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NGOs call for arrest of Malaysian leader for corruption, money laundering

A coalition of Malaysian and international NGOs are calling for the arrest of Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and 14 family members for alleged abused of power, corruption, and money laundering, reports the Bruno Manser Fund, a group that has signed the letter urging action.

In a letter sent to Malaysia’s Attorney General (AG), the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), 13 NGOs demand immediate arrest and prosecution of Taib, his four children, his eight siblings and his first cousin, Abdul Hamed Sepawi. Copies of the letter have been sent to “all major foreign embassies in Malaysia, heads of government, cabinet ministers and prosecutors in seven countries, the top executives of ten multinational corporations who conduct business in or with Sarawak and the editors of leading media around the globe,” according to BMF.

“We allege that only the systematic breach of the law and the use of illegal methods has enabled Mr. Taib and his family members to acquire such massive corporate assets”, states the letter. “Mr. Taib has been a state-paid public servant and government minister ever since 1963 and did not possess any significant independent assets prior to taking up office.”

The complaint alleges that Taib and his family has transferred hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of assets out of Malaysia. An investigation by BMF found $1.46 in assets in Malaysia belonging to the Taib family as well as substantial holdings overseas.

The letter urges action under the UN Convention against corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, treaties Malaysia has signed.

The full text of the letter follows.

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