Outrage In Sarawak As Taib Wife And Step Kids Are Given Native Status

Syrian born Ragad Taib and her two sons have been fast-tracked into ‘fully fledged’ Melanaus, to the disgust of many Sarawakians, if comments going viral on Whatsapp are to be believed.

“In normal cases a candidate has to speak the language, know the customs etc and attend an interview in Melanau. The Melanau are certainly not happy at this. Now she can own native customary rights lands, do bumiputera business and her children can inherit native lands too and live happily ever after in the forest!”

was one comment received by Sarawak Report, although the idea that the Syrian born temptress, known for her love of jewellery and couture and all the luxuries of town life, would dream of living in or near the forest is somewhat laughable. Yet the order published last November is clearly genuine.

Middle Eastern adventuress is now ripe and ready for Bumi business in Sarawak
Middle Eastern adventuress is now ripe and ready for Bumi business in Sarawak

The regularity with which the foreign spouses of the Taib Mahmud family have been accorded fast-track bumi-status has long-rankled with those who have lived and worked for years in Sarawak. Without exception these spouses have then been inserted into the businesness interests of the family.

Lebanese Australian, Robert Geneid, for example was similarly fast-tracked, transforming in the process from a cash-strapped fruit stall trader to a multi-millionaire, thanks to subsequent local business and land deals. Arif Mahmud’s wives, who were Chinese born are similarly accorded bumi-status and all have been showered with top titles in the process.

Another commentator working in Sarawak pointed out:

“The likes of honest, working Malaysian folk, who have lived and served in Sarawak for over two decades still can’t get this sort of status. We can’t even stay longer than 3 months, having to go in and out and always at risk of being denied entry”.

But, there is another deeper and darker scandal, which is that while the likes of Ragad have been accorded this status, ignoring all the normal cultural and language requirements, many of those who have lived for generations in Sarawak are denied it.

Penan tribespeople, many who were never given birth certificates don’t even have Identity Cards. Their children may now have been allowed birth certificates, but because their parents genuinely lived in the jungle, these people are still not given nationality, let alone bumiputera status.

This means that ‘Toh Puan’ Ragad will now be able to use the millions she can acquire from her elderly husband (who pretends not to be rich as he has no legitimate explanation for his wealth) to buy up native lands from under the feet of the real native people, who have been denied their own birthright.

It is heady progress for a woman who arrived from the dusty deserts of the Middle East in her late 20s to marry a septuagenarian whom she had only met once before, presumably to seek her fortune in the process. Expect her to start acquiring plantations and shares in Bumi companies with instant effect.

By contrast, no such opportunites for the genuine natives in Sarawak, who have been promised time and again by this present head of state that he would bring them ‘progress’ and ‘modernisation’.

“Hundreds of thousands of Indonesian and Bangladeshi workers, many of them illegal, have been flooded into Sarawak’s oil plantations in the meantime. Expect them all to receive IC cards and full status in return for votes”

was another sentiment expressed to Sarawak Report today that is widely held. Meanwhile, the genuine natives remain to a disgraceful degree disenfranchised.

The development comes on the heels of the statement yesterday by Sarawak’s present chief minister that he is continuing to battle his own political partners in the federal government to attempt to be allowed a mere 20% of Sarawak’s own royalties from its mining and oil revenues – and to take back the off-shore rights recently also illegally grabbed by the Najib government.

It was of course none other than Ragad’s greedy husband, Taib Mahmud, who did the original deal with his UMNO backers from the federal government to allow Sarawak only a paltry 5% of its own oil revenues. This was in return for allowing him a free hand over timber and plantation licences – after which he proceeded to cut down the entire jungle and replace it with oil palm and turned himself into one of the richest men on the planet.

As Johari struggles on to try and persuade his own BN allies to change their selfish policy (fat chance unless he switches to the opposition) the likes of Taib’s latest wife and business partner, Ragad, can get stuck in to acquiring easy wealth….. until the music stops and the people decide enough is enough.

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