Seattle office to see embarrassing anti-corruption protest

Anti-Taib protests are spreading to the United States – US government asked to investigate allegations of the late former Taib aide and whistleblower Ross Boyert

SEATTLE / SAN FRANCISCO (US) The global campaign against Sarawak’s billionaire Chief Minister-cum-illegal logging tycoon, Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), is gaining further momentum. Yesterday, human rights groups and environmental campaigners in the US announced a picketing campaign outside Taib properties in Seattle and San Francisco. Similar protests will be held next week in the UK and Canada. 

The Seattle protest (on Thursday 3 March) will be particularly embarrassing for the US authorities. It is being held outside the Taib-owned Abraham Lincoln building in downtown Seattle, a property held through Wallysons Inc, which hosts no less than the FBI’s Northwestern Regional Headquarters! What a shame that the FBI, an institution set up to uphold the fight for justice and against corruption and money-laundering, is renting its premises from a well-known Malaysian criminal kleptocrat!

Wallysons’ chairman is Taib’s son, Sulaiman (Rahman) Taib, while Taib’s Canadian son-in-law, Sean Murray, is its president. Taib is one of South East Asia’s most corrupt politicians and the chief culprit for the destructive logging of several hundred thousand hectares of Borneo rainforest. Last week, the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund published a blacklist of 49 Taib companies in eight countries which are estimated to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of US dollars.

The San Francisco protest (on Wednesday 9 March) is being held outside the Citibank branch at 260 California Street in the city’s historical centre. The building is the seat of Taib’s Sakti International Corporation, which used to be headed by the late Ross Boyert. After having been dismissed by the Taibs, Boyert filed legal action against Sakti at a San Francisco court in early 2007. In September 2010, Boyert was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel. In an interview with Sarawak Report given weeks before his death, Boyert said he and his family had been harassed and terrorized by Taib agents ever since he had filed the case.

The Bruno Manser Fund, together with an international NGO coalition against Taib timber corruption, is asking the US authorities to freeze all Taib assets in the United States and to investigate the former Taib aide and whistleblower Ross Boyert’s allegations against the Taibs and the circumstances of his death.

- Ends -

Details of planned anti-Taib street campaigns in the United States:

Seattle: Thursday, 3 March 2011, 12:00 p.m. outside the FBI Northwestern Regional Headquarters at 1110 3rd Avenue (corner Spring St)

San Francisco: Wednesday, 9 March 2011, 10:00 a.m. outside Citibank at 260 California Street

Phone contact for the United States:

Brihannala Morgan, The Borneo Project, Berkeley, California Tel. +1 415 341 7051

International campaign coordination: Bruno Manser Fund, Basel, Switzerland +41 61 261 94 74

Sources used for this release:; research by the Bruno Manser Fund.
Follow our campaign on twitter: 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

High Noon For Taib In Ottawa 28th February 2011


24 February 2011

For immediate release

Canadian government under fire over Taib ties

Human rights and environmental campaigners criticize the Canadian federal government and the Ontario provincial government for renting office space from the kleptocratic Malaysian Taib family. –

International campaigners call for a probe into the rental contracts worth millions of dollars

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.

- Ends -

Please contact us for further information:
Mutang Urud, Montreal, +1 514 746-4811
International campaign coordination, Basel (Switzerland) +41 61 261 94 74

Sources used for this release:; research by BMF.
Bruno Manser Fonds, Socinstrasse 37, 4051 Basel / Switzerland, +41 61 261 94 74,
Follow our campaign on twitter:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Further Confirmation That Anwar & PKR Do Not Know Or Care About Sarawak & Sabah

PKR risks irrelevance in Sabah and Sarawak

Joe Fernandez | February 13, 2011 Free Malaysia Today
Anwar Ibrahim has made far too many mistakes in the two states.
PETALING JAYA: No matter how one looks at the political situation in Sabah and Sarawak, PKR risks irrelevance there. Its continuing spin on Pakatan Rakyat’s agenda for change and reform will never work in the two states because it excludes the Borneo Agenda.

Sabah and Sarawak do not fit into the “Malay, Chinese, Indian” mould of Peninsular Malaysia. (Read “natives” for “Indians” for the two states.) Neither are the Sabah and Sarawak natives like the unfortunate Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia. They cannot be wished away from the political mainstream.

Newly appointed Sabah PKR chief Pajudin Nordin’s departure from the party to sign up with Umno tells it all.

Pajudin, in a harsh statement, expressed disappointment in de facto party chief Anwar Ibrahim and the latter’s wife and party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. He accused Anwar, in particular, of “making fools of Sabahans” and “not serious” about handling issues in the state.

Ironically, Pajudin was picked for the post by Anwar himself over the strenuous objections of the overwhelming majority of the 26 division chiefs in Sabah and Labuan. They felt that Pajudin’s appointment would be against the seniority ranking in the Sabah chapter. Besides, it raised issues of breach of protocol.

Kota Kinabalu division chief Christina Liew tried to reason with Anwar during the party’s pre-Chinese New Year supreme council meet in Kuala Lumpur. She suggested that Wan Azizah take over as the Sabah chief until the general election.

Anwar, reportedly, was adamantly against his wife taking over. He pointed out that there were many factions in Sabah PKR, a point which Liew conceded. Still, that did not explain why the state chief could not be elected by peers or, failing that, why the party president could not hold the post temporarily.

Anwar himself was Sabah PKR chief for two months in 2009 before handing the job over to then vice-president Azmin Ali who had to leave, also after two months, under somewhat unhappy circumstances. To add insult to injury, Azmin was accused of flogging Ketuanan Melayu in Sabah, where only the illegal immigrants with MyKads are classified as Malays.

Peace plan

Again, as in late 2010, Anwar could have defused the crisis in Sabah in late 2009 by allowing the divisions chiefs to elect their own leader. Instead, Jeffrey Kitingan’s election was rejected by Anwar – “no way in hell will I have Jeffrey Kitingan, a Christian, as the party chief in Sabah” – and Libaran division chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini was appointed instead as the state chief.

The so-called Sabah peace plan that was drawn up by four party stalwarts – Tian  Chua, Chua Jui Meng, David Yeoh and Michael Bong – managed to buy some time for the party by getting Jeffrey to accept the rejection of his quit letter and winning Thamrin an uneasy peace.

Save for Liew’s appointment as state deputy chief, the rest of the Sabah peace plan was never honoured by Anwar himself. This was one reason why Jeffrey recently quit the party for the second time.

Pajudin was the same mistake that Anwar made with Thamrin. The difference is that Anwar can no longer flog another peace plan in the state after having reneged on the one in late 2009.

There was no alternative, late last month, but for the party headquarters to ask Pajudin to relinquish his post. Anyone in the newly appointed state chief’s position would have felt utterly small and humiliated. So, he struck back in the only way that he could – defect to Umno and, in the process, dredge up PKR’s unsavoury past in Sabah.

PKR is living on borrowed time in Sabah and Sarawak. This issue must be considered seriously by DAP and PAS, PKR’s allies in the opposition alliance, along with SNAP.

Already, former Pakatan co-ordinator Zaid Ibrahim’s Kita is poised to open local chapters in the two Borneo states. Zaid himself is reportedly not in favour of the move but he has apparently confessed to members of his inner circle that he cannot stop those who want the party to have a presence in Sabah and Sarawak.

Nevertheless, he has since pledged that Kita in Sabah and Sarawak will be completely independent of the party in Peninsular Malaysia. All three chapters of the party will make common cause in a Barisan Kita, which will work with other Third Force components on both sides of the South China Sea.

Fighting chance

Kita’s presence in Sabah and Sarawak is likely to cost PKR the Muslim votes. In Sarawak, SNAP has broken ranks with Pakatan and is bent on fielding candidates in all 28 Dayak state seats. The party sees no reason why any of these seats should go to PKR, DAP or PAS.

Jeffrey, who has parked himself meanwhile at the United Borneo Front (UBF), an NGO, is torn between taking over Setia in Sabah or the Borneo Alliance Party (BAP) in Sarawak. An answer should come soon enough after Chap Goh Meh.

The launch of a political wing for UBF will signal an exodus of the Dusuns and Chinese, in particular, from PKR. If Jeffrey’s new political vehicle is Borneo-based, he may attract his supporters in Sarawak as well at the expense of PKR.

If PKR wants to have a fighting chance in Sabah and Sarawak, the party headquarters and Anwar, in particular, must stop micro-managing the affairs of the local chapters.

Most of PKR’s troubles in Sabah and Sarawak are the result of Anwar making decisions on the basis of reports from his known proxies in the two states. He sees no need to keep the doors open, give a hearing to all and keep the lines of communication open.

If the state chapters in Sabah and Sarawak can be hived off as independent entities, so much the better. Alternatively, Anwar must not hinder the division chiefs from electing their own state chiefs.

Above all, Pakatan’s agenda for change and reform in Malaysia must embrace the Borneo Agenda. Otherwise, it risks being a fish out of water in Sabah and Sarawak.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Is Anwar & The So-Called "Top Leadership" of PKR Stupid?

Sarawak is facing a state election which many feel will be held by May this year. Is the opposition really ready? More precisely, is PKR really in the position to assume leadership of the opposition?

By most accounts, it is going to be a mother of all elections. For one thing, there is little doubt that the ruling coalition is facing its toughest test as the present Chief Minister is probably at the tail end of his long and controversial political life. For another, there is the question of a successor administration: who, or which group will wear the mantle of state leadership after the current one is eased out?

It is an open secret that there are a few possible centres of power on both sides of the political divide that are beginning to emerge and they are all working to carve out their own political lebensraum in post-election Sarawak. Speculations about the state BN involve, among others, on who will take the plum post of Chief Minister? Will it go, no matter how briefly, to a long servile, subservient and suffering Dayak leader? Or will a more upstanding and capable one be brought back from KL to Sarawak to take over the reins? But that is not our concern today. Our focus here is the state opposition, particularly PKR and its state of affairs.

For a while now the party presumes that it is the lead organization in the opposition. There is ample evidence for this presumption. For instance, in the allocation of seats, PKR makes the argument that it should take the lion share of seats to be contested in Sarawak.

Does PKR Sarawak deserve this role of lead organization which it feels entitles it to take a big chunk of seats available for contest in the coming election? Let us look at the facts.

First, let us look at the structural design of the party as a whole. PKR is a national party which is led by the President and the Central Leadership Council in Kuala Lumpur. There are a lot of advantages to being a national party, just as there are a number of disadvantages as well. Of the latter, lets look at the request for some form of autonomy, for instance. Some in PKR Sarawak have been clamouring for some form of local autonomy so that local leaders could decide on matters at their own level. Admittedly, there have been promises of some form of local decision-making but that is as far as it has gone. Promises were believed to have been made, but not delivered. In the ill-fated adventure of the Batang Ai by-election for instance, the eventual selection of the candidate was believed to have been against local and formal recommendations. In other words, the Centre (Kuala Lumpur) has tended to be deaf and blind to local conditions and opinions.

Second, there is the matter of state PKR leadership. In the last five years there have been at least five state leaders. First there was Dato’ Hafsah Harun*, an elder statesperson, then there was YB Dominic Ng who was succeeded by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Mustaffa Kamal Ayub and finally by Baru Bian himself. Five state heads in five years do not bode well for organizational stability, no matter how good the heads are. Indeed, it makes Sarawak PKR very much like the Italy of the post-war years, where governments rise and fall with unnerving frequency.

Why were there such frequent changes in Sarawak state heads by the Central leadership under Anwar Ibrahim? One explanation is that PKR Sarawak is wrecked by factionalism. There are simply too many groups that seemed to be able to reach the top of the decision-making structure in Kuala Lumpur. Changes were made seemingly without too much consideration for stability and long term impact. Thus very often people who should have stayed much longer to effect more changes and strength for the party in Sarawak found their services terminated because the central leadership was listening more to their rivals’ arguments.

Third, the present PKR Sarawak is divided into a number of informal spheres of influence. As a multiracial party, this is not supposed to happen. But the reality is that the Bidayuhs have one informal paramount leader; the Orangs Ulu another, the Ibans yet another. Likewise, the Malay-Melanau also have one paramount leader, although his hold on this position appears to remain tenuous.

The bulk of PKR apparent strength, such as it has been, is found in the Dayak areas (Iban, Orang Ulu, and Bidayuh). As for the Malay-Melanau areas, the party has not been making much inroads, except for constituencies in the Betong Division. Indeed, it is doubtful whether the party could find really suitable candidates for most of the coastal constituencies (Malay and Melanau). How is this possible? What are the missing ingredients here? Why focus on inland constituencies and be basically non-existent in coastal ones? What is at play here? The Central leadership of PKR in Kuala Lumpur has a lot to answer for this.

Fourth, a number of observers are convinced that PKR is not serious about the state party politics. The argument goes something like this: so long as a particular seat goes to the opposition, it matters little which party it belongs to because it is in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and PKR is the head organization in PR. This being the case although the Centre would prefer that people identify themselves with PKR, it is not absolutely necessary that this should happen.

Fifth, there is the matter of current developments in the party. To many observers, that PKR Sarawak is in turmoil is the product of constant manoeuvres by different and differing factions. There was, it was said, a very recent move to remove the current head, Baru Bian which led to the man losing his post in the Central level. Then there is another unresolved problem: who is supposed to run in which constituency? Different lists are said to be proffered to the Central leadership for consideration. There are other goings on as well, but these are perhaps best left unstated.

Sixth, there is the curious role of the party’s apparent “courtiers” who have evidently attached themselves to the party’s state leadership. They have been making outrageous statements in which they tried to ridicule fellow opposition parties and their leaders. These publicists and “courtiers” ought to exhibit statesmanship and bold plans for collective actions. Instead, they have tried to seek sympathy by their outbursts. Are they trying to push political parties out of Pakatan in Sarawak?

For a party which is of very recent vintage, the impact of these internal struggles has been debilitating for PKR Sarawak, to say the least. Many potential supporters feel that this is a party that “cannot shoot straight”. PKR Sarawak would want to lead the coalition against the state government in the coming election but clearly it is in no position to do so. Structurally, it is organized in such a way that the top leadership under Anwar Ibrahim has continued to tinker with the state party machinery with unsettling frequency.

Further, powerful figures in PKR Sarawak seemed unable to stop undermining one another. Why, the latest spate of changes in the leadership musical chair happened only a few weeks ago. Furthermore, despite its multiracial stance and past efforts, the party is largely limited to Dayak support. Then there is this problem of terminal factionalism: it has stymied the party’s efforts in strengthening itself and election preparations, one or two exceptions notwithstanding.

Sarawak PKR appears to be wallowing in a morass of its own making. And for this it has to thank its many local factions and their allegedly multiple candidates’ lists and the interventionism of its Central leadership in Kuala Lumpur.

Is PKR therefore ready for the coming election? Time will tell. For the moment, PKR Sarawak certainly appears to be preoccupied with what observers have euphemistically refer to as “internal matters.”

PKR Member, Kota Samarahan

*Note: The first PKR Liaison Head for Sarawak was Yusuf Abdul Rahman, whom Anwar, Azizah & certain other PKR leaders tried to sideline under instigation of the Kuching PKR Mafia led by Hapsah Harun. Yusuf left in disgust after the 1999 Parliamentary Elections when his position continued to be undermined by the PKR leadership themselves and no action was taken by PKR against Hapsah Harun for supporting Dominique Ng who stood as an independent candidate against BN and DAP.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai 2011