UPDATE – BREAKING NEWS:
As the unfolding battle between Taib’s future heirs reaches court today, Monday 19th June, more exclusive information has been obtained by Sarawak Report that indicates that the state of health of the ailing Governor has critically worsened.
The jet in which he was travelling to Turkey on Saturday was forced to turn back when the octogenarian who has colon cancer suffered an intestinal blockage, a condition that can result in extremely severe consequences.
According to intelligence received, the Governor is now warded in the Kuching Hospital receiving treatment.
– Meanwhile, Sarawak’s premiere land grabbing Taib family may be shocked to learn that ‘stepmum’ Ragad has been grabbing land off them. This comes just days after SR revealed that Taib had allegedly also signed over 50 million CMSB shares to his second wife –
Sarawak Report can exclusively reveal that last week, just as the Taib Mahmud’s son Rahman Sulaiman moved to contest the handover of family shares in CMSB to the elderly Governor’s second wife Ragad, another transfer of valuable assets was also taking place.
This time the ‘loving gift’ consisted of three plots of plum property in Kuching. Worth millions of ringgit, according to insiders, they consist of two commercial properties on Jalan Kulas, presently the location for RHB Bank HQ in the area, as well as a huge chunk of prime building land in the top residential area adjacent to Taib’s own spacious residence Demak Jaya.
The Damak Laut plot is larger than Taib’s own residence and garden and boasts an eviable lengthy stretch along the river for exclusive water access and views.
The ownership transfer is believed to have been quietly submitted at the Land Registry around close of business on Wednesday, June 14 by the law firm Azlina Johan Advocates. Research into the registry indicates the Memorandum of Transfer was submitted without the original land titles (as is required) in an apparent bid to conceal that the original owner was Taib Mahmud.
The present beneficiary is clear, however. It is Ragad Kurdi Taib and she has received the prime property as a “Transfer through love and affection” which means it comes tax free.
Given that at least one of Taib’s four children are currently contesting the transfer of 50 million CMSB shares (worth over RM 1 each at current prices) it is highly unlikely that the Governor’s offspring have been informed of this separate further enrichment of their stepmother.
The CMSB case is due to return to court this very Monday morning where Rahman will be seeking to obtain an injunction on the grounds that the shares were left in his mother’s will to her own family (her four children and Taib) and that it was therefore illegal for Taib to hand them over to his second wife.
This dramatic turn of events will inevitably heighten suspicions rife in Kuching that the 87 year old former chief minister and once notorious strongman of Sarawak is no longer in control of his own affairs.
There have been numerous health concerns following his recovery from colon cancer several years ago and there was considerable astonishment over his second marriage to Ragad in 2010, given she was four decades younger than him.
Reportedly introduced through a marriage broker in the Middle East, it was widely assumed the Syrian bride was acquired largely for political reasons to counter accusations that Taib was too old to remain in office.
However, it soon became clear she had ambitions to step into the limelight and exert influence, if only on behalf of the two sons she turned out to have acquired through two previous marriages.
Ragad is now seen always at the increasingly frail Governor’s side, usually steering him through his paces at official and public events.
There has been widespread concern for some time over the Governor’s cognitive abilities and it is more than likely that those contesting these sudden handovers of assets, that were once firmly controlled by Taib himself, will seek to suggest that he has been made subject to undue control or even that a secret power of attorney may have been obtained over the official head of state!
If so, it would not be the first time Sarawak Report has exposed such a state of affairs. It was this site that revealed that none other than the previous official head of state of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa, was likewise secretly relieved of control over billions of dollars worth of his private assets by his half brothers, the Crown Prince MBZ and Sheikh Mansour. some years before his death.
Taib Mahmud also has billions of dollars worth of assets and it is clear that, as the former ‘CEO’ of Sarawak starts to fail, the battles between the would be inheritors of his wealth has well and truly begun.
Time to Freeze Taib Assets
Many will welcome Rahman Sulaiman’s move to freeze at least some of his family assets.
Given the enormous stakes involved and the clear evidence that all this wealth was acquired by gross corruption, kleptocracy and abuse of office, many would urge the relevant authorities to make their move now to freeze not only these but all the Taib possessions before they are purloined from under the Governor’s nose, so that they can be returned to the people of Sarawak to whom they belong.