Taib’s ‘Entrepreneurship’ in Miri – Corruption Revealed

Sarawak Report

At the end of last year, during a ground breaking ceremony for the new Taman Tunku – Taman Jelita road in Miri, Taib Mahmud launched into his new big theme of condemning ’envy’.  As one onlooker recalls, the Chief Minister said:

“Sarawakians must reject politicians who perpetrate “anti-rich people” sentiments as this will only deter the state’s quest for greater progress”.  http://lifeisreallybeautiful.com]

 By this we can conclude that the Chief Minister does not like critics who question his enormous wealth! 

The Chief Minister has continued to warm to this ‘our wealth benefits you’ theme on numerous occasions since, stating that his own multi-billionaire status and the enormous wealth of his family are good for the rest of the people.

Miri’s Taman Tunku -Taman Jelita Road a prime example!

Therefore, what better study to make of his claims than the very project he was launching on that day?  The nature of this ‘enterprise’ is a perfect example of how the Taib family has become rich.  However, it has very little to do with the hard work, cleverness or inventiveness and everything to do with the corrupt exploitation of Government office by Mr Taib Mahmud.

Grand new offices! Parabena has clearly done well…

The road involved in this ground-breaking ceremony was, as the BN controlled Borneo Post describes it, a “RM 18 million access road, fringing the runway of Miri airport to be built by developer and landowner Kampulan Parabena Sdn Bhd”.  The article goes on to explain that the Managing Director of Kumpulan Parabena is Taib’s sister Raziah Mahmud. 

While the rest of the world wonders how the sister of the Chief Minister is in charge of a company that has received this chunk of state land and a state funded contract of this nature without a major issue arising over conflict of interest, the Borneo Post goes on to say that instead:

“ Parabena is also mulling the proposal for a university campus, polyclinic and other infrastructures in this strategic location”

So, it is clear that if Raziah would like to be given state money to perform such projects (or at least sell the projects on to a real construction company to perform), then the option is hers!  Experience would prove this to be the case, since Parabena has received an extraordinary number of contracts of this nature.

Chief Minister launches the road project. Rich Venture is the company owned by crony Hii King Chiong, which was sub-contracted to do the actual work by Taib’s own company Parabena!

Parabena’s Miri bonanza

Sarawak Report has already documented how Kumpulan Parabena has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of ringgit worth of State and Native Customary Rights lands over recent years, usually under the thin disguise of numerous ’front companies’ based at its office address in Kuching.  However, there can be no greater scandal than that attaching to the land that it has acquired in the prime airport area in Miri and in other prime sites in Sarawak’s key oil town.

Prime airport location – given to Raziah and then sold off to others to develop!

Soon after he took power Taib handed an original 800 acres of this prime land to his own family company Concordance Holdings in November 1982.  This was later transferred to a Parabena, which is a subsidiary and then, according to the Borneo Post extended to a total of 2,000 acres of prime development land.  After 30 years of profitable housing development, which has reaped millions in profits for Raziah Mahmud, the project is now moving into its second phase, hence the need for the new government-financed road to get to the next part of the site.

People from Miri have explained to Sarawak Report that the original excuse for the land handout was that it supported a Bumiputera company, in order to develop local skills.  However, Managing Director Raziah Mahmud soon succumbed to the get rich quick alternative of selling on the land she had got for free for a fat profit to genuine developers like HSL – or, as in the case of the current road project, Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd, owned by the crony tycoon Hii King Chiong!

Who are the beneficial owners of Parabena?

Bearing in mind that the 2,000 acres involved are prime state land that has been largely given for free to Kumpulan Parabena thanks to the decision of the Minister for Resources and Planning, Abdul Taib Mahmud (one of his many key offices of state), it is worth pointing out the shareholders of this company.