Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CMS: Corruption Management Sarawak

Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), a Swiss-based NGO on the environment and human rights (named after activist Bruno Manser who disappeared in the jungles of Sarawak), claims to have “hard evidence” for the authorities concerned to act against Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud (left) and his family.
Taib was Chief Minister for 33 years before kicking himself upstairs to his present position which, in any case, doesn’t give him immunity from prosecution. The “hard evidence” is detailed in a research report “Corruption Management Sarawak – Cahya Mata Sarawak and Malaysia’s Taib family”, released on Monday by BMF.
The Report, among its recommendations following an Executive Summary, urged the Malaysian Government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe the legality of the privatisation of state-owned Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) and how it ended up in the hands of Taib’s family while he was Chief Minister. It did not however call for the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission to follow up on the Report or urge Sarawakians, as stakeholders, to lodge police reports on the matter.
The Report, in continuing, called for freezing and confiscating all CMS shares held by the Taib family and initiating criminal proceedings against them in conjunction with the privatisation exercise and probing state contracts obtained by the company.
The Sarawak Government meanwhile, was asked among others to end its disreputable relationship with the company by suspending the awarding of state contracts to it as long as Taib was Governor and the company was majority owned by his family.
Elsewhere, the Report urged the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange to suspend trading in CMS shares until further notice; and investigate whether CMS fulfilled the listing criteria with regard to legal compliance and transactions with related parties.
The Report also called upon local and international companies to take note that CMS has been involved in systemic corrupt practices in Sarawak and therefore, accordingly, they should not bring their businesses into public disrepute and contempt by having anything to do with the company and the Taib family.
Briefly, the Report finds that Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a Kuching-based infrastructure company, received over 1.4 billion (RM 4.9 billion) in state contracts since its takeover by family and relatives of Taib when he was Chief Minister. It analyzes 89 contracts granted to CMS by government agencies between 1993 and 2013. The contracts include the RM295 million construction of Sarawak’s State Assembly Building (DUN) in Kuching and a 15-year contract, granted in 2003 and valued at an annual RM86 million, for the maintenance of all state roads in Sarawak.
BMF, in a statement on Saturday, asked potential SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) investors, meeting in Kuching during the International Energy Week 2015, not to invest in SCORE as long as CMS and other Taib family endeavors are among its main beneficiaries.
According to Maybank IB Research, CMS is a major beneficiary of SCORE, an industrialisation programme that entails the construction of a series of controversial mega-dams in Sarawak and which has drawn protests.
CMS was privatised by a series of reverse takeovers in the early 1990s. Subsequently, it became Sarawak’s single largest recipient of public contracts. For the past 20 years, the former Chief Minister’s family has controlled the group with eleven family members being involved as shareholders, directors or members of CMS’ senior management.
Can Malaysians expect anything from this revelation? I doubt it. BMF can yawp and yelp and yowl all they like but it is Taib who has put almost everybody in Sarawak on a leash. There will be just dead air draping over the state.
On Thursday, I was at Drs Wong & Partners Dental Surgeon which is located in KL’s Lot 7221, Jalan Merah Caga in Bandar Baru Sri Petaling to attend the Satu Hati Toastmasters meeting. I delivered CC speech #9 titled “I Can, I Will” and I was evaluated by Andrew Tan. I thought my speech was mediocre and I should be disappointed with myself. Overall, it was a good meeting and I am scoring it a 7 over 10.


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