KUCHING : DAP has added more pressure on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to respond to allegations that his family owned prime pieces of real estate overseas that together are worth billions of ringgit.
DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen, speaking at a press conference here, noted that Taib had not bothered to either confirm or deny reports on the Internet in the last few months that indicated that he and his family were extraordinarily rich.
Many of the allegations originate from the website Sarawak Report.
According to the site, the Taibs own properties in Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia.
It said that in Canada, the family’s Sakto Development Corporation owned the twin glass towers and a swanky shopping complex at Preston Square and a multi-story residential building in downtown Ottawa.
On top of that, said Chong, the private residence of Taib's daughter in Ottawa was rated the second most expensive house in the area, worth about 10 million Canadian Dollars.
He gave these other details: that the family owned an estimated US$80,000,000 worth of office blocks in Seattle and San Francisco, a few blocks of commercial and luxury flats in central London, and the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide.
Chong, who is also the MP for Bandar Kuching, said: “All these reports about Taib's family owning hundreds of millions or even billions of ringgit’s worth of properties have been circulating in the internet for quite some time, in fact since the Sibu by-election in May 2010. Yet Taib has kept mum.
“As the Chief Minister of Sarawak for the last 30 years, Taib is accountable to the people of Sarawak to clarify the matter,” he said.
Chong posed the following five questions for Taib to answer:
1.Are the reports on Sarawak Report true?
2.What is the salary of the Chief Minister of Sarawak? How could Taib's children have had such huge amounts of money to buy overseas properties?
3.Other than the properties reported on the Sarawak Report website, are there any other properties owned by Taib's family members or their companies? How much are those properties worth?
4.Why is Taib's family so rich and yet, the state of Sarawak is the fourth least developed state in Malaysia?
5.If the reports were untrue, what action will Taib take against the makers of the reports?
“It is time for Taib to provide the answers to the above questions because all Sarawakians are interested and have a right to know the answers,” he said.