Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Global Witness on Taib: Was it really a sting operation?

A recent short film by Global Witness has exposed damaging claims and allegations against Sarawak CM Taib Mahmud. The allegations have been given a wide variety of adjectives but basically it is about Taib's alleged corrupt practices and abuse of power.

The crux or core of the allegation is made by two of Taib's cousins Norlia and Fatimah (daughters of Taib's uncle and former CM & Governor Tun Rahman Yakub). 

Global Witness claimed the short film, professionally produced in English and B.Malaysia, was a result of a sting operation with hidden camera recorded by a Global Witness operative masquerading as a potential foreign investor. The claim certainly gives a sense of excitement and has drawn great interest in the movie made by the Western crusaders against corruption.

But was it really a sting operation? Could it be a well crafted conspiracy against Taib by his own kin who have the coveted Chief Minister's seat at sight? I'm sure those who know what happened during Ming Court 1987 won't be surprised with Norlia & Fatimah's latest tune, would they?

Fatimah & Norlia Tun Abdul Rahman

1987 Ming Court Affair

This political crisis already started brewing when Rahman Ya'kub was the governor of Sarawak. He criticised his nephew in a speech at a ceremony of opening of Bintulu port in 1983.[7] In 1985, Rahman Ya'kub was involved in a bitter dispute with his nephew, Abdul Taib Mahmud over allocation rights. In 1987, Rahman Ya'kub formed a new party named Parti Persatuan Rakyat Malaysia Sarawak (PERMAS) in order to challenge Taib Mahmud at the polls. He also formed an alliance with Sarawak Dayak People's Party (PBDS) in order to unseat Taib Mahmud. In March 1987, 27 of the 48 state assemblymen suddenly directed their support to Rahman Ya'kub while calling Taib Mahmud to resign as a chief minister. Among the defectors were Taib's 4 cabinet ministers and 3 assistant ministers. A war of accusations on timber concessionaires then broke out between Rahman Ya'kub and Taib Mahmud. Taib Mahmud revoked 30 timber licenses held by his defectors and Rahman's clients.[6] Taib then accused Rahman for awarding 1.25 million hectares of logging concessions worth RM 22.5 billion to Rahman himself and his relatives. Rahman Ya'kub, in return, revealed a list of timber concessions covering 1.6 million hectares held by Taib's clients and family.[5] Despite the unsuccessful attempt at the 1987 Sarawak state election, Rahman continued his struggle with his allies, Sarawak Dayak People's Party against Taib's led Sarawak Barisan Nasional until 1991 Sarawak state election when Taib's coalition won an overwhelming majority of 49 out of 56 seats in the state assembly

Another interesting character must be Datuk Justin Jinggut, a former SNAP vice president who is now actively promoting himself to be the PKR supremo in Sarawak. Interestingly Justin Jinggut is Norlia Tun Abdul Rahman's husband. Now, who is Justin Jinggut again? 

"I believe the first double-frogged politician was “born” in Sarawak. It was in Sarawak where this culture of double-frogging began when Ulu Rajang MP Justine Jinggutelected unopposed on a SNAP ticket in the 1982 parliamentary election defected to Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) in 1983. In 1986, he contested on a PBDS ticket and won with a big majority. He leap-frogged back to SNAP before 1987. In 1990 he stood again on a SNAP ticket and was soundly defeated by Billy Abit Joo of PBDS." - The Broken Shield


Well the latest attack against Taib with the help of foreign agents could the Rahman family's last attempt at the throne. Actually the attack is not purely against Taib per say but it is aimed at derailing Taib's transition plan and sabotaging his chosen successor, whoever that may be.

Did Taib refuse Rahman's push for his other daughter who is also an MP in the present Government, Norah Tun Rahman, to take the drivers seat?

Was Norlia talking about timber concessions in the seemingly 'spy camera' video recording of Global Witness?

Timber company’s appeal dismissed

by Churchill Edward, Posted on March 6, 2013, Wednesday

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed an appeal by Keruntum Sdn Bhd against the Kuching High Court’s decision on April 13, 2010 which ruled that the revocation of its timber licence no. T/0279 in August 1988 was done lawfully.

Named as respondents were the Director of Forests, Minister for Resource Planning and the Government of Sarawak.

Court of Appeal judges namely Datuk Ramly Ali, Datuk Wira Mohtaruddin Baki and Datuk David Wong Dak Wah ruled that the High Court had correctly and fairly evaluated all the evidence and upheld its conclusions that the revocation of the licence was valid and that the director of forests and the minister did not abuse their statutory powers in cancelling Keruntum’s licence.

The Appeals Court also ordered Keruntum to pay RM30,000 legal costs to the respondents.

In July 1990, Keruntum filed an action in the Kuching High Court, claiming that the respondents had acted unlawfully and abused their powers in revoking its timber licence which at that time covered the largest forest area of over 188,000 hectares in Ulu Baram. Keruntum claimed over RM100 million in damages against the government for wrongful termination of its licence. The trial of the case, the longest in local legal history, took place over several years.

Four different High Court judges heard the case. Important personalities like former Head of State Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub, former assemblyman Salleh Jaffaruddin and one Norlia Abdul Rahman gave evidence on behalf of Keruntum to prove its allegations that the cancellation of the licence was “politically motivated” and carried out in bad faith.

Read more:

So, do you still think it was Global Witness' successful sting operation ?

Ming Court II in the making?