Leaked land registry records show that companies linked to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's family have been given close to 200,000 hectares of land for oil palm plantations - Taib himself is a shareholder of Delta Padi Snd Bhd, one of the main beneficiaries – Bruno Manser Fund is challenging the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission over its inaction on the Taib case
(KUCHING, MALAYSIA) Leaked records from the Malaysian state of Sarawak's Land and Survey Department show that 31 companies linked to Malaysian top politician Abdul Taib Mahmud ("Taib") have been given land for oil palm plantations amounting to almost 200,000 hectares – equivalent to three times the size of Singapore. The land leases were issued by the Taib-led Sarawak state government, which is being accused of massive corruption and the systematic destruction of the Borneo rainforest.
According to the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund, the Taib family companies have been given long-term leases for 198,882 hectares of secondary rainforests and native lands at a price of only 95.6 million Malaysian Ringgit (USD 30.4 million). While the land given to the Taib family by the Sarawak government has been grossly underpriced, it is particularly shocking to see that more than half of the land leases - over 45,000 hectares - have been given out for free or for "payment in kind".
Kuching-based Titanium Management Sdn Bhd, which is majority-owned and directed by Taib's son Mahmud Abu Bekir, has received 10,438 hectares of state land in the districts of Sri Aman, Serian and Lundu for free. Delta Padi Sdn Bhd has received 27,600 hectares of state land in the districts of Sarikei, Mukah, Paloh and Sibu for just 6.2 million Ringgits (USD 1.9 million). Delta Padi Sdn Bhd is a particularly obvious case of corruption as the Sarawak Chief Minister himself is a director and owner of one of its main shareholders, Mesti Bersatu Sdn Bhd (Company number 758849-v).
BMF sets Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission a deadline for action against Taib
The Bruno Manser Fund is shocked at the latest evidence of the Taib family's corruption and its massive involvement in the oil palm land grab. It is particularly disturbing to note that Malaysian prosecutors are completely inactive in respect of the Taibs, despite massive evidence being available in the public domain.
Last month, an international NGO coalition called on Malaysia's Attorney-General, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and the Inspector General of Police to arrest and prosecute Taib an! d his closest family members. Research by the Bruno Manser Fund had sho! wn that the inner circle of the Malaysian Taib family has stakes in 332 Malaysian and 85 foreign companies. The known Taib-family net stake in 14 large Malaysian companies alone is over 1.46 billion US dollars
The Bruno Manser Fund challenges the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission to take decisive action against the Taib family before the end of January 2012. Should it fail to do so, the NGO community will lodge a complaint against Malaysia with the United Nations on account of non-implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, one of the few legally binding international treaties to which Malaysia is a party.
Details of land grab: http://www.bmf.ch/files/news/Mapping_Taib_s_Land_Grabs___Details.pdf