A ground-breaking report released by Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) estimated the assets of Sarawak Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family at US$21 billion.
The wealth of Taib himself has been put at a whopping US$15 billion , making him Malaysia’s richest man, outstripping tycoon Robert Kuok who has US$12.5 billion.
He is the man who cashed-in an entire jungle of valuable hard timber. He is also the man who controls all the land titles for an area roughly the size of England, a position which he has systematically abused to enrich himself.
Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, is furthermore the gate-keeper for all the state and federal contracts handed out in Sarawak and he has privatised most of its key industries into his own family companies.
So it should come as little surprise that the latest audit on the Mahmud family, conducted by the Swiss NGO the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), has estimated his wealth at a staggering USD15 billion (RM46 billion).
It makes him Malaysia’s richest man, with his illegally gained assets topping those of the ‘sugar king’ Robert Kuok, who leads the Forbes Rich List for Malaysias with a mere USD12 billion.
BMF, which campaigns on environmental and indigenous issues in Sarawak, makes clear that this is a conservative estimate of the Chief Minister’s wealth, acquired through 30 years of systematic and documented plunder of Sarawak’s wealth and natural resources.
The audit, which forms part of a report entitled “The Taib Timber Mafia. Facts and Figures on Politically Exposed Persons from Sarawak, Malaysia” was released today in Brussels to mark the visit of the Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Bernard Dompok, to the European Commission.
Environmental organisations have protested against any timber agreements with Malaysia until the corrupt and unrestrained logging practices are ended in Sarawak and in Sabah.
“More money than I could ever spend”
The report describes Taib as “The Godfather of a family business empire” with illicit assets in excess of USD20billion, of which his personal worth forms at least USD15 billion and:
“..describes in detail the business activities and personal wealth of twenty members of the Taib family, one of South East Asia’s most notorious kleptocratic clans with business interests in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries”. [BMF release]
The charity declares its audit has been drawn up after a comprehensive analysis of the evidence now available relating to Taib and his family’s business assets, land grabs, concessions and contracts.
Altogether, the assets of 20 members of the Chief Minister’s family are analysed totalling a combined estimated wealth of USD21billion. These members include Taib’s four children, his siblings, cousin Hamed Sepawi and also his two son-in-laws and brother-in-law, Robert Geneid, who have been absorbed into the family concerns.
The report lends substance to Taib’s own boasts on the campaign trail at last year’s state election that he has “more money than I could ever spend”!
Source : Sarawak Report