Masing’s wife ‘received millions in contracts’, says report

Sarawak Minister James Masing’s wife is his nominee in several business deals and alleged land scams in Sarawak involving NCR land.

(Free Malaysia Today) – KUCHING: Dayak senior minister James Masing’s “jangan lawan towkay” (don’t fight boss) comment has inadvertently shed light on alleged land scams and business dealings worth millions involving his wife Corinne Bua Nyipa.

It has also highlighted Masing’s sudden subdued mood in the run-up to last April’s state election after being seen to taunt Taib Mahmud while “engaging” groups opposed to the chief minister who is also Sarawak Barisan Nasional coalition chairman.

Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president and holds eight state seats in the state coalition, was at the time rumoured to have also met Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak without Taib’s knowledge.

A quiet “Dayak revolution” has been simmering in Sarawak since late 2010 and Taib is “paranoid” that the peninsula-based opposition emboldened by its victory in the last state polls would collude with dissatisfied local leaders and wrest the state from under him.

As such, keeping Masing and Taib’s other Dayak BN leaders and elected representatives “’satisfied” is crucial to his continuity and succession plans.

But a recent “blooper” by Masing’s loyal party vice-president and Assistant Agriculture Minister Mong Dagang has put a spoke in his “plan”.

Masing’s “respect” for his constituents was blown to bits recently when he came to Dagang’s defence after it was reported that the latter had revoked the government’s welfare aid and subidies to a disabled farmer who was a strong supporter of the opposition in the last state election.

Masing’s “follow a rule of life – jangan lawan towkay” statement has spawned a range of reactions, with Sarawak PKR vice-president See Chee How saying that Masing has challenged “the most fundamental ideal of a democracy – a government is ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’”.

See said Masing’s “callous remark that the people should not go against the government because the government is boss (towkay) reflects terribly on the BN leadership”.

Masing’s ‘business-savvy’ wife

In the wake of the controversy, another revelation came to light – that Masing and Dagang were business partners in a land deal in Sri Aman. But that is the least of the issue.

In a letter allegedly signed by Dagang, he had asked for a RM70 million kickback to be paid to a company whose directors were Masing’s brother and Dagang’s wife.

Following this, London-based online investigative portal Sarawak Report disclosed more such deals involving Masing, who is the State Land Development Minister and under whom the Forestry Department and native customary rights (NCR) land come.

The revelations brought to light that Masing’s wife Corinne sits on the board of several companies which have received millions in government contracts.

Sarawak Report in listing out the companies noted that in January 2011, a company in which Corrine is a director received a 40,000-hectare timber concession.