A Kelantan-based blog makes a startling disclosure that Sarawak chief minister owns nearly 3.5% of the total land in the state.
KUALA LUMPUR : A pro-Pakatan Rakyat blogger has accused Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family of owning 357,980 hectares of land in Sarawak or nearly 3.5% of the total land in the state.
Kelantan-based blog named Perisik Rakyat (People’s Spy) in his latest posting alleged that Taib, in his 30-year rule of the state, had amassed the landbank in the state which has over 12.4 million hectares of land.
The blog, which does not reveal the name of the blogger, claimed that Abu Bekir Taib, one of Taib’s sons, was the biggest “landlord” in state with ownership of 142,550ha in almost every part of the huge state which is as big as Peninsular Malaysia.
The blog claimed that Abu Bekir owned 70,000ha in Sri Aman, 4,400ha in Lawas, 20,000ha in Limbang, 500ha in Miri, 5,000ha in Sungai Teru and Batang Baram, 26,100ha in Sungai Karap, 4,000ha in Tinjar, 4,500ha in Sungai Tutoh, 4,000ha in Mukah and 9,000ha in Sungai Machan Tengah.
The blog also accused Taib’s family – Hamid Sepawi (cousin), Hasmi Hasnan, Teresa Toyad (relations), Raziah Mahmud (sister), Ibarhim Mahmud (brother), Elia Geneid (nephew), Robert Geneid (brother-in-law), Arip Mahmud (brother), Yahya Ibrahim (nephew), Mahmud Ibrahim (nephew), Azerina Mohd Arip (sister-in-law) and Fatimah Abdul Rahman (cousin) – of holding the massive landbank on behalf of Taib, also known as the White Rajah of Sarawak due to his white hair.
The blog also named several people which it claimed to be Taib’s close associates or cronies who owned land on behalf of him. They were, alleges the blog, Naroden Majais (a BN politician), Mohamid Morshidi Abdul Ghani (Sarawak BN secretary), Ahmad Su’ut (a traditional healer), Abdul Hamid Sepawi (a proxy) and Lau Hie Ping, Wong Kuo Hea, Lim Choo Tad, Siew Meng Kun, Chai Min Kian – all from the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), a BN Sarawak coalition member.
‘Taib must be brought to justice’
The blog claims that among the land “hijacked” by Taib and his family were 31,000ha of NCR land in Long Lama through Merawa Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of Samling Global), 15,000ha of NCR land in the Penan Ba Jawi via Samling Plywood (Miri) Sdn Bhd,13,000ha in the Bawan River Basin and 15,000ha in Bruit island.
FMT spoke to a real estate agent based in Kuala Lumpur but familiar with the property and land markets in Sarawak, who expressed shock over the claim.
“If we charge RM5 per sq feet for the total land, it would amount to RM193 billion, which would make Taib and his family the third richest family in the world,” he said, not wanting to be named.
Borneo Resources Institute executive director Mark Bujang told FMT that he believed that the chief minister and his family owned vast tracts of land in Sarawak.
“I have evidence that Taib’s family owned the Borsamamulu Resorts in the Mulu National Park. The chief minister himself in one of the shareholders,” he said.
“He grabbed NCR land from the people in the name of development,” he said.
While Taib had announced that he would retire after the state election, Bujang said the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) policy of grabbing land from the natives would continue even after Taib leaves.
“Time for change has come and Taib must be brought to justice,” Bujang said.