Chief Minister Taib Mahmud claims that the 'allegations by Bruno Manser Fund are false, evidently politically motivated'.KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has asked Swiss Federation president Micheline Calmy-Rey to “confirm” if she has ordered an investigation into his alleged assets in Switzerland.
Responding to widespread web-reports that he had billions of dollars worth of bank accounts and assets in the Swiss Federation, Taib said: “Let me state categorically that I have no secret Swiss bank account, nor assets or investments of any description. None whatsoever.
“I have so stated (this) in an unequivocal term in a letter addressed last month to the president of the Swiss Federation.
“In my letter, I have specifically asked the president to confirm that she has allegedly ordered any investigation into the allegations by the BMF (Bruno Manser Fund) to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma).”
Taib, who is the State Finance and Land and Resources Minister, also said that he had asked Calmy-Rey to furnish him with “a copy of the application (to inverstigate him)” so that he can exercise his right to obtain legal address.
Taib, who has been in office since 1981, added that if indeed there was an investigation, then he would give his “fullest cooperation” to the Swiss Federation to “swiftly bring the truth to light”.
Last month, Calmy-Rey in response to a letter from BMF asking the Swiss government to freeze Taib’s assets, said her government viewed the embezzlement of funds into Switzerland with “great interest”.
“Switzerland has, during the last 15 years, restituted about 1.7 billion Swiss Francs, more than any other financial centre of comparable size,” she said.
Calmy-Rey’s government has frozen assets connected to troubled countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Speaking in the State Legislative Assembly after question time today, Taib said: “Let me reiterate here that the allegations by BMF are false, evidently politically motivated,”
“BMF’s false allegations that I have assets in Switzerland are a continuation of its malicious efforts to smear the state government, the state and the leaders.”
“The allegations by BMF have since been used by local politicians to advance their own political agenda against me and the state government that I lead.
“As head of the state government and a member of the legislature, in keeping with the parliamentary practice and tradition, I am accountable to this august House.
“Therefore, it is only proper and right for me to make a personal statement to this august House in accordance with Standing Order 22 on the allegations by BMF, a foreign NGO not at all accountable to the people of Sarawak.”