Transparency International calls for resignation of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud

In a call for immediate resignation of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, Transparency International advocates the end of corruption. In order to ensure that investigations are conducted without interference or influence by those in power, Transparency International Malaysia Secretary-General Josie M. Fernandenz said on KiniTV. The Chief Minister of Sarawak should resign until the investigations by MACC have been completed, as we hope Prime Minister Najib Razak will order.”

MACC opened an investigation in June 2011 that never resulted in a result, according to Transparency International.

Earlier this week, British nongovernmental organization Global Witness released a film about the Sarawak Chief Minister’s family and cronies selling off native lands worth millions to foreign investors for oil palm plantations, leading to an undercover investigation that uncovered the mechanism behind the sale of native lands.

A key player in the film is Taib Mahmud, the “Mr. Ten percent” who cashes in on every land deal in the state. The film indicates that Singapore plays a central role in the flow of illicit capital from Malaysia. The Taib family’s net worth has been estimated at USD 21 billion by research carried out by the Bruno Manser Fund. The Taib family has ties to over 400 companies in 25 countries and offshore finance centers.

The late Taib Mahmud succeeded his uncle Rahman Yakub in 1981, and he has ruled Malaysia’s largest state for more than three decades during which Sarawak’s forests have been heavily depleted. The main source of Taib’s income has shifted from selling native lands for oil palm plantations, as Sarawak’s forests are rapidly depleting.

Changing Malaysia’s laws, including freezing the Taib family’s illicit assets, and declaring the Malaysian politician’s family a criminal organization are among the requests the Bruno Manser Fund makes to governments around the world

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