Chong Chieng Jen's Blog

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Chong Chieng Jen's Blog

Dare Taib take Legal Action against Global Witness?

Posted: 26 Mar 2013 02:24 AM PDT

The exposes or allegations by the Global Witness of how state land were alienated to enrich the Sarawak Chief Minister Taib's family members have brought great disrepute to the State.  Taib will have to either take up legal suit against Global Witness or else his non-action could be held as an admission to the allegations made therein.

It is up to Taib to decide.  However, my view is that Taib will not do so because such legal action will only open up more cans of worms. 

In a Court of Law, it may be difficult to prove the intention of "enriching one's siblings" in the process of alienation of land. 

However, it is undeniable that several hunderd thousands of acres of State land have been alienated to companies owned by Taib's family.  If Taib were to commence an action against Global Witness, he may be compelled by the Court to disclose all the State land that have been alienated to companies owned by his family.

Regardless whether legal action is instituted against Global Witness, it is duty-bound for  Taib to disclose to all Sarawkians:
1.         Over the last 30 years as the Chief Minister of Sarawak, how many acres of land has the State Government alienated to companies belonging to the family members of Taib?
2.         Why were the land alienated to these companies without going through an open tender process?
3.         Where are the specific locations of the land alienated and the respective particulars (eg. acreages and Lot numbers) of the land?
4.         How much premium were paid by these companies for these land?

So far, Taib's administration has been very reluctant to disclose the actual acreage of State land that has been alienated to companies owned by the Taib family.

I have, on many occasions, submitted questions in Dewan Undangan Negeri, asking for a full disclosure of the particulars of all the State land alienated to the companies owned by the Taib family, but no answer is forthcoming.  The ministers were evasive and simply refused to disclose the information.

As such, through our diligent searches at numerous Land Registries in Sarawak, we managed to obtain land searches of approximately 200,000 acres of plantation land and several hundred acres of prime town land alienated to the companies owned by the Taib family.  A conservative estimate of the market value of the land which particulars are in our possession  is approximately RM1 billion, and yet the Government has alienated these land at less than 20% of the market value.  For plantation land in particular, the alienation price is less than 10% of the market value of the land.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

I believe, if the full detail of all the land alienated by the State Government to the companies owned by Taib's family were disclosed, it will put to shame even the richest man in Sarawak.  That is the reason why even in Sarawak State Assembly, the ministers simply refuse to give full detail of such information.  That is also why, I dare say, Taib will not take action against Global Witness for fear of the requirement to make full disclosure of such information in Court.

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