The Bruno Manser Fund said they are unimpressed with Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud personal explanation in Sarawak state assembly sitting today.

“The Chief Minister’s denial of corruption allegations is not much of a surprise, rather a routine act in Sarawak politics,” the Swiss NGO said – in a statement today.

BMF said Taib should instead made full disclosure of his family assets and to explain the origin of those wealth in details.

Full statement:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

Please find below today’s news reports on Taib Mahmud’s “surprise” announcement in the Sarawak state assembly.

The Bruno Manser Fund is unimpressed by Taib’s denials. The Chief Minister’s denial of corruption allegations is not much of a surprise, rather a routine act in Sarawak politics.

We would like to remind the public that we have never stated it was certain that Taib is holding assets under his name in Switzerland.

However, we have informed the Swiss government that UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, has in the past conducted significant business transactions for the Sarawak state government and that one of Taib’s nieces, Elia Geneid, has recently married a Swiss national, hotel manager Matthias Sutter.

We think it is likely that Taib might be hiding illicit assets in Switzerland and have provided the Swiss government and FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, a list of 30 members of the Taib family and of 49 companies in 8 countries that are closely linked to the Taibs.

We have also informed the Swiss government on rumours that Swiss banks were holding significant Taib assets.

Other rumours are saying that Taib has shifted his Swiss assets to Monaco due to Switzerland’s anti money-laundering legislation.

Rather than relying on rumours, we are waiting for the outcome of the Swiss probe and are hoping it will be made public.

Earlier this week, we have also informed the German government on the Taib family’s close links with Deutsche Bank and have called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to look for possible Taib assets in Germany and subsequently freeze them.

The modus operandi of the Taib family is such that Taib’s secret foreign assets are hidden under the name of close family members, such as siblings, children and in-laws.

This has been proven by documentary evidence from one of Taib’s foreign property companies, the US-based Sakti International Corporation.

These documents along with a number of other incriminating documents on the Taib family business have been published last year by Sarawak Report.

If Taib Mahmud is publicly denying he has assets or investments in Switzerland, we are asking him to also publicly deny he is holding assets in the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Monaco, Germany, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK.

Furthermore we are asking Taib Mahmud to disclose to the public the full extent of his and his family members riches and to explain the origin of his wealth in detail.

The Bruno Manser Fund has officially informed the Malaysian embassy in Switzerland on our allegations against Taib in March 2011.

We are hoping that MACC’s investigation of Taib corruption will follow international standards and will not be hindered by political interventions.

As a signatory to the UN convention against corruption, the Malaysian government has committed itself to an effective fight against corruption.