EXCLUSIVE: Sarawak Chief Minister sold secret San Francisco property for USD 17million



11 February 2014 – for immediate release

EXCLUSIVE: Sarawak Chief Minister sold secret San Francisco property for USD 17million

Bruno Manser Fund urges US and Malaysian authorities to confiscate the proceeds of the Taib sale – Taib Mahmud acted in violation of the Sarawak constitution

(SAN FRANCISCO, US) Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud raised USD16.94 million from the sale of one of his San Francisco properties. The historical 11-storey building at 260 California Street in San Francisco’s financial district was sold by Sakti back in mid-2012 already. Sakti, a US company, is controlled by Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud through a secret agreement with his closest family members.

Documents released by the late whistleblower Ross Boyert back in 2010 are showing that 50% of Sakti’s shares are being held by Taib Mahmud’s two brothers Onn and Arip and three of his children “in trust of Abdul Taib Mahmud”.

The Chief Minister’s majority control of Sakti was kept secret because the Sarawak constitution prohibits the Chief Minister from actively running commercial interests. The constitution says that the head of government and the Governor “shall not hold any office of profit and shall not actively engage in commercial enterprise.”

“The Sakti sale is a textbook example of money-laundering”, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote on Tuesday. “A foreign politician who acts in an illegal and unconstitutional way should not be allowed to operate freely in the United States. The US and the Malaysian authorities have to act decisively and confiscate all Taib assets whose origin cannot be explained.”

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The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is committed to protect the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples. The association’s focus lies on Sarawak, the Malaysian state in Borneo. The Bruno Manser Fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.

Please contact us for more information:

Bruno Manser Fund
Socinstrasse 37
4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

www.bmf.ch, www.stop-corruption-dams.org