Joseph Tawie | March 22, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is under tremendous pressure to act against Sarawak’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s alleged abuses and corruption.
KUCHING: Sarawak opposition DAP has called on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to “walk his talk” in fighting corruption which was one of his national key result areas (NKRA) launched in 2010.
Reminding Najib, party secretary Chong Chieng Jen said: “It is time for Najib to prove that he walks the talk when it comes to fighting corruption as one of his NKRA.
“If Najib is serious about fighting corruption as one of his NKRAs, he should immediately do the following:
(1) arrest all the personalities mentioned in the Global Witness video clip for investigation;
(2) obtain a full disclosure of the amount of state land being alienated to Taib’s family members’ companies at fractions or even as low as 10% of market prices; and,
3) freeze all bank accounts and assist personalities mentioned in the video clip.
He said there were ample laws in place to facilitate the investigation.
Chong named some of the laws as the Anti-Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing Act 2001, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act and even the Income Tax Act can be used for the purpose.
“In fairness to all parties involved, investigation should be commenced immediately and to be completed within one month. If the suspects are innocent, they should be released and their names cleared.
“If there is prima facie evidence of guilt, the suspects should be prosecuted in court immediately after the completion of the investigation,” said Chong, alluding to the “evidence” of corruption recorded, albeit covertly, by London-based NGO Global Witness.
The video saw Taib’s cousins and lawyers allegedly detailing a land deal and the processes involved including how to avoid taxes.
Chong said the ball is now in Najib’s court for him to show that he means business when he talks about his Government Transformation Programme (GTP).
“Under Najib’s GTP introduced in 2010, one of the NKRAs identified is ‘fighting corruption’. Since then no high-profile leader in Sarawak has been prosecuted and or convicted,” he said.
Taib must resign
Meanwhile, the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International is calling for Taib’s immediate resignation.
“Those being investigated should resign first so that investigations can be carried out without any influence and interference by those in power,” said TI Malaysia secretary-general Josie M Fernandez.
“We hope that the prime minister will call on Taib to resign as chief minister of Sarawak until investigation by MACC is completed,” she said.
According to Swiss-based NGO, Bruno Manser Fund, Taib’s closest family members have ties to over 400 companies in 25 countries and offshore finance centres. Their assests are valued at US$21 billion (RM63 billion).