The Borneo Project and the Bruno Manser Fund have been working together to pressure the FBI to stop supporting the ultra corrupt chief minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has fulled Sarawak’s wealth into his own pockets and into luxury homes and properties around the world. One of these properties is the FBI building in Seattle, which is owned by Taib. It is time that Taib returns the wealth of Sarawak to the people who live there, not funnel that money outside of the country to enrich himself.
Below is the press release from the Bruno Manser Fund.
BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND
25 August 2011 – for immediate release
FBI pressured to stop backing Malaysian potentate
Western NGOs are increasing the pressure on the United States’ federal police for its ties with Malaysian potentate Abdul Taib Mahmud („Taib“), one of South-East Asia’s longest-serving and most corrupt politicians
(Basel / San Francisco / Washington D.C.) In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund and the San-Francisco-based Borneo Project are calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to cut ties with Wallysons Inc., a US company controlled by the Malaysian Taib family.
The NGOs are asking the American federal police to suspend the rental contracts for the Abraham Lincoln Building in Seattle, which is owned by Wallysons Inc., and houses the FBI’s Seattle Division headquarters. FBI Director Mueller is also asked to ascertain if the Taib family’s US investments are in line with the country’s anti-money-laundering legislation, and to freeze all Taib family assets in the United States.
„While the the fight against public corruption should be one of the FBI’s top priorities, it is renting premises from the Taib family, one of South East Asia’s largest corruption networks. We are seriously concerned that the FBI appears to be unduly backing the Taib family and its illicit foreign assets“, the Bruno Manser Fund wrote in a statement.
Copies of the letter have been sent to a number of US government agencies and top politicians, including the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the Secretary for the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Judiciary Committees of congress who oversee the FBI.
In March 2011, the NGOs had approached the American federal police on the matter and organized a street protest in front of the FBI’s Seattle Division Headquarters. The FBI had left their complaints unanswered and refused to receive a NGO delegation.
Wallysons Inc. is one out of five US companies blacklisted by the Bruno Manser Fund for their close association with the Taib family.
75-year old Abdul Taib Mahmud („Taib“) has been governing Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, since 1981, a position which he has abused to ammass a fortune estimated at several billion US dollars. Most of Taib’s wealth is believed to stem from the destructive logging of Borneo’s tropical rainforests.
In June 2011, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission announced it had opened a corruption investigation against Abdul Taib Mahmud.