Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The mystery of Taib Mahmud's alleged abduction

The last day of Tun Pehin Seri Abdul Taib Mahmud's second term as Yang DiPertua Negeri Sarawak will be this Sunday February 26, 2024. 

Taib will be replaced by former police officer, lawyer, Federal Minister and President of Dewan Negara, Tun Wan Junaidi Wan Jaafar. He has taken his oath on January 29th, 2024

At about the time media began reporting on the change over, Sarawak Report was in their elements over Rahad, the wife of Taib Mahmud. Then came the viral article, "Is Ragad on the way out of town?" dated February 2nd. 

Clare Rewcasrle speculated Ragad is moving everything lock, stock and barrel out to live in Turkey. It would have been another of her typically twisted reporting and prejudice against the state she was born. 

However two days later, Clare had the newsbreaker Taib was allegedly "absconded" out of hospital late at night. A police report by a medical staff and message pleading MACC to step-in and prevent Taib's young wife from leaving Sarawak went viral. 

Apparently it was too late. Two container load of cargoes were already shipped out to Kuala Lumpur. Taib was flown out by private jet late at night.

Before this incident, the writing was on the wall from late last year following two sons of Taib filing a civil lawsuit against Ragad over a RM500 million worth of Cahaya Mata Sarawak shares. 

Market was aware of the lawsuit. Upon Taib stepping down, Edge wrote an analysis on the impact to his family's expansive business [read here].       

There is more gossip or speculation and even claimed insider story related to the incident including on Taib's Syrian born young wife's  Kurdistan ethnicity, Lebanese link and Lebanese notoriety as fraudster, scammers and their own Lebanese Mafia

For the time being, lets put it aside and stick with Joceline Tan's "safe" official version in her Saturday Star Online column, below:

Drama behind former strongman's decline



Saturday, 17 Feb 2024

THE sun has long set on the political career of Tun Taib Mahmud but who could have imagined that the final stage of the former Sarawak governor and chief minister's life journey would be playing out publicly in such a dramatic fashion?

Once the most powerful man in Sarawak – and arguably the richest too – Taib, 87, is lying helpless in a hospital bed, being treated for undisclosed ailments as rumours swirl about the feud between his biological children and his glamorous Syrian-born wife Toh Puan Raghad Kurdi Taib, 44.

Taib's situation made the headlines, sparking accusations of an "abduction" when Raghad suddenly transferred him from a private hospital in Kuching in the middle of the night to their private residence on the outskirts of Kuching.

Taib, who was then in the intensive care unit, was apparently taken out against the advice of doctors and members of his family immediately lodged police reports, saying it was done without their knowledge and could harm his health.

Taib Mahmud taken out of hospital, cops probing case under negligence

NST Feb 5th, 2024

Raghad reacted by urging people not to believe rumours about her and said she had her husband's health and interest at heart.

Raghad lodges police report over claims she kidnapped Taib Mahmud from hospital, considers legal action

NST Feb 18, 2024 

It was all quite sensational, almost like a K-drama unfolding in Kuching.

For several days, no one could figure out what was going on until Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Ismail stepped in to dismiss claims of an abduction and clarified that Taib was being treated at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

Taib being treated at a private hospital in KL, IGP confirms

The Star Feb 10, 2024

The Sarawak elite, especially those close to Taib, are saddened that it has come to this. They are appalled that the man's personal troubles have become the subject of gossip.

"It's an unfortunate end to an era," said a Sarawak politician whose career began at the same time as Taib's.

Unfortunately, there is quite little sympathy among ordinary people.

"People say it is karma. It is pitiful this is happening in his twilight years," said political analyst Dato Dr Jeniri Amir, the only academic who dared to criticise Taib at the height of his power.

Taib's 33 years as chief minister were controversial, marked by his imperious political style and marred by allegations of cronyism, land grabs and wealth accumulation.

At the same time, he changed Sarawak and stood his ground on multi-cultural tolerance which is today the pride of all Sarawakians and which his successor Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg intends to continue.

"We are thankful he never allowed Umno to come in or else we would have problems like you all over there. Stories of his wealth are a matter of speculation but the more crazy the story, the more people seem to believe it," said lawyer and Chinese community leader Datuk Jonathan Chai.

Both Taib and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rose to power at about the same time in the early 1980s. A politician-cum-close friend of Taib was at a meeting during which Taib told the then-prime minister that Barisan Nasional would have his full support if Umno stayed out of Sarawak. Both men kept their word.

Speculation about Taib's declining health began not long after he became governor.

Those who met him in recent years found him to be forgetful, often appearing confused and asking the same question again and again. He once told a state exco member whom he was rather fond of and whose parents had passed on, to send them his regards.

In 2022, Jeniri was among a group of people conferred state awards by Taib, after which all of them posed for the camera. Midway through the photography session, Taib suddenly left to use the toilet and never returned.

As governor, Taib was entitled to a month of leave a year but he and his wife spent quite a bit of time in Istanbul. They only returned to Kuching late last year, around the time when talk of appointing a new governor started.

Taib back in Sarawak after recuperating in Turkiye

Borneo Post Online Sept 16 2023

Taib was unable to carry out his duties in the past one year and a top Sarawak leader who flew to Istanbul to see him went away in tears on seeing his condition.

Sarawak politicians are generally thankful that as governor, Taib did not give Abang Johari any problems.

But many Sarawakians are outraged that Raghad and her two sons from her previous marriages were granted native status, which gave them access to native land.

Malaysian citizenship, native status for Taib's Syrian-born wife, step-sons questioned

Daily Express June 21, 2023

Public opinion turned against Raghad in a horrible way. It was seen as an abuse of the law, an insult to the natives and locals began calling her "that foreigner", the point being they do not see how a foreigner can be deemed a Sarawak native.

Videos of a handsome young man wiping his mouth with Euro notes while having a burger also went viral. Allegations that it is one of her sons have yet to be denied.

Did Taib's stepson wipe his mouth with Euronotes? Sarawakians angry and upset

theVibes.com Feb 8th, 2024

However, accounts that Taib's children and siblings are prevented from seeing him in hospital are untrue. A close relative confirmed they have access to him in the hospital while his daughter and son who reside overseas have returned to be with their father.

IGP rubishes Taib's abduction claims, says family free to visit him

Malaysiakini Feb 7th, 2024 

Relations between Taib's biological children and their stepmother crumbled years ago and they are suing Raghad over the ownership of RM500mil in shares of the family-held development conglomerate Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd.

Taib's son Sulaiman sues step-mom Raghad

theVibes.com 16 June 2023

Sulaiman Taib challenges authencity of father's signature on shares transfer document to Raghad

Borneo Post Online Oct 6 2023

Taib Mahmud's sons apply for father to be a defendent in civil suit against stepmother, bank 

Malay Mail Nov 29th 2023  

Politician and lawyer Robert Lau, who had just left to study abroad when Taib came to power, said Taib came from an era of strongman politics.

"He had his own brand of development which, mixed with our rich natural resources, became quite toxic. History will judge him in a mixed way. But the loss of privacy at his most vulnerable moment is such an inglorious thing to happen," said Lau.

The above close friend of Taib has this to say: "I only wish he will be comfortable and at peace."

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