Sarawak Report – The Full Story!

Pre-sales for the up-coming book The Sarawak Report are now available through this site. This is in advance of the launch scheduled for September 8th.  Cover details below:

Sarawak Report - The Full Story!

Front Cover

A limited number of first edition books will be printed in Malaysia through Gerakbudaya and in the UK through Naomi Roth Publishing and made available through this website.

Copies will be sent following the publication date. To place your order CLICK HERE (and hurry to catch that limited copy of the first edition).

Author, Clare Rewcastle Brown, will also be signing books at a number of events in Malaysia – details coming soon.  The author said:

“This is the only account that details at first hand how the whole 1MDB story was unravelled from beginning to end and how a tiny campaign fought to expose the theft to the international media and regulators, whilst Malaysia’s most powerful people worked to discredit us and silence the entire affair.

Banks have fallen, billions of dollars of assets have been seized and the weaknesses of our global financial systems frighteningly exposed. The struggle has lasted nearly five years and undoubtedly contributed to the recent fall of the previous Malaysian government.  As a journalist I can truly say there has not been a single boring day covering this amazing story and I have lived through each and every one of them”.

Place your order whilst this limited offer remains on Sarawak Report or visit a book shop near you after September 8th.

Kelantan – Creed or Greed ?

We all know that once you cut down primary jungle a rare and precious natural heritage of ancient plant and animal life is lost to the world forever, to be converted into plain old ringgit for a handful of people, who somehow recommended themselves to be granted a licence, in return (one assumes) for a royalty to the state.

In the modern world, where there is so little left of such rare and precious natural resources as genuine primary jungle, to make such a decision to destroy it almost defies belief.  So, what possible reason or motive could there be for any governing body to make such a monstrous decision, is the first question that anyone would wish to put to the Kelantan state government?

Kelantan - Creed or Greed ?

Someone is profiting greatly, but it is not the indigenous people to whom the Kelantan State Government owes a duty of trust

We all know what has motivated the authorities in places like Sarawak and Sabah to do such a terrible vandalism to their own regions, as the growing wealth and ostentation of certain of their ruling figures have born testimony.

This was deforestation driven by political corruption.

But, what has persuaded the state rulers of Kelantan to champion the loggers over the established indigenous rights of the Orang Asli, who have for generations protected the jungle with a wisdom that the cultural supremacists in the PAS state government appear to lack?

Whilst these PAS politicians are fond of claiming that their own beliefs and opinions are superior and more holy than anyone else’s, it seems they are prepared to dismay the very God, who put this beautiful example of life on our earth, by vandalising and destroying it in return merely for some cash to the state.

The people PAS look down upon as Orang Asli, on the other hand, are seeking to protect their extraordinary region out of respect for this wonderful remaining example of ancient life, and wish only to continue to live as they have done for hundreds of years, humbly but in harmony with God’s earth.

Kelantan - Creed or Greed ?

Kelantan’s government are listening to loggers instead of voters – why?

Compare them to many of the big wigs among PAS, who prefer to drive expensive cars and build bigger houses, whilst calling themselves godly compared to others.

How dare they ignore their duty of trust towards the humble Orang Asli, who are just asking for their basic human rights to be recognised, along with their land rights: rights which are being blatantly ignored by the incoming loggers reaping the profits from destroying their territories?

Kelantan Must Spell Out And Justify Its Logging Policies

Kelantan - Creed or Greed ?

Takiyuddin Hassan

The suave and dapper PAS political bigwig Takiyuddin Hassan, has this weekend brushed aside all the indigenous and traditional land rights of the native Temiar community, whose timber is being snatched.

He claimed their lands ‘belong to the Kelantan state government’ rather as if it was one of his own fancy cars, free for him to drive as he likes.

The many NGOs and others, who have protested this disgusting attititude on behalf of the Orang Asli communities, are pointing out a basic principle, that this smartly attired modern looking politician appears to fail to understand.  Those who are elected into the role of governance under a democratic system (such as exists in Malaysia) are not in a position of ownership but in a position of trust.

The Kelantan state government does not rule the people, it represents them, and they act as the stewards, not the owners, of the assets of the state.  That duty of trust extends to all the people in the state, including those who might not have voted them and who might not even subscribe to PAS’s cultural and religious beliefs. The duty of the government in a modern democracy (the system that has given authority to PAS in Kelantan) is to make decisions fairly and in the interests of all the people…. and not to treat the place as if they owned it, because the people do.

Therefore, it is for the state government to present the reasons behind their decisions and to show that they have proceded according to due process and proper consultation with the affected communities.  Judging by the years of protests they have failed to do so.

Right To Forage?

Particularly weak in the chain of argument laid out by Takiyuddin this weekend has been the claim that the communities whom his government is depriving of their forests merely have the ‘Right to Forage’ in these territories.

Has he considered what his acceptance of that right entails?

Because, since he and his fellow decision-makers in the state government acknowledge this right to forage, they need to explain what time and consideration they have given to the question of how these traditional folk are going to be able to continue to forage for animals, fruit and the other basic necessities of life when their jungle has been clear felled?

Kelantan - Creed or Greed ?

What does the car driving urbanised Takiyuddin Hassan imagine can be foraged here?

What foraging solutions has the Kelantan state government has come up with for the local people, once the ancient rainforest habitat (originally teeming with life and plants to eat) has been destroyed and the timber cashed out?  Because, across Malaysia there are plenty of examples of indigenous peoples left to forage first off the fringes of oil palm plantations and then off the rubbish heaps of urban areas far from their native lands.

Is this what Kelantan has planned for its Orang Asli?  If not, can they please lay out what has been negotiated with the Orang Asli to care for their needs once the Right to Forage had been snatched away?

The fact is that this shameful destruction, which brings quick bucks to just a few at the expense of the vulnerable, has no place in modern Malaysia. If state governments show themselves unable to issue licences in a proper manner, with the proper informed consent of people to be affected, then the federal authorities must step in, freeze the logging and find out just what the hell is going on and exactly why these oppressive decisions are being made.

KING GONE! Sabah’s ‘Chief Conservator’ Of Forests Booted Out At Last

After years posing as a great defender of Sabah’s fast depreciating forests, Sam Mannan has now been exposed as one of the main drivers of destruction, issuing licences for illegal clear cutting in supposedly protected areas across the state.

He was sacked on Friday August 3rd following a major taskforce investigation into the disgraceful practices of his department intitiated by the new Chief Minister of the state.  Our exclusive copy of his letter of dismissal dated 31st July says:

“The state government has decided based on state law 59c … to terminate the contract signed between Sam Mannan and the state government on 2nd August 2017, effective in three months from now.  The last day will be 31st October 2018″ [translated]

KING GONE! Sabah's 'Chief Conservator' Of Forests Booted Out At Last

Termination letter to Sam Mannan

It is understood he will shortly take extended leave to see out his contract.

The development comes after evidence had been gathered of extensive licencing of illegal logging practices authorised by Mannan during the month long Operation Forest Storm 2 launched by the new Chief Minister, who took over after a hotly contested transfer of power in the May elections.  Shafie Apdal has pledged to clean up illegal logging in the state.

Sarawak Report had challenged Mannan over a number of controversial logging operations sanctioned by him during his two decades in the job, however he continued to enjoy the protection of the previous Chief Minister of the state Musa Aman, himself a former Chairman of the Sabah Foundation, main custodian of the forests of the state.

Musa Aman is now on the run, his location unknown, since being forced out of office. In the course of 2012 Sarawak Report had detailed tens of millions of dollars in timber kickbacks he himself received from logging contractors, which had then been funnelled through a web of off-shore companies, through Hong Kong and Singapore into a Zurich UBS bank account.

Despite the expose, Musa Aman, who was the brother of the previous Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, continued to be in turn protected by former Prime Minister Najib Razak. Sarawak Report has received information that the Malaysian authorities have issued a Red Notice INTERPOL alert for his arrest, after he secretly crossed the border into Brunei and then fled initially to Britain.

King of the Forest

Sam Mannan liked to be known as the King of Sabah’s forests and was for many years Musa’s right hand man in managing – or rather mismanaging – what was left of the Borneo Jungle in the state.

Despite posing on the international stage as a fervant environmentalist, within logging circles in Sabah he was criticised for his corrupt issuing of licences against state policy, to the lasting detriment of the forests.  Many such licences were issued to close colleagues and established timber cronies.

On the one hand he was photographed with Prince Charles at forestry events and was on hand to welcome Prince Willliam and Kate to the Danum Valley reserve, on the other he was issuing licences against the rules.  Sarawak Report has evidence that a police report has now been issued citing numerous such offences amounting to 40,161 logs now seized and pending investigation.

KING GONE! Sabah's 'Chief Conservator' Of Forests Booted Out At Last

EXCLUSIVE – police report into the Lim companies suspected of illegally harvesting over 40,000 logs

The owners of many of the above companies are established offenders when it comes to timber kickbacks to Musa Aman and his circle, namely the brothers Andrew Lim and Freddy Lim from Sandakan and also Elbert Lim Yu Min from Tawau.  Sarawak Report has cited how these tycoons were involved in multi-million dollar kickbacks to Mannan’s former boss, the fugitive Musa Aman.

However, despite an MACC report that had recommended no less than 42 charges be laid against Musa in 2013, Najib through his then Attorney General Gani Patail closed the case.  As with the subsequent 1MDB scandal it has been left to foreign investigators to take up the slack. In this case the Swiss Attorney General has once again issued proceedings in the matter with a current prosecution ongoing in Berne against UBS Bank, which is facing money laundering charges for handling Musa’s Hong Kong and Swiss accounts.

KING GONE! Sabah's 'Chief Conservator' Of Forests Booted Out At Last

Clear cutting of protected rainforest known to be home to endangered species

One such licence issued by Mannan (see above) authorised Andrew Lim’s company Priceworth International Berhad to clear cut 75 thousand hectares of protected rainforest on behalf of Anika Desiran Sdn Bhd (belonging to Andrew Lim) in Ranau – the region known as FMU (Forest Manangement Unit) 5.

The forest, as the licence details, is known to be home to a variety of endangered species, including the clouded leopard, gibbons and orang utan.  Nevertheless, Sam Mannan, who has postured as a protector of such species authorised the destruction.

Thanks to Operation Forest Storm and the new goverment, this area has now been saved from the chainsaws.  Yet Mannan authorised this and many other similar illegal licences according to evidence gathered. It appears that under his watch  Sabah had simultaneously presented a conservation face to the world, while in reality the political leaders of the state were converting the timber for cash.

Sarawak Report Explains Its Reasons For Alleged “Smear” Against Petros

Over the weekend the office of the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abang Johari, issued a statement, which revealed that a memorandum announced with great pomp as the ‘first deal’ by Sarawak’s state oil company, Petros, in January has now ‘lapsed’.

This newsworthy development was made public in response to an article by Sarawak Report, which the chief minister claimed was an attempt to “smear” Petros, for “reasons best known to Sarawak Report”.

However, the statement raises many more questions than it answers, besides inviting Sarawak Report to explain exactly why it drew attention to the memorandum and to Petros over this matter.  We are more than happy to do so.

Sarawak Report Explains Its Reasons For Alleged

Petros’s ‘first deal’ with a company linked to Governor Taib Mahmud is now declared ‘lapsed’

This news site is concerned that in an astonishing volte face, just before the last election, Abang Johari’s state government announced on 6th March a decision to over-turn decades of party policy with regard to the oil and gas reserves of the state, by issuing a direct challenge to the control of Petronas and the federal government over Sarawak’s oil.

Sarawak Report Explains Its Reasons For Alleged

logo for SSE

As part of the move Johari formally announced the setting up of Petros, a state oil company that would take control of all Sarawak’s oil reserves in future, independent of central government.

Supporters of the move pointed to the lack of validity of the 1974 Petroleum Development Act, which had handed the oil reserves to Petronas, a claim Malaysia’s oil company has sought to gain a legal judgement over.

The move was seen as a massive concession by then prime minister Najib Razak, whose position in the run up to the GE14 had become increasingly weak. Harapan leader Dr Mahathir had reached out to his old ally Governor Taib Mahmud, who controls Sarawak’s wider economy and the political leadership of the state, and this concession over oil rights is judged to have been the price exacted by Taib to keep the Sarawak parties within BN. This is how the deal was reported in the Straits Times:

The announcement comes after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak gave assurances that Sarawak’s longstanding demands will be met.
With the general election just around the corner, the Prime Minister is seen to be pulling out all the stops to ensure that the gas-and timber-rich state remains loyal to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government. [March 17th]

So, Sarawakians have every right to know what exactly is going on behind the scenes in the name of restoring the oil rights to the people of the state.

Even prior to formally establishing Petros and while the Board of Directors was still seeking a CEO, the ‘100% state owned company’ had already set about pulling together what it advertised as its ‘first deal’ announced in January during what was described as a five day working visit by the chief minister to Oman.

The signing of this memorandum was treated as a centre-piece of the chief minister’s working trip together with a grand signing ceremony with a photo-op provided for the Sarawak newspapers, including all the main players in this much vaunted agreement.

Sarawak Report Explains Its Reasons For Alleged

Lily Chin of South Sea Energy centre stage

To attend the grand occasion a plane load of Sarawakians had made it over to Oman for the signing of the MOU.  Centre stage, as the photos show, was one Lily Chin, director of the company South Sea Energy (SSE), together with SSE’s ‘executive director’ none other than Tiong Kiong King, the son and successor to Taib Mahmud’s key business crony, the founder of Rimbunan Hijau.

Accompanied by Tiong and overseen by Abang Johari, Ms Lily Chin is featured first signing the MOU and then stridently shaking hands with one Dr Anil Chopra, the Chairman and CEO of the PetroTel Group, which had been selected by Sarawak as its partner to enter into “collaborations” and “explore possibilities of cooperation to develop the downstream sector of oil and gas industries in Sarawak”, according to the announcement.

The announcement further made clear that Lily Chin and South Sea Energy were somehow included in the MOU. However, the exact details of what had been agreed (let alone provisions for it to lapse by July) do not appear to have been expanded upon for the benefit of the public.

So, what was the point of all this grandstanding involving Sarawak’s chief minister; how come the whole arrangement is now lapsed and why was this lapse only made public the day after Sarawak Report pointed to a hidden involvement in the deal by Sarawak’s all-powerful politician Governor Taib Mahmud?

South Sea Energy

Yesterday’s statement by the chief minister’s office has now made clear that the commitment of Petros in the MOU was “merely an understanding to assist should the company intend to invest in Sarawak”.  This paints a considerably different picture to the talk of ‘collaboration’ and ‘cooperation’ in the earlier announcements.

By company the statement appears to be refering to “the venture in Oman as alleged in the [Sarawak Report] article”, meaning the joint venture between PetroTel and South Sea Energy.

So, how do SSE’s Lily Chin and her tycoon executive director Tiong Kiong King fit into the picture as co-signatories to the memorandum relating to Sarawak?

What Sarawak Report had established when it drew attention to the deal was that SSE was described as a key joint venture partner in the PetroTel exploration work in Oman, back in March 2016 when the local press reported a $150 million dollar lending deal made to SSE by an Omani bank.

SSE was described a Sarawak company with international experience in oil and gas, however the investment was to be in Oman in an onshore exploration of Block 17 controlled by PetroTel.

It was also significant that there was no sign of Lily Chin or Tiong in this initial joint venture and loan arrangement with PetroTel and the Omani bank. The people present were the Sarawak Governor Taib Mahmud and his son Abu Bekir Taib, described as the ‘Executive Vice-President of South Sea Energy’ (the name of the President was not provided).

The facts would appear to be therefore that a company in which the Governor and his family has held extremely recent and yet undeclared interests was now seeking to become the first party to invest in Sarawak’s newly re-appropriated oil fields.

Furthermore, to cement that opportunity, the chief minister of the state (and long-time political underling of Taib) undertook a major five day official visit to Oman to oversee the deal.

If these are the facts, as widely reported, then how come the allegation of a “smear” by Sarawak Report and why the sudden dropping of the plans once this connection had been revealed?

Save Sarawak’s Oil For Sarawakians!

Decades of corruption and asset stripping by the present political leadership of Sarawak should give no confidence whatsoever to local people in the handing of their remaining key asset to the same bunch of kleptocrats.

Taib and his colleagues have all become staggeringly wealthy as a result of occupying political roles in Sarawak, which of itself would be adequate to convict the lot of them of criminal misappropriation of public money were the laws to be properly upheld.

As is its, politically controlled law enforcers have till now expressed themselves willing to accept a ludicrous excuse that Taib can be ‘cleared of wrong-doing’ because he stepped out of the room to allow underlings to sign the contracts that made his fortune.

Much in the same way his former federal boss and protector Najib Razak is attempting to blame the employee, who managed his billion dollar bank accounts for stealing the money he himself spent on buying elections, buying movies, buying diamonds and further stolen luxuries.

It would appear that Lily Chin and Tiong did the honours on the deal for the South Sea Energy deal in this respect.  After all, this private company, which is described as having ‘international experience in the oil and gas industry’ provides zero information on its executive office holders or its operations on its website and is described as ‘dormant’ in the register of companies.

Founded in 2008 it has a million ringgit issued shares, two million ringgit worth of assets and seven million ringgit of liabilities. Its revenue in 2016 was ‘zero’.  The sole apparent purpose of inserting this empty company into a deal involving Sarawak’s oil would appear to be to divert a goodly section of the profits, following that earlier investment in PetroTel.

If things are not as they look, then this is the moment for the chief minister’s office to come out with a fuller statement and further details on the MOU and the agreements involved. The exact role of the Governor’s family needs to be explained.

Meanwhile, much as Sarawak longs to retrieve its oil rights they ought not to be handed to the man who cashed in the entire rainforest of the state, made billions from palm oil concessions and then snatched the lions share of its economy through contracts and mega-projects handed to his own family companies.

Taib and his gang must not be trusted with Sarawak’s oil, which should be put under the control of a transparent and professional body, where contracts are clearly negotiated and profits accounted for down to the last ringgit.

If that alone is not enough to convince any objective onlooker, then remember: it was Taib Mahmud, who together with his uncle negotiated and signed the disgraceful and illegal 1974 Petroleum Development Act, which his present underlings now have the cheek to contest over four decades on.

For all that time Taib as chief minister tolerated that illegal arrangement against the interests of his suffering people, even though he as a lawyer knew full well that it had failed  to have been ratified by his own state parliament.  The reason he tolerated this injustice and allowed Sarawak’s oil to be siphoned out by Petronas was because in return the federal BN government agreed to allow him total impunity to rape the remaining resources of the state. Which he did.

Taib has now taken his opportunity to crusade against the legality of his own law, in order to attempt to profit further.  These are not the actions of a senile old has-been, but the continuing pattern of greed by a family who do not know the meaning of restraint.

The Harapan government and MACC need to investigate Taib for his past misdeeds as well as for the present oil grab, and the people of Sarawak need to hold him and his colleagues to account as soon as possible.

We hope this makes the reasons for our article clear to all.

Taib’s Secret Interest In Sarawak’s Petros Venture! EXCLUSIVE

On the afternoon of 20th March 2016, in the dusty heat of the desert kingdom of Oman, two far eastern visitors set about finalising a major deal with the local Bank Nizwa to raise a $150 million financing arrangement (Sharia compliant, of course) to enable investment in Oman’s massive new oil exploration Block 17.

The facility was granted to their company in its capacity as a key partner in PetroTel Oman (PetroTel), the operator of the 2,378 square kilometre prospective oil field.

We know about the matter because it was all announced in the national Times of Oman newspaper. The report also named the company involved, South Sea Energy, which it described as holding ‘international expertise in the oil and gas industry’.

And it identified the two individuals present at the signing of the arrangement with the bank on behalf of South Sea Energy. They were named as Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, executive vice president of South Sea Energy and his father the Sarawak Governor, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, according to a  media statement made by the bank.

Taib's Secret Interest In Sarawak's Petros Venture!  EXCLUSIVE

Governor Taib accompanied son Abu Bekir as Executive Vice President of South Sea Energy to raise $150 million loan in Oman

The close involvement of the Governor of Sarawak in this business venture of his son’s will come as little surprise to those who are aware of the blatant use the veteran kleptocrat has made of his family members to act as fronts for his global business activities. But, rarely has he allowed himself to be so caught out at the scene of the action.

Sarawak Report would like to enquire what exactly the financial interests of the Taib family are in this company, which it has been announced is now closely involved in the Sarawak State company Petros’s first venture, that just happens to be also linked to Oman’s Block 17?

Furthermore, on what collateral did the Bank Nizwa agree to raise the vast sum of $150 million for South Sea Energy Sdn Bhd, given that the company, which was incorporated in 2008 and registers only one office (in Petronas Towers) and is categorised as “Dormant” in the Register of Companies?

Taib's Secret Interest In Sarawak's Petros Venture!  EXCLUSIVE

Dormant company described as an international expert in petroleum matters and linked into Sarawak state petroleum company Petros’s first venture

Sarawak’s Sudden Petroleum Grab – For The People Or The Politicians? (Transparency Check)

Move on from the desert scene exactly two years, to March 2018 and an astonishing reversal of petroleum policy by the Sarawak Government, just short of the GE14 general election, when weakened former prime minister Najib Razak was engaged in a desperate battle to retain power.

To have any chance of holding on to office Najib needed to retain the support of the Sarawak political mafia, which has been under the firm grip of Taib Mahmud for four decades, first in his capacity as chief minister and now as governor of the state. Taib controlled vital seats and It would appear this reversal of policy was Taib’s price for continuing to support BN, although he was also being courted by his old ally the now opposition leader Dr Mahathir.

Taking Back Control Of Sarawak’s Oil”

For decades opposition spokespeople in Sarawak had decried the outrageous and patently illegal arrangement by which the state’s precious oil reserves were being sucked out by the federal government through Petronas with a mere 5% royalty set aside for the state.

It was a major plank of the opposition manifesto that the royalty should be raised to 20% to allow for at least some infrastructure and investment, after decades during which only West Malaysia appeared to benefit from East Malaysia’s oil revenues.

Yet, for all that period, the ruling Sarawak coalition led by Taib, which based its power on a federal alliance with Malaysia’s ruling BN, had refused to countenance such an idea. The previous chief minister, Adenan Satem had flirted with taking up the opposition demand for the 2016 state election, but Najib had slapped it down.

After all, the so-called Malaysia Petroleum Development Act of 1974 had been specifically negotiated by Taib himself (whilst the federal national resources minister) together with his uncle (at the time Sarawak’s chief minister) as part of a tacit deal with their BN allies in the federal government (led by Najib’s father, the then PM Tun Razak) who agreed to let the Taib/Ya’acub family take all the revenues from Sarawak’s timber and land resources, in return for the surrender of Sarawak’s oil.

The fact that this family carve-up of the riches of Borneo was highly illegal did not impede either side in the slightest, as they put their signatures to the deal. The 1974 Petroleum Development Act had no validity because the parties had failed to get it ratified, as required under the constitution, by Sarawak’s State Government, which was the legitimate authority over the resources of the state, including oil.

The reason for the failure to ratify was, of course, that such permission would never have willingly been granted by the representatives of the people of Sarawak. However, for decades Taib has stood by the agreement that 95% of Sarawak’s oil revenues should go to the federal government, as he developed his own economic stranglehold over every other money making activity.

In 2012, whilst still in a politically commanding position, Tun Razak’s son Najib Razak, took the raid on Sarawak’s state oil a step further instituting the Territorial Sea Act 2012, which again violated the constitution by appropriating even more of Sarawak’s oil fields rightly belonging to the state. The move incited more anger in Sarawak as opposition MPs picked up on the further injustice and it helped propel a popular agenda to regain the state’s oil rights to the political centre stage, even to provoke the distinct rumbling of a pro-independence mood.

So, what of the stance of now Governor Taib, who had every reason to resent Najib, after he had kicked him upstairs to the governor’s office in the face of growing criticism over the years of blatant multi-billion dollar corruption antics fronted by his family?

The fact that his state had been robbed of its vital resources for decades appeared not to have concerned this political leader one bit, because Taib personally was making billions out of the deal that gave him carte blanche to help himself to the rest of the available wealth of the state.

Through a disgraceful series of secretive contracts he felled the Borneo Jungle and parcelled out the land for lucrative oil palm concessions and meanwhile absorbed the vast majority of government contracts into his network of appropriated companies now in the hands of his own family.

How this multi-billion dollar kleptocracy could in any way be deemed legal or legitimate or in anyway within the law beggars belief. Only an absolute monarchy of the most primitive kind or direct dictatorship ould permit such abitrary theft and Malaysia is a constitutional democracy. Taib’s employment within that democratic framework has been to represent the people and it is simply unnacceptable to ‘clear’ a man who has misappropriated billions through secret contracts and concessions, negotiated out of sight.

Taib’s excuse is that he “left the room” when decisions benefitting him were executed by his underlings, thereby providing him with deniability, according to a law enacted by Najib’s hopelessly corrupt government in 2009. Likewise, Najib has attempted to say that the decisions which transferred billions from 1MDB into his bank accounts were made by juniors.

It does not wash in either case and if Najib is agreed to have been corrupted, he was only following in the footsteps of his world class mentor, Taib Mahmud.

What Is Good For Taib Is Good For Sarawak?

Following the 2012 Territorial Sea Act, Taib for the first time embarked on a bit of his own local oil extraction on land.  He may have been venturing back into the space prodded partly by Najib’s growing electoral weakness (the 2013 election was a close run thing). but also perhaps by the diminishing prospects of his earlier business models for continuing enrichment thanks to Sarawak’s resources.

The timber of Borneo by then was almost expired (apart from thieving from national parks and across the border) and oil palm plantation concessions had been largely handed out. ‘Phase 3’ of Taib’s original plans to keep growing his multi-billion dollar personal empire was an industrialisation programme, dubbed SCORE.

However, SCORE had been flagging, given its impracticalities and Taib’s own failings as a business visionary. The damming up of Sarawak’s rivers has been controversial for countless environmental and community reasons and inward investment has proven limited.

Oil extraction on the other hand, represents a return to Taib’s original money making model, namely power abuse and resource grab. In late 2012 therefore, an innovation was announced with the handing of a major on-shore concession (illegally in that the concession was not tendered and was awarded behind closed doors) to one of Taib’s most established business crony partners Tiong Hiew King, owner of the plantation and timber giant Rimbunan Hijau.

Tiong was a novice in oil extraction, however if money was to be made, why not keep it in the ‘family’?  The Tiong and Taib families have been symbiotic, as with all the major timber companies granted concessions by Taib over past decades.

It is therefore of perhaps little of surprise that as South Sea Energy Sdn Bhd has hoved into public view in Sarawak over the past few weeks, the man touted to the newspapers as the ‘executive director’ of that company is indeed none other than Tiong Kiong King the successor to his father’s business, with no mention of the executive vice presidential role of Abu Bekir Taib or indeed of the involvement of Taib himself.

Southsea Energy Sd Bhd

So, what of Sarawak’s new petroleum policy and Southsea?  Well, the evidence shows that shortly before the major announcement of the Petros venture in March, the present Chief Minister, Abang Johari had himself beaten his own path to Oman, in January, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with none other than Petrotel Energy Oman LLC  (described previously as a joint venture, in which South Sea Energy run by the Taibs was a key partner) to “explore the possibility of co-operation to develop the downstream sector of oil and gas industries in Sarawak”.

Moreover, as announcements by the newly established Petros confirmed, South Sea Energy, described as an “International oil and gas company with links to Sarawak”, was also a signatory to the MoU.  Tiong was featured in the line up on the occasion, described as ‘Executive Director’, but there is no mention of the Taibs – had they sold out by then?

Following this inaugural development, which appears to have brrnsubjected to the barest scrutiny and oversight, Sarawak’s startling new policy was launched in March whilst Najib was at his moment of greatest pre-election weakness.  The new position came in a declaration by Taib’s Chief Minister that there was to be an over-turning of the decades of oil subserviance to Petronas.

Out-playing the opposition entirely, it would appear, Abang Johari announced that the Sarawak state government would be moving to seize back control of its oil reserves through its new 100% controlled state company, Petros, in order (allegedly) to exploit its oil resources for the benefit of the Sarawak people.

Backing Johari’s position, a movement called Suarah Petroleum Group Sarawak (claiming to represent ‘oil industry professionals’) issued stirring statements to the local newspapers declaring that the ‘People of Sarawak’ were reclaiming their rights through the move. Yet, there had been no debate about the plan to create Petros and very little information made available about how the company would work or distribute any benefits:

All Sarawakians must support this revolutionary move, as it immediately gives tangible hope for the equitable redressing of economic imbalances faced by Sarawak from the uneven distribution of economic value-creation and being subjected to unfair exploitation policies/practices of its rich oil and gas natural resources.

For avoidance of any doubt, it is no longer ‘business as usual’. The Sarawak Government officially no longer recognizes the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (“PDA74”) that had unconstitutionally vested Sarawak’s petroleum resources with Petronas. [Suarah Petroleum Group]

This has, alI in all, constituted a stunning and daring direct challenge to Petronas and the arrangement of the past four and a half decades, causing the federal agency to launch a legal bid shortly after the election to establish its status through the courts.  It is a case that has been put on hold by the incoming government struggling to manage myriad issues, but more than anything the Petros venture is a sign of confidence on the part of Taib, faced with central government weakness first thanks to the collapse of Najib’s influence and then the arrival of the new reforming government, possibly willing to do a deal.

The opportunity to couch the Petros move in the language of the opposition’s own campaign to bring revenues back to the Sarawak people has been fully taken advantage of by promoters of Petros, like the anonymous Suarah Petroleum Group:

To ensure that proper management and governance is in place to safeguard the state’s resources and its environment, the Sarawak Government should without delay set up the Sarawak Petroleum Authority, reporting directly to the Chief Minister or perhaps to a newly created Ministry of Energy, with full powers and authority to control and regulate ALL aspects of the petroleum industry in Sarawak.

Most importantly, Sarawak must be able to craft its own strategic policy and values of having control and ownership of its oil and gas resources aimed to promote the best utilisation and value creation from the Sarawak’s resources. These policies and values will underpin the terms and conditions of, amongst others, the fiscal regime, procurement policies and giving priority to Sarawak companies.

But, how convincing is it? After all the state government is still packed with Taib’s creatures, (Sarawak was one of the few areas of the country where sweeping changes were not achieved thanks to Najib’s election disaster). Are we not looking once more at yet more opaque deals designed to channel wealth into Sarawak’s leadership?

Hidden Benefits

There are glaring failures of transparency and information in this contract, for a start, which bodes ill for hopes that money might at last flow towards ordinary people of the state.

But, it is the failure to note the interest of Governor Taib and his son, which is most obvious flaw. Given that back in 2016 the Taib family control of South Sea Energy was made fundamentally clear by their negotiation of the $150 million bank loan in Oman, how come no mention of the Governor’s family’s links to this company, now that it has been so mysteriously woven into the Petros contract in a role as yet to be defined?

Instead, an otherwise unheard of business lady named Lily Chin is featured as the main shareholder of SSE, along with another unheard of Wong Kung Nwak. Lily Chin was paraded centre stage at the signings of the MOU together with Taib’s trusted business crony Tiong Kiong King, described as  ‘executive director’, despite the fact there is no mention of Tiong as a director in the company register.

Examination of the company’s website (it was incorporated in 2008 and is registered as ‘dormant’) provides little clue as to the activities of the company nor is there any named executive or location specified, beyond its office address in the Petronas Towers.

This ‘experienced international company’ appears to have no projects it is prepared to share with readers, although it claims activities in Malaysia and Indonesia, which are the two areas where Rimbunan Hijau’s own oil operations are based.

Lily Chin’s background or credentials as an oil executive are not detailed anywhere on the web.

There is nothing surprising to Sarawak watchers about what appears therefore to be emerging as a no more than a sham policy to ‘return Sarawak’s oil revenues’, when the priority appears to be to yet again provide the Taib family and its cronies a lucrative grip over the vaunted Petros project.

For the entire past half century Taib has identified Sarawak’s interest as being what enriches him personally.

It is not even surprising that the obedient former AG Gani Patail chose to ‘clear’ Taib back in 2013 when presented with an MACC report, much in the same way that his successor ‘cleared’ Najib.

What is surprising is that the present government appears willing to tolerate this drift in events, as the supposedly failing Governor makes yet another grab at the riches of his state – old habits die hard.

Jho Low And The China Issue

They seek him here and they seek him there, but best bets are back on China.  Indeed, earlier today, a Hong Kong radio station reported that Jho Low had most recently fled back from Hong Kong into China, where it claimed he has now been detained pending Dr Mahathir’s visit next month.

Certainly, Malaysia’s newly reinstated veteran leader has made clear he is champing at the bit to get to see the Chinese President, since there are plenty of highly pertinent issues he wishes to discuss, albeit embarrassing to China.

These, of course, relate to a series of multi-billion dollar mega-projects that Chinese state controlled companies signed up to with the previous premier, Najib Razak, star patron of the man on the run, Jho Low.

All of them have been frozen by the new government, which has been issuing toe-curling statements confirming everyone’s suspicions that the contracts were prime examples of super-corruption, which the Chinese had been prepared to pander to in return for digging its economic tentacles into Malaysia and cementing a strategic control over the region.

They include two pipe-line deals in East Malaysia with the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB), which the Finance Ministry recently disclosed had already received 88% of the agreed payment two years early and when only 13% of the work had been completed.

The Finance Minister and his team have not minced their words when indicating their firm suspicion that the reason for this outrageous outlay was that the project were being used as a front to channel money to repay billions of dollars of debts owed by Najib’s notorious multi-billion dollar slush fund 1MDB.

Likewise, the grossly inflated East Coast Railway, contracted by Najib to China’s unfortunately named China Communications Construction Corporation – or CCCC (C4 was the explosive used to murder a young woman in a particularly murky case linked to Najib and the has become synonymous with cover-up and corruption in Malaysia).

It was Sarawak Report which exclusively revealed leaked documents back in 2016 that showed how this C4 contract also was inflated by 100% at the last moment, following negotiations with Najib to again write of debts and liabilities connected to 1MDB and Jho Low.  The exact repayment details over the next decade were written into a secret annex to the contract, which on the surface had provided merely broad brush calculations to justify the increased expenditure.

Throughout the period when these contracts were being drawn up the already fugitive Jho Low was based in Shanghai, and it is generally agreed that he was acting as Najib’s agent to use the Chinese to get the prime minister off the hook financially and politically after the United States Department of Justice published the exact details of the 1MDB theft in July 2016.

In other words, to save his own skin Najib proved willing to tie up his country in a mountain of debt and obligation to its neighbouring predatory super-power.

Numerous other Chinese funded projects were likewise put underway, in particular the evironmentally catastrophic Forest City, deemed to provide a helpful financial boon to the Sultan of Johore.  Not only was the development a perfect conduit for Chinese wishing to export cash, the project envisaged providing citizenship to a million new immigrants.

Mahathir and his reformist allies in the new Harapan government are naturally furious at all these thefts and deceptions and are demanding a re-negotiation with China, should these projects go ahead at all.  However, the entire episode represents a humiliating debacle for China, which like the rest of the world had mistakenly placed its bets on the politial survival of the unmasked kleptocrat Najib.

President Xi Jinping will hardly relish the prospect of the extent of his country’s bad behaviour and complicity in corruption being paraded on the world stage and it makes Malaysia’s top wanted man into a useful bargaining chip to help save face in the up-coming diplomatic wranglings and renegotiations.

It remains to be seen if China will hang on to Malaysia’s wanted man, who can tell all over Najib’s kleptocratic dealings (and China’s own involvement) or bargain a deal that includes the renegotiation of key projects in Malaysia’s favour, in return for a polite silence over the more embarrassing aspects of China’s corrupt part in propping up Najib?

Malaysia has its strong advocate in the trenchant Mahathir, but it appears China has a valuable hostage in its hands.

So, Who Paid For S E Asia’s Top Cops To Attend Fuzi’s Daughter’s Wedding?

In the light of paperwork viewed by Sarawak Report it behoves Malaysia’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) to make a clear statement as to just who agreed to pay for the attendance of a swathe of Asia’s top cops invited to his daughter’s wedding on July 1st?

The wedding itself was by various accounts lavish, but perhaps a career at the top of  Special Branch and the Royal Malaysia Police Force enables sufficient savings to be made.

What is provoking questions is a series of invitations that are understood to have been sent out to several of the IGP’s most senior counterparts in South East Asia from his official headquarters in Bukit Aman.

Sent on the 6th April (a month before the election) the email is entitled “Wedding Reception of the Honourable IGP’s Daughter” and begins with the words “Greetings From The Royal Malaysia Police”.  It then goes on to extend the invitation from Fuzi and his wife to the various high ranking police officers to the event being held at the One World Hotel in Banda Utama.

So, Who Paid For S E Asia's Top Cops To Attend Fuzi's Daughter's Wedding?

Who paid?

Plainly, it is unusual and outside the normal rules for official staff (the Chief of International Relations, IGP’s Secretariat, Goh Boon Keng, signed off the letter)  to be employed to extend such invitations to a private family event.

However, the correspondence appears to have gone further still in that it states that “we” will provide Business Class return tickets for the police chief and his spouse, as well as a night in the swanky hotel.

Given that the sender of the letter is the Royal Malaysia Police there is a strong implication that the police force and not its boss would be footing the bill. This would appear to be an extremely poor example to be setting for people lower in the ranks in terms of misdirecting funds.

Indeed it appears almost as unjustifiable as the Italian ‘training trip’ led by the previous IGP, where a large group of senior cops appeared to gallivant around Rome and other tourist spots, on an all expenses 5 star hotel jaunt, together with their wives.

So can IGP Fuzi, detail how many top foreign cops were invited to this family wedding; how many attended; how much each cost to entertain and who paid?  Naturally, proof of payments should also be made public.  We hope it was a happy wedding.

So, Who Paid For S E Asia's Top Cops To Attend Fuzi's Daughter's Wedding?

Lavish event

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

The word ‘service’ needs to return to its proper meaning in Malaysia’s Police Service. Years of endemic corruption have allowed for the wrong people to rise to the top and for little Hitlers to flourish in the lower ranks. The country’s record on police brutality and corruption is shaming.

Whilst the majority of the rank and file wish to do a decent job for their commuities, these bad apples and their henchmen have abused power to profit from criminality rather than combat it, making the force as much a mafia as a guardian of law and order.

Take for example the horrifying experience of online activist Jason Lim, who dared to report a KL massage parlour for hiring an abusive illegal foreign worker to the police.

Within a very short time indeed, as Mr Lim has exclusively detailed to Sarawak Report, he found himself the target of a malicious prosecution instead, fully supported by the police to whom he had naively made his original complaint.

Remanded for four days in a police lock-up, it was he and not the massage parlour owner, who experienced violent and degrading behaviour and later charges and a public prosecution. Although it is now established the parlour was hiring an illegal worker only the worker and not the proprietor have been sanctioned.

During the months that Mr Lim has attempted to stand up for his rights and defend his case, he says he has continued to experience extreme harassment and shocking assaults on the open street, by officers, apparently hoping to gain assurances that he would not go public about the case or the behaviour of the police to his online followers.

Just yesterday, Sarawak Report received evidence that an unmarked police car with false number plates pulled up outside the house of anti corruption campaigner, whom Jason Lim had come to visit, from which the undercover officers conducted blatant monitoring.

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

Challenged – identified police officers were hovering in a car with false plates outside the home of an anti-corruption campaigner, who met with Lim on Monday

Given that unhealthy links between the massage parlour industry and certain areas of the police force, in the form of a widespread protection racket, have been extensively reported in the news over recent months, surely officers dealing with a complaint of this nature ought to have acted very differently, especially after the change of government have ushered in very different expectations?

Instead, after failing for 8 months to present convincing evidence of the first set of charges for ‘criminal intimidation’ that they attempted to pursue against Jason Lim, the police have now replaced those charges in favour of a brand new case opened against him for alleged ‘extortion’ related to the very same original complaint.  It is a charge that carries a punishment of whipping and up to ten years imprisonment if Jason is convicted.

It is well known that the use of extortion charges are an established technique for turning the tables in a prosecution case (at least in places like the old Malaysia), should the police choose to favour the subject of a complaint over the person who has reported them.

According to this mad reversal, the person who has been reported simply alleges that the complainant was trying to ‘extort’ them through reporting their misdemeanor to the police, at which point the police side with the alleged victim of extortion, even though the complainant has already reported them to the police!

MyWatch chairman Sri Sanjeevan, who campaigns against police corruption was acquitted of similar charges after a full trial in May.

Time To Go Public – Details Of The Case

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

Speaking out at last, Jason Lim yesterday

For months Jason Lim, who identifies himself as an online activist, has taken heed of police threats to keep the details of his ordeal private, pulling down his Facebook site to comply. The details include police brutality and abuse of process. Now, faced with an escalation of the threats and charges against him, he has decided together with his legal team to speak to human rights campaigners, primarly to prevent a cover-up if further ills befall him.

For now, Sarawak Report will not publish the names of the parties, for legal reasons. However, they remain available to the human rights teams who have now taken up this case, should harm come to Mr Lim.

His ordeal began, Jason Lim says, in November last year when he booked a back massage to relieve stress pains at a parlour located in a KL mall. To make clear his purpose was medicinal, Mr Lim, who is married, requested a male masseur.

Unfortunatly, the parlour or the masseur himself appear to have misunderstood the nature of his request, because to his increasing discomfort Mr Lim says he found himself subject to inappropriate touching during the course of the massage.  Despite several rejections, he says the massage giver attempted to force himself upon his customer to the extent that Mr Lim eventually left extremely upset.

Having discussed the matter with friends, Lim later contacted the parlour to complain and to point out that the man in question appeared to be an illegal Indonesian worker.  The representative of the parlour retorted that if he had a complaint he could make a police report. Provoked, Lim proceeded to do exactly that shortly afterwards.

The police took down his complaint and shortly after Mr Lim spotted police arresting the worker, who has now been charged as an illegal immigrant. Following the removal of the worker Lim again confronted the parlour owner to find out how they would make amends for his ordeal: he said he requested a full apology.

Instead, the owner offered him RM85 and another massage, which Jason Lim rejected angrily, pointing out that sexual harassment is a crime that can result in imprisonment or a fine of RM10,000. He wanted a full apology and, he says, and the meeting broke up acrimoniously.

It was then, says Mr Lim, that his problems began to escalate. The police recalled him to the station to inform him that the massage parlour had made a complaint against him for threats and demands.

Given these events took place at the height of the so-called Gopi scandal, where MACC investigators had arrested numerous police for collusion over a money spinning protection racket involving massage parlours with illegal workers, it might appear strange that the officers in question appeared to be so supportive of the parlour’s accusations, while failing at the same time to take any action against the owners for hiring an illegal worker.

The hostility was towards him and not the massage parlour, says Lim. Based on a complaint of ‘criminal intimidation’ he was first charged and then remanded him in custody for 4 days, where he claims he was subject to repeated abuse. Officers stripped him naked, hurt him, yelled at him and made him eat rice off the floor with his hands manacled behind his back laughing at him for being a ‘chicken’.

During a series of interviews, says Lim, it was made plain that if he agreed to keep silent about this matter and issue a formal apology to the massage parlour owner, his problems would go away.  On realising he was a professional blogger, officers then forced him to open up his phone so they could examine all its contents. Next they threatened him to keep silent about his ordeal and not to place any of the details of the matter on Facebook or elsewhere pending his court case.

Jason Lim says he has so far complied and pulled down his Facebook, however his troubles did not end as his case progressed.

He say that few days after his release police again detained him in the street, assaulting his private parts in a vicious manner in the process. He continues to be followed and harassed at intervals.

The situation forced Lim to sell all his possessions in order to pay for legal representation. After 8 months, the police finally dropped the charges of criminal intimidation last week, which Lim’s lawyers maintain were supported by weak evidence.

However, in a raising of the pressure against their target the police have merely replaced those charges with an even more serious criminal accusation of ‘extortion’, for which they do not need to provide their evidence for another month.

This is not the New Malaysia

Once more, Jason Lim says he has been threatened to keep silent about the whole affair and that he has been followed and intimidated to the extent that he contemplated taking his own life before contacting Sarawak Report last week:

I cannot fathom the words on how this has crumbled me completely as a man. I have learned to live my life silenced by the authorities and law makers even tough I am a clear victim

Now he has decided to go public and to face up to the continuing threats, if only in an attempt to protect himself. Human rights organisations have also been alerted to his case.

As Malaysians know, this is just one example among many of complaints and allegations about allegedly brutal and arrogant law enforcers, free to bully members of the public in such ways. It is time for the new government to make it a priority to purge rogue police officers and cull the management of a police force responsible for infiltrating this corruption from the top down.

Malaysians do not wish to be terrorised by a police mafia, but to be served by honest, decent officers. The entire country knows how bad this problem has become and Harapan must act so that people who dare stand up for their basic rights, like Jason Lim, do not live in fear in a country where illegal businesses and law enforcers work hand in hand at the expense and safety of ordinary folk.

The matter should begin by a re-opening of the Gopi case, so mysteriously brought to a halt last year and proceed to a full commission on the police force with a remit to find new management.

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

The word ‘service’ needs to return to its proper meaning in Malaysia’s Police Service. Years of endemic corruption have allowed for the wrong people to rise to the top and for little Hitlers to flourish in the lower ranks. The country’s record on police brutality and corruption is shaming.

Whilst the majority of the rank and file wish to do a decent job for their commuities, these bad apples and their henchmen have abused power to profit from criminality rather than combat it, making the force as much a mafia as a guardian of law and order.

Take for example the horrifying experience of online activist Jason Lim, who dared to report a KL massage parlour for hiring an abusive illegal foreign worker to the police.

Within a very short time indeed, as Mr Lim has exclusively detailed to Sarawak Report, he found himself the target of a malicious prosecution instead, fully supported by the police to whom he had naively made his original complaint.

Remanded for four days in a police lock-up, it was he and not the massage parlour owner, who experienced violent and degrading behaviour and later charges and a public prosecution. Although it is now established the parlour was hiring an illegal worker only the worker and not the proprietor have been sanctioned.

During the months that Mr Lim has attempted to stand up for his rights and defend his case, he says he has continued to experience extreme harassment and shocking assaults on the open street, by officers, apparently hoping to gain assurances that he would not go public about the case or the behaviour of the police to his online followers.

Just yesterday, Sarawak Report received evidence that an unmarked police car with false number plates pulled up outside the house of anti corruption campaigner, whom Jason Lim had come to visit, from which the undercover officers conducted blatant monitoring.

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

Challenged – identified police officers were hovering in a car with false plates outside the home of an anti-corruption campaigner, who met with Lim on Monday

Given that unhealthy links between the massage parlour industry and certain areas of the police force, in the form of a widespread protection racket, have been extensively reported in the news over recent months, surely officers dealing with a complaint of this nature ought to have acted very differently, especially after the change of government have ushered in very different expectations?

Instead, after failing for 8 months to present convincing evidence of the first set of charges for ‘criminal intimidation’ that they attempted to pursue against Jason Lim, the police have now replaced those charges in favour of a brand new case opened against him for alleged ‘extortion’ related to the very same original complaint.  It is a charge that carries a punishment of whipping and up to ten years imprisonment if Jason is convicted.

It is well known that the use of extortion charges are an established technique for turning the tables in a prosecution case (at least in places like the old Malaysia), should the police choose to favour the subject of a complaint over the person who has reported them.

According to this mad reversal, the person who has been reported simply alleges that the complainant was trying to ‘extort’ them through reporting their misdemeanor to the police, at which point the police side with the alleged victim of extortion, even though the complainant has already reported them to the police!

MyWatch chairman Sri Sanjeevan, who campaigns against police corruption was acquitted of similar charges after a full trial in May.

Time To Go Public – Details Of The Case

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

Speaking out at last, Jason Lim yesterday

For months Jason Lim, who identifies himself as an online activist, has taken heed of police threats to keep the details of his ordeal private, pulling down his Facebook site to comply. The details include police brutality and abuse of process. Now, faced with an escalation of the threats and charges against him, he has decided together with his legal team to speak to human rights campaigners, primarly to prevent a cover-up if further ills befall him.

For now, Sarawak Report will not publish the names of the parties, for legal reasons. However, they remain available to the human rights teams who have now taken up this case, should harm come to Mr Lim.

His ordeal began, Jason Lim says, in November last year when he booked a back massage to relieve stress pains at a parlour located in a KL mall. To make clear his purpose was medicinal, Mr Lim, who is married, requested a male masseur.

Unfortunatly, the parlour or the masseur himself appear to have misunderstood the nature of his request, because to his increasing discomfort Mr Lim says he found himself subject to inappropriate touching during the course of the massage.  Despite several rejections, he says the massage giver attempted to force himself upon his customer to the extent that Mr Lim eventually left extremely upset.

Having discussed the matter with friends, Lim later contacted the parlour to complain and to point out that the man in question appeared to be an illegal Indonesian worker.  The representative of the parlour retorted that if he had a complaint he could make a police report. Provoked, Lim proceeded to do exactly that shortly afterwards.

The police took down his complaint and shortly after Mr Lim spotted police arresting the worker, who has now been charged as an illegal immigrant. Following the removal of the worker Lim again confronted the parlour owner to find out how they would make amends for his ordeal: he said he requested a full apology.

Instead, the owner offered him RM85 and another massage, which Jason Lim rejected angrily, pointing out that sexual harassment is a crime that can result in imprisonment or a fine of RM10,000. He wanted a full apology and, he says, and the meeting broke up acrimoniously.

It was then, says Mr Lim, that his problems began to escalate. The police recalled him to the station to inform him that the massage parlour had made a complaint against him for threats and demands.

Given these events took place at the height of the so-called Gopi scandal, where MACC investigators had arrested numerous police for collusion over a money spinning protection racket involving massage parlours with illegal workers, it might appear strange that the officers in question appeared to be so supportive of the parlour’s accusations, while failing at the same time to take any action against the owners for hiring an illegal worker.

The hostility was towards him and not the massage parlour, says Lim. Based on a complaint of ‘criminal intimidation’ he was first charged and then remanded him in custody for 4 days, where he claims he was subject to repeated abuse. Officers stripped him naked, hurt him, yelled at him and made him eat rice off the floor with his hands manacled behind his back laughing at him for being a ‘chicken’.

During a series of interviews, says Lim, it was made plain that if he agreed to keep silent about this matter and issue a formal apology to the massage parlour owner, his problems would go away.  On realising he was a professional blogger, officers then forced him to open up his phone so they could examine all its contents. Next they threatened him to keep silent about his ordeal and not to place any of the details of the matter on Facebook or elsewhere pending his court case.

Jason Lim says he has so far complied and pulled down his Facebook, however his troubles did not end as his case progressed.

He say that few days after his release police again detained him in the street, assaulting his private parts in a vicious manner in the process. He continues to be followed and harassed at intervals.

The situation forced Lim to sell all his possessions in order to pay for legal representation. After 8 months, the police finally dropped the charges of criminal intimidation last week, which Lim’s lawyers maintain were supported by weak evidence.

However, in a raising of the pressure against their target the police have merely replaced those charges with an even more serious criminal accusation of ‘extortion’, for which they do not need to provide their evidence for another month.

This is not the New Malaysia

Once more, Jason Lim says he has been threatened to keep silent about the whole affair and that he has been followed and intimidated to the extent that he contemplated taking his own life before contacting Sarawak Report last week:

I cannot fathom the words on how this has crumbled me completely as a man. I have learned to live my life silenced by the authorities and law makers even tough I am a clear victim

Now he has decided to go public and to face up to the continuing threats, if only in an attempt to protect himself. Human rights organisations have also been alerted to his case.

As Malaysians know, this is just one example among many of complaints and allegations about allegedly brutal and arrogant law enforcers, free to bully members of the public in such ways. It is time for the new government to make it a priority to purge rogue police officers and cull the management of a police force responsible for infiltrating this corruption from the top down.

Malaysians do not wish to be terrorised by a police mafia, but to be served by honest, decent officers. The entire country knows how bad this problem has become and Harapan must act so that people who dare stand up for their basic rights, like Jason Lim, do not live in fear in a country where illegal businesses and law enforcers work hand in hand at the expense and safety of ordinary folk.

The matter should begin by a re-opening of the Gopi case, so mysteriously brought to a halt last year and proceed to a full commission on the police force with a remit to find new management.

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

The word ‘service’ needs to return to its proper meaning in Malaysia’s Police Service. Years of endemic corruption have allowed for the wrong people to rise to the top and for little Hitlers to flourish in the lower ranks. The country’s record on police brutality and corruption is shaming.

Whilst the majority of the rank and file wish to do a decent job for their commuities, these bad apples and their henchmen have abused power to profit from criminality rather than combat it, making the force as much a mafia as a guardian of law and order.

Take for example the horrifying experience of online activist Jason Lim, who dared to report a KL massage parlour for hiring an abusive illegal foreign worker to the police.

Within a very short time indeed, as Mr Lim has exclusively detailed to Sarawak Report, he found himself the target of a malicious prosecution instead, fully supported by the police to whom he had naively made his original complaint.

Remanded for four days in a police lock-up, it was he and not the massage parlour owner, who experienced violent and degrading behaviour and later charges and a public prosecution. Although it is now established the parlour was hiring an illegal worker only the worker and not the proprietor have been sanctioned.

During the months that Mr Lim has attempted to stand up for his rights and defend his case, he says he has continued to experience extreme harassment and shocking assaults on the open street, by officers, apparently hoping to gain assurances that he would not go public about the case or the behaviour of the police to his online followers.

Just yesterday, Sarawak Report received evidence that an unmarked police car with false number plates pulled up outside the house of anti corruption campaigner, whom Jason Lim had come to visit, from which the undercover officers conducted blatant monitoring.

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

Challenged – identified police officers were hovering in a car with false plates outside the home of an anti-corruption campaigner, who met with Lim on Monday

Given that unhealthy links between the massage parlour industry and certain areas of the police force, in the form of a widespread protection racket, have been extensively reported in the news over recent months, surely officers dealing with a complaint of this nature ought to have acted very differently, especially after the change of government have ushered in very different expectations?

Instead, after failing for 8 months to present convincing evidence of the first set of charges for ‘criminal intimidation’ that they attempted to pursue against Jason Lim, the police have now replaced those charges in favour of a brand new case opened against him for alleged ‘extortion’ related to the very same original complaint.  It is a charge that carries a punishment of whipping and up to ten years imprisonment if Jason is convicted.

It is well known that the use of extortion charges are an established technique for turning the tables in a prosecution case (at least in places like the old Malaysia), should the police choose to favour the subject of a complaint over the person who has reported them.

According to this mad reversal, the person who has been reported simply alleges that the complainant was trying to ‘extort’ them through reporting their misdemeanor to the police, at which point the police side with the alleged victim of extortion, even though the complainant has already reported them to the police!

MyWatch chairman Sri Sanjeevan, who campaigns against police corruption was acquitted of similar charges after a full trial in May.

Time To Go Public – Details Of The Case

Time To Clear Out The Police Force To Create The New Malaysia

Speaking out at last, Jason Lim yesterday

For months Jason Lim, who identifies himself as an online activist, has taken heed of police threats to keep the details of his ordeal private, pulling down his Facebook site to comply. The details include police brutality and abuse of process. Now, faced with an escalation of the threats and charges against him, he has decided together with his legal team to speak to human rights campaigners, primarly to prevent a cover-up if further ills befall him.

For now, Sarawak Report will not publish the names of the parties, for legal reasons. However, they remain available to the human rights teams who have now taken up this case, should harm come to Mr Lim.

His ordeal began, Jason Lim says, in November last year when he booked a back massage to relieve stress pains at a parlour located in a KL mall. To make clear his purpose was medicinal, Mr Lim, who is married, requested a male masseur.

Unfortunatly, the parlour or the masseur himself appear to have misunderstood the nature of his request, because to his increasing discomfort Mr Lim says he found himself subject to inappropriate touching during the course of the massage.  Despite several rejections, he says the massage giver attempted to force himself upon his customer to the extent that Mr Lim eventually left extremely upset.

Having discussed the matter with friends, Lim later contacted the parlour to complain and to point out that the man in question appeared to be an illegal Indonesian worker.  The representative of the parlour retorted that if he had a complaint he could make a police report. Provoked, Lim proceeded to do exactly that shortly afterwards.

The police took down his complaint and shortly after Mr Lim spotted police arresting the worker, who has now been charged as an illegal immigrant. Following the removal of the worker Lim again confronted the parlour owner to find out how they would make amends for his ordeal: he said he requested a full apology.

Instead, the owner offered him RM85 and another massage, which Jason Lim rejected angrily, pointing out that sexual harassment is a crime that can result in imprisonment or a fine of RM10,000. He wanted a full apology and, he says, and the meeting broke up acrimoniously.

It was then, says Mr Lim, that his problems began to escalate. The police recalled him to the station to inform him that the massage parlour had made a complaint against him for threats and demands.

Given these events took place at the height of the so-called Gopi scandal, where MACC investigators had arrested numerous police for collusion over a money spinning protection racket involving massage parlours with illegal workers, it might appear strange that the officers in question appeared to be so supportive of the parlour’s accusations, while failing at the same time to take any action against the owners for hiring an illegal worker.

The hostility was towards him and not the massage parlour, says Lim. Based on a complaint of ‘criminal intimidation’ he was first charged and then remanded him in custody for 4 days, where he claims he was subject to repeated abuse. Officers stripped him naked, hurt him, yelled at him and made him eat rice off the floor with his hands manacled behind his back laughing at him for being a ‘chicken’.

During a series of interviews, says Lim, it was made plain that if he agreed to keep silent about this matter and issue a formal apology to the massage parlour owner, his problems would go away.  On realising he was a professional blogger, officers then forced him to open up his phone so they could examine all its contents. Next they threatened him to keep silent about his ordeal and not to place any of the details of the matter on Facebook or elsewhere pending his court case.

Jason Lim says he has so far complied and pulled down his Facebook, however his troubles did not end as his case progressed.

He say that few days after his release police again detained him in the street, assaulting his private parts in a vicious manner in the process. He continues to be followed and harassed at intervals.

The situation forced Lim to sell all his possessions in order to pay for legal representation. After 8 months, the police finally dropped the charges of criminal intimidation last week, which Lim’s lawyers maintain were supported by weak evidence.

However, in a raising of the pressure against their target the police have merely replaced those charges with an even more serious criminal accusation of ‘extortion’, for which they do not need to provide their evidence for another month.

This is not the New Malaysia

Once more, Jason Lim says he has been threatened to keep silent about the whole affair and that he has been followed and intimidated to the extent that he contemplated taking his own life before contacting Sarawak Report last week:

I cannot fathom the words on how this has crumbled me completely as a man. I have learned to live my life silenced by the authorities and law makers even tough I am a clear victim

Now he has decided to go public and to face up to the continuing threats, if only in an attempt to protect himself. Human rights organisations have also been alerted to his case.

As Malaysians know, this is just one example among many of complaints and allegations about allegedly brutal and arrogant law enforcers, free to bully members of the public in such ways. It is time for the new government to make it a priority to purge rogue police officers and cull the management of a police force responsible for infiltrating this corruption from the top down.

Malaysians do not wish to be terrorised by a police mafia, but to be served by honest, decent officers. The entire country knows how bad this problem has become and Harapan must act so that people who dare stand up for their basic rights, like Jason Lim, do not live in fear in a country where illegal businesses and law enforcers work hand in hand at the expense and safety of ordinary folk.

The matter should begin by a re-opening of the Gopi case, so mysteriously brought to a halt last year and proceed to a full commission on the police force with a remit to find new management.