Sarawak CM Went Berserk and Sues Everyone

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May 16 2007
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Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is suing Utusan Malaysia (a Malay daily), Malaysiakini (an independent online news portal) and two Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) senior officials in Sarawak for making allegations of corrupt practices against him. The lawsuit against the PKR officials was related to the distribution of leaflets which contained articles from Malaysiakini and Japan Times. Sarawak is the largest state within Malaysia.
Amongst the defendant named are:
  • MKini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, the publisher of Malaysiakini
  • Malaysiakini chief editor Steven Gan Diong Keng
  • Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad and Utusan Online
  • Utusan Melayu group editor Datuk Mohd Khalid Mohd
  • PKR state liaison chief Wan Zainal Wan Sanusi
  • PKR’s Stampin branch chairman See Chee How.

Taib said legal action would be initiated against Japan Times and other media publications which had published false allegations against him, unless they retract the articles concerned, apologise, pay legal costs and damages. He said the Japan Times had alleged that “1.1bil yen was paid to Sarawak officials as kickbacks or rebates and lubricant to facilitate the timber trade.”

Taib warned others against repeating similar allegations; otherwise “they can have their day in a court of justice to provide factual justification for making such false and malicious allegations or be condemned in damages.”

How could you possibly fight the longest serving Chief Minister in Malaysia who were reported to be very wealthy indeed? How wealthy his family is? His eldest son, Sulaiman was the chairman of Rashid Hussain Bhd (KLSE: RHB, stock-code 1309) after the founder Rashid Hussain “sold” off his empire to the one of the smallest bank Utama Banking Group (KLSE : UBG, stock-code 6831). In early March 2007, the Chief Minister’s family pocketed billions of dollars after UBG Aye to EPF despite Higher Offer from EON Capital. That’s how wealthy he is, but that’s only a small portion of his empire.

Well, whatever I said above about his wealth is true, so please do not sue me Mr. Chief Minister. Anyway if you want yourself or your blog to be famous overnight, you can quote whatever Japan Times had quaoted. It’s not so difficult to get the story, just googled it with “Japan Times Sarawak Chief” and you’ll have close to 100,000 pages related to the story.

But why only sue the above persons; could it be because most of them are from opposition? If you googled the above keywords, you’ll see even his good buddy, former premier Mahathir Mohamad’s promahathir blog, Malaysia-Today, Chief Opposition Lim Kit Siang’s letter to PM Abdullah and others have re-produced the news.

Taib stop short of saying he’ll officially sue Japan Times. For Taib not to sue Japan Times but only Malaysiakini and some other financial-incapable individuals would be puzzling when all of them are merely reporting the original story by Japan Times which reported the news on March 29. Who would prevail ultimately at the court? Wouldn’t it be fun to watch the two giants fight it over in the court – best still in the international court? Go figure.

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