Taib SCOREs Again!

Taib Mahmud and Australian High Commssioner Miles Kupa, who has worked to help secure the mysterious O M Holdings deal

There has been no public tendering for these contracts, which include recent deals with the companies O M Holdings and Asia Minerals and a proposed ‘joint venture’ with Rio Tinto Alcan.  In fact they have all been negotiated on behalf of the State of Sarawak by Taib himself, primarily for his own benefit!

Sarawak Report


As the Ukip people perch pitifully on the edge of the waters that drowned their homes, Taib Mahmud has moved swiftly to maximise his own personal profit from the Bakun Dam.

A series of astonishing deals are now being processed, all designed to ensure that his own family companies get enormous kickbacks, in the form of business contracts, as foreign investors move in.

There has been no public tendering for these contracts, which include recent deals with the companies O M Holdings and Asia Minerals and a proposed ‘joint venture’ with Rio Tinto Alcan.  In fact they have all been negotiated on behalf of the State of Sarawak by Taib himself, primarily for his own benefit!

Dodgy deals that pour money into CMS

Look who gets the contract! – a camp for 600 workers is being constructed to ‘international standards’ by Taib companies CMS and Naib Cendera. They also have been given the contract to build a major township nearby for workers, most of whom Taib has acknowledged will be immigrants from abroad!

The attraction for these foreign smelting ventures is the prospect of dirt cheap electricity from Bakun and, of course, the amazing tax breaks that Taib has arranged for companies involved in the so-called SCORE investments (Taib’s planned industrial zone).

However, it should be remembered that Bakun was financed, under BN  pressure, from the civil service pension funds of Malaysian government workers.

The cheap electricity deals means a lower return for these civil service pensioners, so their loss is proving a major gain for the multi-national ventures, in which Taib has taken a huge stake.

Pushed out by the dam – what effort is being made to give jobs and training to people whose lives have been destroyed by Bakun?

This means that these development opportunities will offer little to benefit ordinary Sarawakians living round these smelters in return for the destruction of their lands and livelihoods.Likewise, the tax breaks organised by Taib, mean that little income will be coming back from these ventures into the Sarawak state economy for very many years.

Taib’s companies, on the other hand, will of course be among the main beneficiaries of those tax breaks, as they earn hundreds of millions in state sponsored construction and in their joint venture projects with the big multinational smelters!

One major concern of opposition politicians about this whole series of extraordinary mega-projects, is what provision is being made to provide jobs and training to the local people, who now face the destruction and further pollution of their lands from all this development?

Taib has already made clear that he plans to find the majority of the workers from abroad.  He has granted his own companies CMS and Naim Cendara the publicly funded contracts to build camps for these workers and then to construct a huge township of 5,000 homes to house them and their families.

Is he really content to turn the whole of Sarawak into a money-making venture merely for himself and foreign businesses?  Apparently he is!

The workers in these camps can rely on one thing – they will be working for a Taib company!

O M Holdings – another Joint Venture with CMS!

This leads Sarawak Report to question the extraordinary involvement of the Australian High Commissioner, Miles Kupa, in supporting and facilitating several of these blatantly corrupted deals.

Just this February the Australian High Commissioner was over in Kuching promoting Rio Tinto Alcan’s involvement in SCORE. He is supporting Australian big businesses venture with the Taib family, but what will it mean for jobs back in Tasmania’s aluminium plant which Rio Tinto is planning to shut?

We have already documented Kupa’s enthusiasm for Taib’s negotiations with Rio Tinto Alcan to invest 60% into a multi-billion dollar aluminium smelter venture.

Taib has already granted the project to a RM2.00 company owned by his own family firm CMS, which therefore stands to make billions in easy profit when RTA buys in!

We questioned why Kupa would seek to encourage this development, given the fact that RTA are simultaneously proposing to close their existing smelter in Kupa’s own backyard in Tasmania and threatening to put thousands of Australians out of work by making the move to Sarawak!

We can now demonstrate that Kupa has shown equal support for what he has described as an “Australian company”, O M Holdings, which has likewise signed a deal with Taib’s CMS, in order to get permission to build a vast manganese smelter under the SCORE project.

The High Commissioner even acted as a VIP guest in Kuching earlier this month to celebrate the signing of a Power Purchase agreement between O M Materials (Sarawak) and SEB, ensuring more dirt cheap electricity for foreign smelter projects over the next 10 years.

Miles Kupa stands next to Taib at Kuching’s Sheraton Hotel (owned by Taib crony Ting Pek Kiing) to give his blessing to the O M Holdings venture to build a manganese smelter with Taib’s family company CMS!

O M Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, is the vehicle that O M Holdings has agreed to set up as a joint venture with CMS (80% OM Holdings 20% CMS) in order build a US$450 million manganese smelter in Simalaju.

So, once again CMS, which has no expertise in smelting has effortlessly acquired a massive share of a multi-million dollar SCORE project!  One is bound to ask what CMS has brought to the deal, apart from the vital political support of Chief Minister/Finance Minister/Planning and Resources Minister, Taib Mahmud, of course!

KKB Builders Sdn Bhd

Indeed on the very day that the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between O M Holdings and CMS, July 7th last year, another interesting deal was signed.  O M Holdings simultaneously awarded a RM70million contract to the company KKB Builders to do the earthworks on the site.

According to reports in the Star Newspaper:

“OMH said the award of the earthworks package was critical and a pre-requisite to its power purchase agreement (PPA) negotiations withSyarikat Sesco Bhd (owned by Sarawak Energy Bhd) to supply 500MW of power from the 2,400MW Bakun hydroelectric dam to the smelter”.[Jack Wong, Star]

Can this critical ‘pre-requisite’ be linked to the fact that KKB Builders Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of KKB Engineering Bhd, which is almost entirely owned by CMS?

KKB – the other company getting so many SCORE contracts is also owned by CMS!

 In face KKB has in fact done massively well from SCORE all round, thanks to Taib.  The enthusiastic Executive Director, Kho Pok Tong, has confirmed their first contract was the RM296million Samalaju water supply scheme, funded of course by the taxpayer.

But, he has also gone public declaring that he is expecting more jobs from the “hive of activities in Samalaju from 2013 onwards”.  Not only has the O M Holdings contract duly come through, but Kho says “KKB is now embarking on a pre-qualifying process for Australia’s Rio Tinto Alcan projects”.[KKB sees busy weeks ahead, Bursa Stock exchange forum]

KKB is also expecting a slice of the action from the Asia Minerals manganese smelter project and is even confident of getting work on a planned deep sea port for Samalaju.  The company is also, of course, in preliminary talks with Japanese and American firms looking to invest in SCORE!

Key Director – CMS’s Syed Alwee Alsree, son in law of Taib Mahmud

Can anyone imagine that KKB would have so dominated the contracts being given out by SCORE if it was not actually owned by the Taib family?

O M Holdings is not an Australian company!

Kupa has been energetically promoting the O M Holdings deal with CMS, on the basis that it is an Australian company!

So we repeat the query as to why Australia’s High Commissioner has been so hard working in his support for the corrupted bid on behalf of O M Holdings?  He has made at least two recent visits to Kuching to promote the deal?

His own explanation came in a speech quoted by Bernama in July 2011, in which he called O M Holdings an “Australian company”!:

“We can also look to the significant investment in Sarawak by Australian company, OM Holdings, to build a major manganese smelter with local partners under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative,” [Miles Kupa, July 2011, Bernama].

In fact O M Holdings is not an Australian company, although it makes constant reference to the fact that it is listed on the ASIC stock exchange.  O M Holdings is actually a company that is based in Singapore and incorporated in Bermuda.

Not an Australian company – incorporated in Bermuda!

Because it is incorporated in Bermuda it avoids local taxation and it is also impossible to know who really controls the company, because Bermuda is a well-known off-shore tax haven that specialises in concealing shareholders and profits.

Read more at: http://www.sarawakreport.org/2012/02/taib-scores-again/