#Highlight* Rafizi to lodge report against Taib Mahmud at MACC on fresh allegations

-A +A

Last Updated: 4:41pm, Feb 13, 2014PETALING JAYA (Feb 13): PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli will be lodging a report against outgoing Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud at the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) at 3.00 pm tomorrow due to fresh allegations of a “money-trail” reported by the Sarawak Report.

Rafizi pointed out that Taib is desperately trying to attain the office of Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) in order to be granted immunity against the on-going allegations of corruption and he fears that this could taint the noble office, especially since the position allows the TYT a seat in the Council of Rulers.

“The latest exposure by Sarawak Report about the controversial company Regent Star Company Limited strengthens the allegations of abuses of power involving Sarawak’s timber concessions," said Rafizi.

“Regent Star Company Limited is a company controlled by Onn Mahmud, who is the brother to the chief minister. Regent Star was investigated by the Japanese authorities over an allegation of tax evasion regarding commissions that the company received amounting up to 1 billion Yen.

“Taib Mahmud has denied all ties to Regent Star at the Sarawak State Assembly (in 2007). His statement was used to cover up the scandal at that time. Yesterday, Sarawak Report showed ties between Regent Star Company Limited and Jamilah Taib, who is Taib Mahmud’s daughter.

“A document revealing a transfer of USD20 million from Richfold Investments Limited – an investment firm controlled by Onn Mahmud (like Regent Star) - to Sakto Development Corporation owned and controlled by Jamilah and her husband was published,” he said.

Sarawak Report pointed out that millions of ringgit were paid by Japanese timber exporters from Sarawak to Hong Kong based Regent Star totalling RM32 million over a period of seven years.

The report also stated that documents unearthed in Canada by Swiss NGO - the Bruno Manser Fund -show a clear connection between Taib’s late first wife (Laila) and Regent Star, involving the transfer of funds from Hong Kong to his daughter Jamilah’s private property business in Ottawa, Sakto Development Corporation.

The Pandan MP then proceeded to urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to advise the Yang DiPertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim against appointing Taib Mahmud as TYT, due to fresh allegations of corruption.

“I urge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to act in a responsible way when advising the Yang DiPertuan Agong to be firm when considering the post of TYT. MACC must first declare that there are no current investigations against any TYT candidates and that any investigations have been closed and that the candidate has been cleared of all suspicions.

“I will officially write to MACC today to ask whether or not there are any investigations against Taib Mahmud and until he is cleared of all investigations, he is not worthy of to be considered as a TYT candidate.

“And since I am going to lodge another report against him tomorrow, he should not be a candidate,” said Rafizi.

One of the concerns voiced by Rafizi is that the TYT could still be investigated under a special court and if that happens, it will taint not only the office but also the Council of Rulers, which is sacred to the nation.

“You can charge the TYT under special court. In circumstances where known from the beginning where a person touted for TYT position is marred with corruption allegation, it is extremely irresponsible for Najib Razak to continue with recommending Taib Mahmud as TYT until MACC can clear the allegations.

“So there will definitely be new investigations open against Taib Mahmud and given the compelling evidence of the money trail leading to his daughter in Canada, we call upon Najib Razak not to consider Taib Mahmud as TYT until he is cleared of all on-going cases by MACC,” said Rafizi.

PKR vice-president Tian Chua who attended the press conference also pointed out that if Najib continues on with his plan, he will be taking a big political risk and putting his credibility at stake.

For more stories, go to www.fz.com, the website for freedom of expression and fairness in articulation.