Sarawak CM allegedly sold US property for $17m

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260 california_street
260 California Street, San Francisco

The outgoing chief minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, and his family have sold off property in San Francisco for 55.9 million ringgit ($16.94 million), non-government organisation Bruno Manser Fund alleged in a release on February 11, citing its own research on the issue.

The historical 11-storey building at 260 California Street in San Francisco’s financial district was sold by US company Sakti in mid-2012. Sakti is allegedly controlled by Taib via his closest family members.

Documents released by the late whistleblower Ross Boyert back in 2010 showed that 50 per cent of Sakti’s shares were held “in trust” for Taib by his two brothers, Onn and Arip, and his three children. Sakti, through other firms, is also allegedly owner of other property in the US, namely in Seattle, as well as Canada.

The NGO said that Taib’s majority control of Sakti was kept a secret because the Sarawak constitution prohibits the chief minister from actively running commercial interests. The constitution states that the head of government and the governor “shall not hold any office of profit and shall not actively engage in commercial enterprise.”

Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund is a heavy critic of Taib Mahmud and committed to protect the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples in Sarawak. The fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

260 California Street, San Francisco

The outgoing chief minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, and his family have sold off property in San Francisco for 55.9 million ringgit ($16.94 million), non-government organisation Bruno Manser Fund alleged in a release on February 11, citing its own research on the issue.

Reading Time: 1 minute

260 california_street
260 California Street, San Francisco

The outgoing chief minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, and his family have sold off property in San Francisco for 55.9 million ringgit ($16.94 million), non-government organisation Bruno Manser Fund alleged in a release on February 11, citing its own research on the issue.

The historical 11-storey building at 260 California Street in San Francisco’s financial district was sold by US company Sakti in mid-2012. Sakti is allegedly controlled by Taib via his closest family members.

Documents released by the late whistleblower Ross Boyert back in 2010 showed that 50 per cent of Sakti’s shares were held “in trust” for Taib by his two brothers, Onn and Arip, and his three children. Sakti, through other firms, is also allegedly owner of other property in the US, namely in Seattle, as well as Canada.

The NGO said that Taib’s majority control of Sakti was kept a secret because the Sarawak constitution prohibits the chief minister from actively running commercial interests. The constitution states that the head of government and the governor “shall not hold any office of profit and shall not actively engage in commercial enterprise.”

Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund is a heavy critic of Taib Mahmud and committed to protect the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples in Sarawak. The fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.

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