A Facebook campaign is underway to pressure University of Adelaide in Southern Australia to say 'no' to Taib Mahmud's support.
KUCHING: A Facebook campaign seems to be underway urging South Australia’s University of Adelaide to stop accepting donations from Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud, who has ties with the Ta Ann Group which is allegedly destroying Tasmania’s forests.
Describing Taib’s donations to the university as “blood money” the campaign states that the CM’s extensive business network ” destroy lives and Sarawakian & Tasmanian forests.”
The page urges the Adelaide University to say “No to Taib Mahmud’s blood money”.
The FB campaign which began quietly on Monday afternoon is gaining support. It has already registered over 200 likes.
The page bears this description: ‘The University of Adelaide accepts donations from Taib Mahmud. His networks destroy lives, and Sarawakian & Tasmanian forests. Say No To Taib Mahmud Court!”
The University of Adelaide had in November 2008 renamed a courtyard in its campus as the ‘Taib Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak Court’ in honour of the Sarawak’s leader, who has helmed the state since 1981.
The courtyard was described in the page as ‘grey and unfriendly’.
The University of Adelaide is Taib’s alma mater, from which he graduated with Bachelor of Laws in 1961, after earning a Colombo Plan scholarship due to his outstanding scores in the Higher School Certificate (HSC) examination.
In one of its later status updates, the page administrators also noted the fact that Taib had dismissed claims that his ruling party had exploited Sarawakians.
“Chief Taib Mahmud and his ruling party dismisses claims that they have been making large amounts of money at the expense of the Sarawak people and say that they have been working hard for Sarawak.”.’
Ties with Ta Ann
The page also included a link to a recent online investigative portal Sarawak Report’s article alleging that the Australian government had paid millions of dollars to the Ta Ann logging company, owned by Taib’s cousin, Hamed Sepawi.
The amount was said to have been incentives to first locate in Tasmania, then to surrender previously agreed logging rights and later to build a new mill with a cost of A$44.6 million.
It also posted pictures of alleged Ta Ann’s “destruction” in Tasmania’s native forests.
The Facebook page in addition provided a link to a list of Australian companies with alleged connections with Taib. The companies are allegedly linked to members of Taib’s family including his sister, his sisters-in-law, his brother –in-law and Hamed.