It is now confirmed that, as their elderly Dad lies stricken with a life-threatening bowel obstruction in hospital, both of Taib Mahmud’s sons are behind the court battle to prevent their stepmother from acquiring large chunks of the family wealth.
Rahman Sulaiman Taib initiated the attempt to injunct 50 million CMSB shares transferred from his mother’s estate to Ragad, supposedly on the instructions of his father, last week.
Today’s court listing confirmed that his fellow plaintiff is his older brother, Abu Bekir Taib, indicating that the ailing Governor’s children are united in their hostility towards attempts by their stepmother to secure as much as possible, presumably whilst their father’s signature is still regarded as legally viable.
Yesterday, Sarawak Report further revealed that chunks of property in Kuching, including a substantial plot adjoining the Governor’s private mansion were also slipped into Ragad’s name just last week.
It is likely that the children will be arguing that Taib, who is suffering symptoms of advanced stages of bowel cancer and is reported to have become increasingly frail and confused in public, can no longer manage his own affairs.
They will point out that if the elderly former strongman had wished to provide in such a way for his second wife, he would already have done so during their thirteen years of marriage or stated it in his will.
They will surely claim that this much younger spouse, who now openly controls the Governor’s every move and flaunts her power over him, has taken advantage of his incapacity to engineer the transfer of large chunks of his assets (including those left to his own children) into her personal possession.
Given the implications of this battle royal, the question arises as to whether it is not now imperative that Sarawak’s head of state step aside with immediate effect? Sarawak has been embarrassed for long enough by a Governor whose term ought never to have been extended.
Meanwhile, this family drama will continue to take centre stage, despite evident attempts by the establishment (and its media) to play down the matter.
There is also the vast family fortune at stake, now subject to a bitter dispute that is growing daily.
It means the brazen and indiscreet ambitions of Ragad and her family are relevant. Her sudden arrival on the scene just ahead of elections in December 2010 was interpreted as that of a blushing mail order bride designed to decorate the elderly politician’s last bid for office.
However, it soon became clear that Ragad carried considerable baggage and powerful ambitions. She, together with her family had long played the marriage market in the Middle East and by the age of 29 had acquired two previously undisclosed sons through different fathers.
These, plus her mother, sister and brother were soon to turn up in Kuching and began flexing their muscles over the visibly failing Taib and his entourage.
Taib’s sister Raziah and husband Robert Geneid, who had previously exerted considerable influence and reportedly had looked out Ragad in the first place, began to regret their move (last month the new wife purportedly even sneaked a takeover of the ownership of their Lebanese restaurant venture in KL).
Ragad was first seen to be frustrated and resentful of her ‘nursemaid’ marriage to an elderly third spouse, but clearly soon understood the business advantages and started to flex the authority of her position and dominant physical presence in the wealthy household.
She embarked on considerable ostentatious spending and started to focus on developing the future prospects for her two sons, for whom (once Taib had got over the shock of their existence) she soon procured ‘Melanau’ i.e. Bumiputera status in Sarawak – much to the annoyance of many Sarawak born minorities who remain excluded.
Those sons are now full grown and it seems that their mother’s ambitions and their own have grown along with them. Where it was once Taib’s first family for whom plans were laid for a path to power (Rahman Sulaiman was groomed as an MP and federal minister before stepping down) it is now young Nizar, aged 22, who plainly has pretentious.
Angry social media statements circulating Sarawak at this time have focused on the preening youth who recently ‘joked’ about his aspirations to be a “future prime minister” having gained a photo with PMX.
Those media postings state that Ragad has taken to dragging her sons around, inappropriately inserting the youths into official functions way above their station. Take, for example, this recent ceremonial welcome of the new prime minister to the state.
It was on this occasion that Nizar chose to make his off-colour ‘joke’ about succeeding as a PM on his recently disbanded Instagram account.
Nizar is by origin an Arab who was earlier brought up in Saudi Arabia where his actual father lives.
His circumstances plainly dramatically improved upon his arrival in Sarawak, together with his status.
However, given the situation he is in, he would clearly have been best advised to act much more discreetly than he has, particularly if he cares about progressing in Malaysia.
Instead, Nizar has, like his mother, flaunted his smug enjoyment of his family’s new found wealth and consequence.
This, not only amongst friends, but for all the world to see on TikTock and Instagram accounts which have produced amusement and disgust in equal measure around Sarawak for several months.
Sarawak Report has collected a number of these posts as they have circulated, in the expectation that the youth would eventually wake up to his folly, which he has, and pull them down, which he did last week. Too late.
The material posted by this pampered drop out can only do harm to his credibility as he preens into the camera for numerous ‘influencer’ posts where he boasts about the luxury of his circumstances and the money that has come his way.
The 22 year old apparently gave up his further education in some Swiss school to hang out doing nothing much over the past year in Kuching … except for displaying an obnoxious level of debauchery that good sense, if only from his mother, should have warned against
Perhaps the worst of a long list of atrocious self-advertisements is a video where he smugly wipes his mouth whilst eating a fat burger on bank notes to flaunt his wealth.
He grabs wad after wad to perform his revolting stunt.
There is another appalling act of braggadocio in a separate posting where he crows over the highly controversial MyCard now in his possession which grants him ‘K’ status in the country. This is supposedly only a privilege accorded to the native born Malaysian people, yet thousands of true indigenous folk have yet to even receive the statehood accorded to this unemployed Arab.
Whilst native children and denied medical care, schooling, voting rights and even a formal existence owing to the withholding of this card in Sarawak, this foreign punk smooches into his handheld camera and waves his own precious ID card tauntingly, smug at his good fortune.
“I can’t show it, I have to hide it”, he smirks, “Otherwise people will get mad”.
Unfortunately for him, the none too intelligent young man has shown it and his recording has been captured.
When he is not kissing at his camera or being dragged to key official events by his mother, the plainly bored young man has also spent much of his time wandering round his luxury living quarters.
For the benefit of TikTock viewers he has filmed his dream bedroom and the gilded apartments around it to boast of his stepfather’s wealth, much of which it appears his mother has laid her claim to. He sets the whole ‘house tour‘ to music and plainly expects others to be as impressed as he is.
“This is the main hall, this is the balcony, this is the main entrance….. ” yawn.
The boy then screams out ‘amusingly’ to demand “father I need to change my room 360 degrees because it looks like a woman’s room and I hate it” which indeed it does.
He plainly lacks the imagination to understand how others better than he are forced to study under dripping broken roofs in many of Sarawak’s interior schools thanks to the pernicious neglect of his father’s government over decades.
The people of the state are doubtless to be treated to a protracted legal feud between the parasitic offspring of Taib’s various siblings and spouses over coming months against a backdrop of such showoff displays of wealth.
Better would be a decision to freeze, investigate and largely confiscate every single ringgit and square centimetre of this family’s trove of ill-gotten wealth that is long overdue to be distributed to the benefit of the people to whom it actually belongs.