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MACC must reopen corruption cases made against ex-CM Taib Mahmud

By DR KELVIN YII

COMMENT: In my maiden speech in Parliament (on 24/7/2018) I urged the MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull to reopen the case on the current Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud in view of the different allegations of corruption, power abuse and also unexplained wealth, with the latest coming from the Sarawak Report on Taib’s alleged link to Petros, a petroleum company set up by the Sarawak government.

Based on the de facto law Minister Liew Vui Keong answer to my question a few days ago, MACC carried out a few investigations on the former Chief Minister and their findings of those investigations were submitted to the Attorney General (AGC) who, at that time, decided to close the case in 2013 under the previous BN administration.

Since Pakatan Harapan took over federal power, we have been overdrive in our efforts to combat and curb corruption including launching an investigation into the 1MDB financial scandal and also the alleged RM 2.6billion into personal account of former Prime Minister Najib. I thus urge for all these anti-corruption measure to be extended to the shores of Sarawak and all people who are suspected of being involved in corrupt activities, regardless of position, titles or even wealth will be held responsible and brought to justice.

Taib Mahmud

In the case of Sarawak, when we talk about fighting corruption, we must first address “the elephant in the room”. Over the years, there were multiple allegations which has caught international media against the former Chief Minister, and many of these did allegations were not given a proper answer. There were multiple reports lodged against him over the years with the latest being on June 6, 2018.

Multiple parties and NGOs including the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has expressed their intention to further cooperate in the investigation including sharing their 7 years’ worth of evidence collecting on the alleged corruption of Taib. With the recent allegation by Sarawak Report, I strongly believe all these warrants further investigation.

I thus urge MACC to work together with all the different parties and NGOs and review all the recent allegations, examine the alleged new evidence, and even review the old ones, so that this case can be investigated based on the rule of law and laws of our country. There also must be greater transparency in the investigation to give greater public confidence that there will not be any interference in such high-profile investigations.

We just celebrated Sarawak Day last Sunday when we remember and celebrate the day when Sarawak was given self-governance by the colonial British at that time. But now, our fight against corruption and an alleged corrupt regime has not ended. As we fight for greater autonomy and even revenues, the fight for a good and clean governance is equally if not more important so that the people of Sarawak directly benefits from the riches of the land.

Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen is Member of Parliament Bandar Kuching