Tuesday, March 24, 2009

$9,609,000 Rockcliffe “palace” in Ottawa belonged to Taib’s daughter?

688 Manor Avenue, "The Palace" of Sean Murray & Jamilah Taib
in Ottawa, Canada

The frontal view of "Palace" of Sean Murray & Jamilah Taib

A house of a Barisan Nasional Supporter?

Seems many poor malaysians still supporting BN government

A house of Mdm. Chang with 7 children in Batu Kawa Constituency

Hope Pehin Sri Taib can take notice and help the family

If the home at 688 Manor Avenue, in Rockcliffe Park in Ottawa, Canada, assessed by the Municipality Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) worth Canadian $9,609,000 (RM28. 3 million) truly belonged to Sean Murray and his wife, Jamilah Taib and if Sean Murray is Pehin Sri Taib’s son-in-law and Jamilah Taib is Pehin Sri Taib’s daughter, then, Sarawakians have a right to be taught by the Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Taib and his daughter, Jamilah Taib and also by his son-in-law how they be able to make so much money to acquire such an expensive and incredible house in Canada.

If the house does not belong to his son-in-law and daughter, Pehin Sri Taib Mahumud and his family also have to come out to deny this. This is because the “palace” came in news lately and it was alleged that this RM28.3 million property belonged to his daughter and son-in-law. I am not sure, so Pehin Sri Taib, should not leave this to doubt and has to explain this to the people and should not leave any doubt in the mind of the people.

The chief minister has in the years talked so much of how to lift the standard of living of Sarawakians and it was his vision to see a more vibrant Sarawak with its’ people more prosperous. It is to him that the people of Sarawak looked upon to guide the people of Sarawak to a better future. With that we put him as chief minister for 27 years hoping to learn a thing or two from him. So it is right that every Sarawak needs to be taught by Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud and his family how his family could acquire so much wealth for the family. There is no need that we learn all the technical know-how to amass such a wealth. It is sufficient if every Sarawakian could be taught just 10% of how this could be done. With the 10%, I think, all Sarawakians, can become millionaires. Pehin Sri Taib can achieve his dream to help Sarawakians by teaching the people of Sarawak by just sharing 10% of his family business expertise.

The house is said the 2nd most expensive house in Ottawa, Canada. The picture of the Rockcliffe “palace” taken by one, Chris Mikula was recently splashed in the internet. A guest to the house said, There is marble and the colour of gold everywhere, and there must be 20 chandeliers on the ground floor. It’s like a palace, really.”
CMS - Taib's investment Arm

What we were told was that Jamilah Taib was a daughter of Taib and was involved in Taib’s family business was said holding 13. 85% of Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) and Taib’s family was said holds about 57% of CMS shares. Members of the public can make a search of Taib’s family’s stakes in CMS with the Registrar of Companies. This CMS which started in 1974, spans out more than 40 companies in almost all type of businesses.

In a recent TV clippings in Aljazeera channel, although I learnt something how CMS had acquired the many contracts, I am not at all impressed about transparency in the award of tenders in the state by the state government to bidding contractors. James Masing, the Minister of Lands Development, said in the TV interview by Aljazeera that all contracts awarded to CMS were properly tendered. I could see some discomfort in the face of James Masing when questioned by the interviewer about this. He kept on adjusting his tie and seemed choking when he spoke.

According to James Masing, if otherwise, the law would have taken its’ course and Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud could be punished by the voters, but, I can say most voters are still in the dark in the award of tenders by the state government. There is a lot for Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud as chief minister to explain some unknown matters surrounding the award of contracts to his family company Cahaya Mata Sarawak. Let us hear his explanation.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Battle for Batang Ai.

I am impressed with the credentials of the Barisan Nasional candidate, Malcolm Mussen, but, in politics academic degrees should not mean much to the voters. What is most important is that the politician who is put as a candidate must be acceptable to the people and that he himself also should be willing to work for the people with sincere heart and love for the people. There is no point that an academically qualified politician who after winning the election will then take advantage of his office to “rob” the people of their trust and wealth.

To the dayaks, I feel sorry for them and also feel sorry to my many dayak relatives and friends for keeping the Chief Minister and his cronies in power for too long. Without the dayak votes, the state Barisan Nasional could not stay in power and Pehin Sri Taib and his cronies will have to go, but, Chief Minister is smart. He has with him Tan Sri Jabu and James Masing to hold on with the dayak votes. In return, both Tan Sri Jabu and Jabu were also properly taken care of by the Chief Minister. Both are very rich people, at least if compared to the many dayaks in the longhouses.

The dayaks had been fooled by their own elected representatives for too long. While their elected representatives enjoy good life with many having vast agricultural plantation lands, most dayaks until today remain poor and survive on farming and fishing in the streams of their longhouses. Vast agricultural plantation lands alienated to these YBs, infact, were within or included the many disputed native customary rights land. This was just to get these YBs to keep quiet. These YBs were only busy when elections were near and most their tasks were just to distribute fertilizer subsides, some stones for their village roads and perhaps some petrol and generators for electricity.

The dayaks should not more in return for such small favours support their present leaders in the government.

Now, if Malcolm Mussen is elected how much can he do if Tan Sri Jabu himself could not do much for the dayaks? Tan Sri Jabu, an agriculturalist and being a Deputy Chief Minister could not make natives land agriculturally more productive for the dayaks, it is doubtful Malcolm Mussen can do better? So, Malcolm Mussen’s academic qualification and vast experience in agriculture would mean nothing to help the dayaks. The dayaks will just remain poor, not until the dayaks themselves wake up and change the government. Instead of getting subsides, the dayaks should be given capitals and interest-free loans from the government to kick-start their lives.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poverty – A crime Against Humanity!

Figure 1:

The shed viewed from outside

Figure 2:

The photo showing the entrance to the shed and also places for drying clothes

Figure 3:
A group photo with Mdm. Chang and three of her kids
Voon Lee Shan, the State Assemblyman for Batu Lintang in white longsleeves shirt

Figure 4:

The plateform where the kids and mother slept
Lots of rubbish under the platform

Figure 5:

Picture showing the cooking area
There was no gas stove when first visit made
Gas stove was donated by a stranger

Figure 6:

The poles that supported the shed was tied with a copper wire

Figure 7:

The leaking roof at the cooking area

Figure 8:

The three kids and the only table found in the shed
Some rice donated by stangers
see the walls that separated the sleeping platform and the sitting area

A good and responsible government should see poverty as a crime against humanity and that all efforts should be made to eradicate this crime from human sight. The country, despite having enjoyed independence for more than 50 years with abundant resources not found in many countries, are still in a sorrow state, incapable to get rid of poverty among its people. The government’s economic policy in the past 50 years had failed its people. Instead, the rich became richer while the poor became poorer. Despite claim by the BN government of improved quality of life among Malaysians, the economic policies in recent years had created much dissatisfaction among its people.

In the past, we have heard political leaders from the BN government talked much on poverty but, many bothered not to visit their constituencies to find out where these poor are.

Poor Mdm. Chang’s family

Figure 9:

Mdm. Chang and one of her kids with Voon Lee Shan

Figure 10:

Mattresses, food and some other necessities donated by people

Figure 11:

Drinking water stored in some plastic containers

Figure 12:
Some mattesses donated by stangers
The family had no mattresses before donation drive

Figure 13:
See the roofs above the sleeping place
Figure 14:
The well where the family took their bath
The water in the well was green in colour
When no rain water available the family also used this as drinking water and for cooking

In a case, a family of eight in the Batu Kawa constituency, with no bread winner was found lived, not in a house or hut, but, a shabby shed, not even fit for animals! The mother could not go to work because the kids were still very small and needed her care very much.
The case was highlighted by me to the public about two weeks ago and within that period, I had visited the shabby shed for about ten times. The roofs were seen leaking, covered with plastic sheets and wires were used to tie the poles to support the shed. There was no bed but, a few broken planks placed across on top of a pole to form a platform for them to sleep at night. Under the platform, there were a lot of rubbish and useless things, but, were treasures to the family.

When no rain at night, I was told, the mother had to sleep on the bare earth floor of the shed. When it rained, the children had to share an umbrella for their shelter. What a pity! I could not hold my tears on seeing their conditions. So were others who followed me. I had been to poor places including that of the penans in ulu Baram and also the orang asli in West Malaysia, but, I yet ever saw one like this before.

Although the matter has been highlighted by me in the local press with the consent of the mother of the kids who wanted help, I have yet in the past two weeks heard leaders from Barisan Nasional visiting them and I hope they come forward and do their part. Please do not politicize the plight of Mdm. Chang and her family. They just needed help and all parties irrespective of colour, race, creed and political affiliations are requested come forward to help them.

To this family, donations had come pouring in and many also wanted to supply building materials and furniture to them, but, a house still could not be built because the owner of the land where the shed in which the family now lives still refused to come out and to negotiate with me to have a house built for the family. I hope whoever knows the landowner, please help.

I want a fund to be created, at least, to last for two to three years for the education and for daily maintenance of the kids. Although, I offered help, I was poured with cold water and sabotaged in the press, but, I am determined to help them. I want not only a roof over their heads, but, a proper roof! They are not animals, but, human beings, fellows that need our help!

For those of you who wish to help the family you can always hand them to the family. If that may not be convenient, you can channel the donations through my office, Messrs. Voon & Co. Advocates, next to Hong Leong Bank in Sekama-Pending Road junction and my office phone contact is telephone (6)082-336389.

My legal firm’s address:

Messrs. Voon & Co. Advocates,
1st Floor, Lot 7036, Pending Road,
93450 Kuching, Sarawak, MALAYSIA.

Donations could also be channeled through my service centre at Hock Kui Commercial Centre, Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Addruce (formerly Jalan Keretapi) in Kuching. The phone contact of my service centre is (6)082-419389. You can also phone to me at (6)019-856 7385.

Please insist receipts to be issued and if you wish to conceal your identity, we can do this by not showing your full or true name in the receipts.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where are the Iban Warriors In Politics?

Iban people were traditionally brave people. They feared no one and were well known for their bravery. History told us that they also had good leaders, who were capable to enter into military alliances with one another and able to moblilize hundreds of followers under their direction for territorial expansion. For newly opened region or territory during their head hunting days, their tuai menoa allocated settlement areas to their followers and their young men who displayed courage in the battlefield were entitled to called bujang berani or “brave bachelor”. In the old days, they were truly warriors and they led and were never wanted to be led by other people. So, they fought against the Rajahs.

Their bravery helped young Malaysia grew to what it is today. Malaysia needed them in early years and in time of peace, they still served the nation well. Iban were good trackers and their service in the Royal Malaysian Rangers was exemplary and many were awarded with bravery awards for their prowess in fighting the insurgencies. Their display of bravery was consistent with their motto, “Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban”.

In Rangers, they also displayed not only exceptional courage, but, also exemplary leadership and discipline.

Brookes Changed Iban Leadership

Things now changed. They no more led, but, were led by others through their leaders. Why and how could this happen?

One thing for sure about the iban people was that, the iban or dayaks in general were good, honest and obedient followers. The Brookes were smart and when they ruled Sarawak, they appointed Iban warriors as native chiefs. It was through these native chiefs that Brooke’s rule became more peaceful and Sarawak’s territory then expanded. The British who took over from Brookes also did the same thing and this strategy worked well to keep the iban in peace with the government. Iban people lived simple lives and were never demanding and it was their culture that taught them to respect and be obedient to their elders or tuai. In the longhouses, their tuai who headed their longhouses were called tuai rumah. These tuai rumah were powerful figures and they provided the link with the government.

The anakbiaks in the longhouses in return for their loyalty and obedience to their tuai rumah will get some subsides in terms of fertilizers, some granite for their roads which normally were distributed to them as “election installments”. That is, these subsidies will only normally be distributed when elections were around. However, the iban could not simply get these subsides unless their tuai rumah were obedient and loyal to the government. The BN government held them under political ransom and the present system will continue to make them so.

Therefore, until today the system of tuai rumah has been maintained and given the few hundred ringgits as monthly allowances, these tuai rumah had then been instrumental in controlling and influencing their anaknembiaks to be obedient and loyal to the government. With the exceptional loyalty as their trademark and embedded as a culture, the Barisan Nasional government has until now since independence ruled Sarawak through iban patronage. That also prolonged Pehin Sri Taib, a melanau and a muslim as the Chief Minister of Sarawak. With that, Taib may wish to perpetuate the melanau dynasty which began from his uncle Tun Rahman, in ruling Sarawak, by making his son, Sulaiman as the next chief minister.

Kuala Lumpur followed Brookes

When Malaysia was formed in September 16, 1963, the federal government in Kuala Lumpur also followed Brooke. They knew, Apai Jugah was too influential among the ibans and other dayaks. They respected and were loyal to Apai Jugah. So as not to rock the peace already established through Brookes’ rule, the federal government then appointed Apai Jugah as a Federal Minister. With Apai Jugah, the iban just continued to get some subsides. The iban together with the melanaus and malays in Malaysia were bumiputera, but, the iban until today could not enjoy what the malays could normally get.

Gone was Apai Jugah, the BN government perpetuates iban loyalty to the government by absorbing iban leaders and politicians into the government. These leaders were given posts and many perks and in order to enjoy these perks, they found it difficult to regroup under one political party to pull their strengths together to help their people. They have to help themselves first. They have to form as many political parties as possible so that they could become party presidents. This is because by becoming party presidents or holding important party positions, these leaders will then be in a position to get benefits for themselves and be appointed ministers by UNMO-run BN government.

The few leaders, like Jabu, Moggie, Masing, Mawan, Entulu, were said very rich. So, the the dayaks being led by others will continue through them. The iban never since Brookes' days led, but, was led by others through their leaders. What the iban got until noalthough we are already independent from the clutches of foreign powers, were subsidies and not capitals for the development of the community. The present political strategy of UMNO-PBB will see the majority of the iban to continue to be poor. While their leaders lived in big towns and cities, could enjoy piped water and driving luxurious cars, with oil palm plantations from NCR lands giving them perpetuating income and wealth, the majority of the iban or dayaks will see themselves poor and to live without proper water and electricity supply.

In return for their wealth they got from their positions in the government, these iban leaders who presently are in the government will continue to be obligated to tell the iban people that only BN government could give the iban subsidies in the longhouses. This was of course true, but, the iban did not realize that the giving to them subsides will continue to make them poor. It would be different, if Pakatan Rakyat takes over the government. Instead of subsides, the iban will get capitals to start their lives.

The iban now has no political warriors who are capable to lead the community against the Barisan Nasional and against the dominance of the melanau-malays in Sarawak politics. Ningkan, an iban from Betong who was supported by many Chinese tycoons in his days was too aggressive. His display of the typical dayak arrogance and bravery was seen a threat by the federal government led by the malays from UMNO. Political manoeuvreing saw Ningkan being kicked out of his chief ministership. Ningkan who displayed exceptional political courage and leadership of an iban warrior, Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban, was seen a threat to UNMO rule through the BN government in Sarawak through melanau-malays. These melanau-malays were mostly muslims, but, is not a large group in the state.

Had Ningkan not been toppled, iban today would be under a better umbrella and could have enjoyed better lives. Maybe, it was and still is the policy of federal government to see that iban should not become the governor and chief minister of Sarawak and should continue to be led and not to lead by other races. This was made more difficult in recent years after the amendment to the State Constitution because, it seems that to be a governor, the governor must be a muslim and in the case of iban, this would be something almost impossible as most ibans are Christians. Due to the amendment to the State Constitution, the iban, like the Chinese, would also find themselves difficult to become Speakers of the Dewan Undangan Negeri.

Iban Must Change

DAP and PKR with some help from SNAP and STAR are here to change the iban lives, but, if Iban people refuses to change nothing much DAP and PKR could do. Iban leaders like, Jabu, Masing, Mawan, Sylvester Entri, Peter Nyarok and Francis Hardin, being senior iban politicians could bring better change to the iban community, but, it seems that they prefer to be led and not to lead. They should be the iban political warriors to take the lead to bring the iban and other dayaks to greater heights. They should realize that iban being the largest race in Sarawak should lead and not be led by the minorities.

Never, at anytime I heard them speaking against any of the policies put up by the government. They lacked political courage to speak against the evils of the government and when they saw Taib coming to the Dewan Undangan Negri, they all rushed towards him, trying to get Taib’s attention. Sometimes, I observed that when Taib saw them coming, Taib just shook their hands with them, but, with his face turning away looking at others around!

So if iban people want change, they should no more be dependent on their present leaders. Instead, they have to take the lead themselves, throw away their present leaders and change the government. The iban people have lost its grip in power and the only way to overcome this is to change the government.
So, the coming Batang Ai by-election will a testing ground for Iban Baru or New Iban. Whoever be fielded by the Opposition against the BN in Batang Ai, the iban people, please rise up to the occasion to support the candidate for a change. He is your Iban Baru!

Good luck, my dayak friends! DAP are with you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Search Warrant – Can be An Effective Harassment Weapon.

Given the present business and political climate, search warrants will be another instrument that will act as an effective weapon of harassment against businessmen, politicians and dissent voices. We have recently heard of clampdown on unlicensed swiftlet farming by the authorities where search warrants were said obtained and executed by a certain statutory body and where laptop of a politician being seized. When caught in such a situation, most often than not, we used to hear people asking, “Could this be done?” “Why the warrant was issued?” “Was the warrant proper?” “What was the motive?” Can the statutory body act on behalf of the government department in the execution of the department? These were common questions asked by victims and concerned citizens.

The fear now is that once things were seized, especially computers or laptops, if tampered could land the owner into deep trouble with the law. Normally search warrant would be issued to search the premises by the magistrate if there is a probable cause that the incriminating thing could be found in the premises. However, it was always been found that magistrates used to issue these warrants as long as there are applications for them as if the granting of these search warrants should be an automatic exercise of power. This is not correct in law. The mechanical exercise by the magistrates in issuing these warrants could be challenged in court. Sometimes, search warrants could also be issued to the wrong authorities, thus, rendering the execution o the warrant an illegal act. Search warrants should also not be issued as a fishing expedition by the authorities.

Read the Search Warrant properly

When served with the search warrant it is advisable for the occupants of premises searched to read the contents of the search warrant properly to ensure that the search warrant was still valid in law. A search warrant is not valid in law if no seal of the court was found and if not dated or that the execution date of the warrant has expired or that the search warrant was not signed by a magistrate. The warrant is defective in law if it also failed to state the incriminating things that are to be seized. At times, the officer who came to your premises may say that he had a search warrant, but, forgot to bring it with him. This is not allowed at all. He could be in uniform or could have introduced himself as an officer from the relevant government department and if he enters into your premises he could be liable for trespass.

If the seizing officer seized things not stated in the search warrant, you have to protect your right by first lodging a police report of the things seized and then sue the officer to court for damages. During search, it is also advisable that you should not be alone. You need to get neighbours and friends to be present in the premises and watch the officers carrying out the search. It is also advisable to take photographs of the search and also of things seized for your record. Unscrupulous officers could just plant some incriminating things in the premises before arresting you.

Get the Search List

After seizure and before the seizing officer left the premises get him signed for you a search list. This search list should record down the things seized, including their descriptions and conditions at time of seizure. The law also requires the seized things to be brought before a magistrate immediately and the officer should not be allowed to make a detour or to delay his journey to the court. Make sure that if gold or jewelleries were seized, the seizing officer should not be allowed to give misleading descriptions on these in the search list.

These officers may wish to outsmart you. For gold, they may describe it as yellow metal and for other jewelleries such as diamonds they describe it as “fashion wear” or “costume” jewelleries. Make sure you put these gold and jewelleries under a photocopy machine to have them photocopied. Also make sure you measure their lengths and sizes. Their weights should be taken and be clearly written in the search list. If watches were seized, the model and brand name of the watches should be properly recorded.

After the search list has been prepared it must be signed by the seizing officer and a copy must be given to you. Tell the officer that you need to follow him in his car to the court with the things seized. This is a precautionary measure to ensure no tampering of the things seized. Upon the seized things handed to magistrate, the magistrate has to deal with the seized things in accordance with the law.

Right to challenge Search Warrant

As power to obtain and issue of search warrants could easily been abused by unscrupulous officers in the authority, you may also wish to challenge to propriety of the search warrants in the High Court and to get back your property. Rights to property is protected by Article 13(1) of the Federal Constitution which states that “no person shall be deprived of property save in accordance with law”.

If things like liquids, tablets, medicines and computers are seized from you, it is advisable that you have to fight in court for the release of these properties and should not allow the authorities to hold on them as evidence in their investigation. You should file an urgent application to the court. This is because once allowed to be in the hands of the investigating agency, they could easily be tampered with to maliciously incriminate you with criminal charges for a crime never been committed by you. What I am concerned it that we just don’t want pain killers to be later on to be produced as dangerous drugs and harmless liquids seized to be said contained prohibited chemicals or poisons.

So beware of search warrants as it can be an instrument that could land you into deep trouble if you don’t know how to deal with them.