British Taib aide slams his Malaysian master
"Embarrassed and depressed": Taib aide Richard Curtis (right).
(BASEL, SWITZERLAND). Richard Curtis, the British group managing director of Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), might soon be replaced as top executive of Sarawak’s largest corporation following his angry public complaints against Sarawak’s long-term state government. Sarawak has for thirty years been under the tight political control of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud („Taib“) whose family holds the majority of CMS shares.
According to the Malaysian Insider, Curtis said at a public forum that the Sarawak government was „too slow“ and that he was „embarrassed“ and „depressed“ over the state of affairs in Malaysia’s largest state. Curtis pointed out their was a serious lack of infrastructure in Sarawak and said the government should not call for tenders „unless it was serious and had the budget for it“.
Ironically, Curtis himself plays a key role as aide of the deeply corrupted Taib family that runs the state against which he is now lashing out in public. CMS has a track record of receiving untendered public contracts worth millions of dollars and holds a cement monopoly in Malaysia’s largest state. The company has also massively benefited from the Bakun dam construction which has been labelled by Transparency International as a „monument of corruption“.
Another key CMS shareholder, Taib’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir („Bekir“), has last week been accused by the opposition DAP party for massive corruption over infrastructure projects. Bekir’s majority-owned company, Titanium Project Management, was given a 1.2 billion Malaysian Ringgit (380 million US $ ) contract by the state government contract for bridge constructions but failed to deliver. Corruption and the abuse of public funds by top politicians are the key reasons for the lack of proper infrastructure and development in the resource-rich state on Borneo
Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a Sarawak-based construction conglomerate holds net assets of 2.4 billion Malaysian Ringgit (USD 760 million). At least 84% of the shares are held by Abdul Taib Mahmud’s late wife Leijla and his four children Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, Sulaiman Rahman Taib, Hanifah Taib and Jamilah Taib Murray.
CMS group managing director Richard Curtis has last month been named by the Bruno Manser Fund on a blacklist of „Taib’s foreign helpers“. The Bruno Manser Fund has also alerted the British government over Mr. Curtis’ key role within the Taib corruption system.
(11 November 2011)