Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Illicit Wealth in Switzerland

Up to 22 Swiss parliamentarians have filed a motion in their parliament urging the immediate freeze of assets belonging to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family which are being held by Swiss banks.

This move follows a complaint lodged last week with the country’s attorney-general Michael Lauber, by Geneva MP Carlo Sommaruga, to declare the Taib family a criminal organization.

According to Swiss-based environmental NGO the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), Sommaruga, who is spearheading the move, demanded that the assets be frozen and confiscated under Section 72 of the Swiss Criminal Code.

BMF, in a release, said the move was triggered by the testimony by Shahnaz Abdul Majid, the former wife of Taib’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir, in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court last year. She had testified on October 02, 2012 that Mahmud held 111 bank accounts in various countries and that three Swiss banks administered over $100 million for him.

The spotlight is on Taib. Sooner or later, Taib will run out of places to hide his ill-gotten wealth.

On Monday, I was at KL’s Cititel MidValley to attend a Toastmasters meeting. I was the Grammarian and I can tell you I took my job seriously, that is, identifying correct and incorrect usage of the English language. Save for a few people, the standard of English was generally poor. Many of the members must diligently work on their English. Seriously. The meeting was also low-key. I would score this meeting a 3.5 out of a 10.


Moses Wong said...

By a twist of fate, you became the grammarian ~ and you spoke the unvarnished truth. Thank you Victor.

The level of English in the club is just miserable. I suppose that's an issue that the Exco members should deal with. If they're on par.

Patrick said...

This is the first time I have heard of a 'grammarian'!!! Librarian, Samaritan and Puritans...but 'grammarian' is very interesting. Nonetheless, hope prevails as we now have an official 'grammarian' policing our spoken English dilligently. Hope this does not apply to spoken English after a few Black Dogs or Tigers because everyone will be sentenced to verbal prosecution and jail by our ever dilligent 'grammarian'....