Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's video admission to having engaged in business activities abroad has raised more questions about his family's wealth.KUCHING: It is not enough for Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to claim that he and his family “are good in business” and therefore managed to amass an unexplainable amount of money simply because of “acumen”, said state opposition DAP.
Calling for Taib to post all his properties on his website so “people can know”, DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said: “And only then you (Taib) can rebut the accusation.
“It is not sufficient to say that his (Taib’s) children are good in business and that that they have business acumen and their wealth was created through normal business.
“It is not sufficient to convince the people. The public have the right to know and he (Taib) has a duty to disclose to the public.”
Chong was commenting on Taib’s recent denial that he had moved out his wealth from Sarawak.
Taib’s portfolio of local and international properties along with that of his children and family members have become a major campaign issue in Sarawak especially in the urban areas.
Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) had earlier this month released a blacklist of 49-Taib linked companies in eight countries including Malaysia allegedly worth billions of US dollars.
BMF has been campaigning for the governments of the eight countries hosting Taib-linked companies to freeze his assets abroad and probe the respective firms.
On the local, front although several reports have been lodged with Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police, no action against Taib has been taken todate.
Taib had, in a video interveiw recently, allegedly said that his children are doing well in business and that their accumulated wealth has nothing to do with exploitation state’s natural resources.
While admitting to doing business abroad, he said he chose to do so more than 30 years ago because he did not want a conflict of interest to haunt him.
In the video, Taib reportedly said that he did not want to be accused of enriching himself.
“If you have talent and some money, you can really build good business outside the country. And you don’t have to be corrupt,” he said.
His comments however only opened up more questions.
Said Chong: “How is that Taib’s children have so much money? He must tell the people how he and his family members have acquired properties in Ottawa, Santiago, California, London and Australia.
“He must list out when these properties were bought, disclose their sale and purchase agreements, memorandum of transfer and from where the money came to pay for all these properties.”
“Also what was the price of Hilton Hotel in Australia when it was purchased? Was it RM2000 which has now appreciated to RM20 million ot RM200 million?” he asked.