Malaysia

Taib Mahmud: MACC doesn’t deserve my co-operation

Taib arriving for the BN meeting in Kuala Lumpur today. — Picture by Choo Choy MayTaib arriving for the BN meeting in Kuala Lumpur today. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Hit by graft allegations, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said today he will not co-operate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as he believes the government body to be “naughty” and “dishonest” in its investigations.

The long-serving Sarawak chief minister was cast into the international spotlight last month after an environmental activist group released a video documentary alleging the state Barisan Nasional chief to have received millions of ringgit in kickbacks over land deals that have denuded the Borneo state.

“They don’t deserve my co-operation because they have been naughty... and they have not been honest,” Taib told reporters after attending a Barisan Nasional leadership meeting here.

Taib said he was not afraid of being investigated by the anti-graft body.

“Let them victimise me... I am not scared” 

Abdul Taib has maintained his innocence, saying that his cousins and others implicated in the video expose were promoting themselves to be his agents to solicit favours.

He also dismissed the impact of the video, which was released by Global Witness (GW) last month, in Election 2013.

“It’s very minimal. It’s not in tune with what the people think,” he said.

The video, titled “Inside Malaysia’s Shadow State”, showed dealings by GW’s undercover investigators with Abdul Taib’s cousins and several other intermediaries to acquire thousands of hectares of forest land, which the group said would displace thousands of indigenous people living there.

Asked if Barisan Nasional (BN) viewed him as a liability, Abdul Taib said: “What liability? In the last election, I got more than two-thirds majority and they don’t even care about it.”

BN retained its two-thirds majority in the Sarawak state election in 2011, but with a smaller margin.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), which is led by Taib, won all the seats that it contested.

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