Taib in another ‘obscene’ land transfer deed

By Joseph Tawie, Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: “Billionaire” Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is once again in the spotlight – this time it is a land property alienated to his family members at an “obscenely” cheap price.

The property has a market value of RM500 million, but it went to a company under his family business empire for only about RM78 million.

This disclosure is certain to stoke up more anger against Taib, popularly known as the White Rajah, who reportedly owns a portfolio of properties worth billions of ringgit in Sarawak and worldwide.

The latest “discovery” is three parcels of prime state land totalling 269 acres at the BDC housing project, Stampin, which has been alienated to a company called Monarda Sdn Bhd.

Registered in November 2008, the company’s 100 shares have been divided among four persons, namely Mahmud Abu Bakir Taib (Taib’s son) — 52 shares, Jamilah Hamidah Taib (Taib’s daughter) — 12 shares, Hanifah Hajar Taib (Taib’s daughter) — 12 shares, Anisa Hamidah Abdullah @Elisa Chan Wai Kuen — 12 shares and Chung Soon Nam — 12 shares.

Disclosing this, Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen said the price of the land in the BDC area is between RM2 million and RM2.5 million per acre.

“But the land has been alienated to Monarda at RM291,000 per acre. So, all in, the price of the land is around RM78,647,112.00. This is being paid in kind.

“This is grossly and obscenely under-priced as the land in the (town) area can easily fetch between RM2 million and RM2.5 million per acre. Had the government opted for an open tender, it could have easily earned a revenue of up to RM500 million,” said Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP.

“Obviously the people have been short-changed. Those who benefited from the sale are the shareholders who are Taib’s children and cronies.

“It is very unfair to the people of Sarawak,” he said, adding that the property is the largest land in Kuching alienated in one exercise.

Dormant company

A check on the company’s background revealed that Monarda did not trade during the financial period. It is a dormant company.

“But if you look at the directors, Mahmud Abu Bakir became the director on March 1, 2010. And the land was alienated in May this year, two months after he became the director.