Taib’s billions: Will MACC’s Abu Kassim walk the talk?

By Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: Will the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) finally act against Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud now that documented evidence is available over his vulgar amassment of wealth?

Or will its chief Abu Kassim Mohamed step down?

That’s the question being asked in Sarawak’s social and political circles.

It appears that all eyes are on Abu Kassim who bragged not too long ago that he will “step down” if “no investigation is carried out on any report, even against a Cabinet minister”.

Thus far, a flurry of reports have already been lodged with the MACC, both in Sarawak and the Peninsula, against Taib based on a series of investigative articles by online portal Sarawak Report about Taib and his family’s multi-billion ringgit property empire in Canada, England, the US and Australia.

The latest report showcased a copy of a private agreement dating back to 1987-1988 relating to shares in Sakti International, a company that owns a building in San Francisco.

The document has Taib’s name clearly emblazoned as equity holder.

The Taib family-owned company is part of an extensive network of companies cutting across international borders. The network includes Sakto, a major Ottawa (Canada) property company, and Wallysons which owns the Abraham Lincoln Building in Seattle (US).

To quote the report: “The damning discovery lays bare a system of private deals, which enabled the chief minister to conceal his true ownership of the properties… Under the system, while Taib’s relatives are publicly registered as the official shareholders and directors of the companies owning the properties, a separate, private agreement ensures that the shares are actually held in trust for him.”

Sham investigation

Padungan assemblyman Dominque Ng download copies of the evidence onto his blog for public viewing and left a posting that read: “Surely the weight of evidence is now such that the MACC will be unable to ignore the deluge of demands requiring thorough investigation into Sarawak’s white-haired Raja?”

But the question remains: will the MACC walk its talk?