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Ex-employee implicates Taib Mahmud in video

Malaysiakini | March 3, 2011 | 1:34pm

A video implicating Abdul Taib Mahmud has emerged in which the Sarawak chief minister's own former employee fingers him as the owner of wealth worth billions of ringgit in North America alone.

In 'Film Tribute to Ross Boyert' on whistleblower website Sarawak Report (SR), Boyert - the former chief operating officer of Taib's Sakti International, Wallysons Inc and two other US corporations holding up to US$80 million in properties - speaks out against the chief minister.

Boyert also confirms what has been documented elsewhere about Taib's possessions in the US and Canada, that Taib “was the boss” of Sakti International” in the US and linked to the Sakto corporation in Canada.

“Taib is the owner of this company and of all of its assets,“ said Boyert in the 16-minute video documentary.

Taib is said to be linked to a little under four dozen other companies around the world, including 13 in Malaysia, 10 in Australia, seven in Hong Kong and three in the British Virgin Islands.

In addition to Taib's billionaire status, Boyert also refers to the chief minister's Canadian son-in-law Sean Murray who chairs the Ottawa-based Sakto corporation and acts upon the instruction of the Sarawak chief minister.

“Taib was the one who instructed Sean Murray to take over Sakti International,” said Boyert.

When asked how he knew that, Boyert said: “Sean told me.”

The video, according to SR, contains interviews with Boyert and his wife only weeks before Boyert's mysterious death.

Boyert had in the video also accused the Taib of having mounted campaign to discredit and ruin him.

“We are talking about an extensive, expensive operation... It's designed to break you down. It's designed to make you so discredited that no one will believe you,” said Boyert.

It was as if Taib's message was “You sue me and we'll show what will happen to you and your family,” said Boyert.

The alleged harassment took place ever since he took his former employer to court for unlawful dismissal and breach of contract.

In a press release on the video, Swiss-based social and environmental activists the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) said it and its campaign partners in the US, the UK and Malaysia are asking the US' FBI "to probe the circumstances that led to the death of former Taib US aide Ross Boyert, to review the FBI's rental contracts with the Taib-controlled firm Wallysons Inc and to freeze all Taib assets in the United States."

Boyert died last October, a few weeks after he gave the website the expose on Taib.

He was found dead in a rare form of suspected suicide, with a bag taped around his head in an LA motel room.

In the video, the producer said Boyert had spoken about his predicament in a way that has come back to haunt her.

In reference to the ordeal and pressure he was made to undergo at the hands allegedly of Taib's vindictiveness, Boyert said: "The best analogy is 'if you put a plastic bag over somebody's head, eventually they're going to succumb for lack of oxygen. That's all.”

It was an uncanny description of his death that occurred a few weeks later.

In its tribute to Boyert, SR said: "We filmed with the Boyerts and came to like and respect them. We now present that story as a tribute to their bravery in speaking out."

[First posted 4 March 2011]