Malaysian-Canadian real estate group ordered to pay over RM600,000 to NGO

Bruno Manser Fund executive director Lukas Straumann holding one of the NGO’s books in front of the Ottawa headquarters of Sakto Corporation.

PETALING JAYA: A Swiss court has ordered a Malaysian-Canadian entrepreneur and her husband to pay RM672,565 in damages to a Basel-based NGO after it failed to obtain an injunction against the environmentalist group over money laundering allegations.

Jamilah Taib Murray, the daughter of Sarawak Governor and former chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, and her husband Sean Murray had filed a defamation suit against Bruno Manser Fund, which levelled money laundering allegations against the couple.

In its “Safe Haven Canada” report, the group urged the Canadian authorities to prosecute Jamilah and her husband, alleging that they had continuously received funds from Taib.

On Friday, the Basel civil court dismissed the couple’s application seeking a ban on 250 publications, including a book, by the NGO and asked it to pay RM81,518 as costs in addition to the damages to Bruno Manser Fund.

Jamilah Taib and Sean Murray.

The fund’s executive director, Lukas Straumann, welcomed the court order and said it encouraged the group to continue its fight against corruption and money laundering by certain Malaysian leaders.

“The destruction of the Borneo rainforests can only be stopped if we tackle the underlying political corruption,” it said.

Bruno Manser Fund is an environmentalist group campaigning for the conservation of the threatened tropical rainforests with their biodiversity and strives for the respect of the rights of the rainforest dwellers.