No Corruption, Only Commissions,Thank You, MACC

March 20, 2013

Najib’s Malaysia: No Corruption, Only Commissions, Thank You, MACC (03-19-13)

In response to the explosive video evidence of how Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family members and business associates abuse logging licences, an Australian scholar commented that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has “failed spectacularly” in fulfilling his anti-corruption promise.

Greg Lopez, Visiting Fellow of the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, made the scathing remark during his interview with Al Jazeera after the influential international news TV channel reported on the video evidence.


“Well, I think there is sufficient evidence in the public sphere that Prime Minister Najib Razak has failed spectacularly in trying to curb corruption,” he replied when asked about Najib’s track record in fighting graft.

To back his argument, Lopez cited the RM250 million National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal that hit the family of former women, family and community development minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

“The Prime Minister merely asked her to step down and did not take any action. That is just one example to show that corruption is entrenched in the political system and Prime Minister Najib Razak has failed to actually make any dent in corruption,” he said.

Pehin Sri TaibThe video evidence of Taib’s family members’ involvement in land graft was obtained by Global Witness, a London-based NGO that investigates and campaigns against environmental and human rights abuses.

In the discreetly filmed video, two of Taib’s first cousins, a family member of Taib’s key business partner and a lawyer who represented the cousins, were caught abusing logging licences given by Taib’s government to enrich themselves, and explaining the mechanisms of circumventing existing laws to profit from the scheme. However, Taib’s lawyer has dismissed all the allegations as “entirely untrue”.

The video also showed that one of his two cousins, Fatimah Abdul Rahman, defending Taib during her meeting with an investigator sent by Global Witness who posed as a foreign investor.

NONE“I am not making any excuses or whatever, but you know, I mean if you look at the good he’s (Taib) done for the state, it outweighs all the things that people have said about him.

“I know people are talking about him being corrupted and all but I think who isn’t in this world, when they’re leaders (laughs),” she says.

‘Land under logging licences encroached into ancestral land’

Global Witness found that the land under the logging licences issued to Taib’s family members encroached into the ancestral land of the indigenous people. They were, however, never consulted by the government or companies on plans to clear their land for plantations.

“We will fight on at all cost. We let them take timber in the past. We had no idea they are planning to take our land,” Vincent Balingau, a farmer in the land affected, told Al Jazeera.

Villagers at Long Napir, a settlement of Penan and Kelabit indigenous people, blamed their plight squarely on Taib.

“He lives, the rest of us suffer,” Tamin Sepuluh Ribu, a former village headman, said during an interview with Al Jazeera.

“We have no land to farm, our rivers have become muddy, there’s hardly any fish left any more.”

mahathirs-up-yoursDespite historical documents having proven their land rights, Fatimah and Norlia, in the video, described the local folk as “naughty people”.

“They are pretty naughty people… they try to make money. So the minute they hear… they have people in the Land and Survey Department who will tell them, look this land has been given, has been titled to this company to do palm oil and what-not, they’ll plant themselves there. Technically they cannot claim at all but they could make life difficult if you don’t accommodate them,” Fatimah says.

Norlia added that, “They may harass you, that’s all. They are actually squatters on the land, because the land doesn’t belong to them. It’s government land. So they’re squatting.”

One of them was quoted in another part of the video as saying, “You know they’re very very poor. When leaders come they look at leaders like their kings and they always expect some handouts and things like that, you know.”

9 thoughts on “No Corruption, Only Commissions,Thank You, MACC

  1. Land grabs in the “People’s Republic” of China by local Communist Party functionaries.

    Land grabs in Sarawak by ………..

  2. Thank Dr Mahathir for all of our sufferings and thanks for making all your cronies and beloved rich on our behalf, we may be naughty people,but then so are you,NCR land has been ear marked much2 earlier but still brushed aside for the sake of development for our State of Sarawak,don’t mind our suffering,go ahead,go get rich for God has his plans for you,your cronies and your beloved family,we,we’are just naughty people trying to make a decent living on our ancestral land as promised to us earlier,today is your day,perhaps soon it’ll be ours and we promised to show you all,all of our compassion to your treatment of us since Merdeka…Oouch!!but true..

  3. Corruption has become endemic and out of conrol in Malaysia. Ordinary folks have come to accept corruption among their leaders as being the spoils of office – an offshoot of the entitlement culture that has roots that go back to the immediate post NEP years.

  4. Commission and corruption?

    When you render an economic service your earning goes on the balance sheet as ‘commission’. But when you abuse your power to earn for yourself ‘earnings’ which do not go on the balance sheet nor your tax returns it is called ‘corruption’. If you are holding a position of authority it is called a breach of trust. Kapish to that??

  5. KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil told the High Court here today that the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp), helmed by her husband Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail, bought a RM534,622 Mercedes-Benz in 2009 as a company car that was parked in her home.

    The former Cabinet minister also said that NFCorp bought a condominium unit in Singapore for investment purposes under her family members’ names because Singapore law prohibited the purchase by NFCorp directly, which was a start-up company.

    “There are four directors; they bought the Mercedes as a company car,” said Shahrizat.

    “One car for four directors — my husband and three children… we stayed at the same house,” added the Wanita Umno chief, who was carrying a beige Louis Vuitton bag in the packed courtroom.

    Shahrizat said the Mercedes-Benz CLS350 was bought as NFCorp was a “big enterprise” that was visited by foreign guests.

    She admitted that NFCorp transferred over RM500,000 to Meatworks (Singapore) Private Limited, which was owned by her family, to buy a condominium unit in Singapore for investment purposes.

    “I was told it was a new company venturing into business in Singapore. Investments were made under NFCorp. When they applied for the loan, because NFCorp was a new company, they had to go under their personal names,” said Shahrizat, referring to her family members.

    Shahrizat also denied that she or her family had visited Phuket, when Rafizi Ramli’s lawyer, Ranjit Singh, pointed out that the PKR strategy director had raised NFCorp’s payments to travel agency Impian Global Network Services (IGNS), which offered holiday packages to Phuket, Bali, Kuching and Bandung.

    “I’ve never been to Phuket and neither has my family. This is an example of defamation and allegations by your client,” she said.

    Shahrizat also blamed Rafizi for causing the media attention surrounding the National Feedlot Centre (NFC), which is a cattle-farming project run by NFCorp that had received a RM250 million government loan.

    “Anything involving public funds is of interest to the rakyat. But there was media frenzy because of evil intentions and defamation by your client,” she said.

    Ranjit pointed out that the mainstream media had reported the Auditor-General’s remarks in the 2010 report about the NFC that highlighted several weaknesses of the project.

    “I’m not saying your client has control of newspapers… it all emanated from the hate campaign orchestrated by your client. All the media picked up on this issue,” said Shahrizat.

    She, however, agreed that Rafizi had raised a legitimate question in his November 18, 2011 press statement about whether there was siphoning of public funds after NFCorp transferred RM81 million to the National Meat Livestock Corporation (NMLC) that was owned by her family.

    Shahrizat also insisted that Rafizi had defamed her when he questioned how a government project could be awarded to her family that had no expertise in farming cattle.

    “It’s not a fair question. It’s defamation. It’s evil and meant to mislead the nation,” she said.

    The hearing of Shahrizat’s RM100 million defamation suit against Rafizi and Wanita PKR chief Zuraida Kamaruddin before Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera resumes this afternoon.

  6. “One car for four directors…” What is she so proud of? She expects taxpayers to pay for four cars for each director?

    In Malaysia, these people have lost their sense of right and wrong. Just look at Rosie when she said she’s “obliged” to accept gifts from foreign government. In certain countries those gifts are considered belonging to the state. Not to Rosmah. What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is also mine.

  7. Tell me guys, how can we even accept that a Chief Minister elected by the people gets chauffered in a Rolls Royce, for God’s sake!

    Like what Mr Bean just said, it seems like we Malaysians accept corruption “as an entitlement of an office” so in some ways we deserve what we get….

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