Thursday 23 June 2011

MoCS leader: Taib's denial raises more questions

Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) leader Francis Siah said Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's denial of having a secret bank account in Switzerland poses more questions than answers.

"Next, we expect him to say he has no Deutche Bank account in Germany. Later, he will probably say that he is broke," Siah said yesterday.

In a personal statement read yesterday in the state legislative assembly, Taib insisted that he had no secret account, accusing the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) of spreading falsehoods about the Sarawak state government and him.

MoCS leader Francis SiahThe long serving chief minister also accused BMF of making scurrilous and scandalous allegations.

In a statement, Siah (right) said, "It is the vintage Taib who always put the blame on the 'political motives of others' to all his personal woes.

"Taib is an expert in political shadow boxing. He is well known for pointing his fingers at shadows," he said, pointing out that Taib has not responded to allegations of corruption and abuse of power or accusations related to his mass wealth and capital flight appearing in the Sarawak Report and other whistleblower websites.

"MoCS asks Taib to openly tell the people that he is a clean man and had not abused his power as Sarawak CM to enrich himself, family members and cronies," Siah said.
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said it was "quite unfortunate" that Taib's statement was not put up for debate.
He added there was no mention of whether Taib's letter had been replied to and that PKR would be interested to know what Taib wrote.

"As it has been reported that this involves MACC, we hope that the whole investigation will continue on in spite of the explanations he (Taib) made in the Dewan.

"If there is really truth in it, then of course it is of concern to the public at large, especially Sarawakians," he said.

Baru, who is also the Ba'Kelalan state assemblyperson, said there was nothing particularly significant about the statement.

"You need to have concrete facts and evidence and decisions made either by the Swiss President or authority of Switzerland, or even from MACC. The report we hear is about an ongoing kind of investigation, so as for now, we'll leave it as it is.

"Unless they come up with a conclusion, it's nothing that would wipe out any doubts or anything for that matter," he said.

Confronting the issue head on

Land Development Minister James Masing said he believed Taib is innocent of all the corruption allegations hurled at him and praised Taib for his handling of the issue.

"It is very good for him (Taib) to tackle the issue straight on.

"That is what I expected a leader to do. As a politician you must not hide anything. If you have nothing to hide then go straight on because we are judged by public perception," Masing said.

NONEMasing added that he was "impressed and satisfied" with Taib's answer and he eagerly awaits a response from Swiss authorities.
"The onus of proof is from the other side," Masing stressed, adding that he public had always made judgment based on emotion.
"We are not judged by the fine lines of the law. We are judged by allegations, half truths and lies."

Second Minister of Finance Wong Soon Koh said Taib's statement yesterday made it known to the whole world that the graft allegations were unfair to him.

"Of course once the allegation is made and published in the press, not only the image of the Chief Minister but the state government of Sarawak may be tarnished," he lamented.

He said Taib's personal statement intended to redeem himself and to clear his name.
"I think it is the right thing to do," Wong said.

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