The once feared White Haired Rajah of Sarawak has lost his mental grasp and is under the control of his greedy brother-in-law, the Lebanese Australian Robert Geneid.
Geneid manipulates Taib through his blond, botoxed Bomoh, Stella, who caused a sensation when she appeared at the Chief Minister’s nomination last week. She is none other than Geneid’s own cousin!
These extraordinary revelations have been passed to Sarawak Report from right within the Mahmud family’s inner sanctum. Years of concern, seething rivalry and jealousies surrounding the manipulations of Geneid, the husband of Taib’s younger sister Raziah, have suddenly broken to the surface under the stress of the election campaign.
‘Senile’ and under the influence of Raziah, Robert and Stella!
An early sign was the outburst of Taib’s own cousin Salleh Jafarrudin, who chastised the Bomoh and her two companions during the nomination in Balingian last week. Although formerly a BN Minister himself, Jafurrudin has become a surprise independent candidate, throwing his cap into the ring in Taib’s own constituency as part of a last ditch attempt by Taib’s own family to prevent him continuing as Chief Minister. In front of the media Salleh shouted:
“Do you want to put a spell on me?!”
Later he explained to journalists that he is trying to save Taib from his Bomohs:
“We want to save Sarawak from being ruled by a leader who has completely succumed and surrendered, his mental faculties, spiritual and natural physical capabilities to the influence of foreign witchcraft apparatus currently encircling him”
Now Sarawak Report has been sent a dossier of astonishing information, penned by some of Taib’s other closest relatives. They make clear that their view is that enough is enough and that the truth about Taib’s failing condition must be made known to the people.
Above all they say they are putting their country before their family interests in attempting to warn voters against allowing the rapacious rule of Raziah and Robert Geneid and their string of Bomohs to carry on. Yet another close relative has told us:
“Taib is senile and under the control of Raziah, Robert and Stella!”
Najib has been proved powerless
It has been made clear to Sarawak Report that these issues have long been an open secret among BN’s top circles, who have watched the visible degeneration of the sick and elderly Chief Minster, particularly since the death of his first wife Laila in early 2009. He himself has been treated for bowel cancer, which has devastatingly weakened him.
However, the situation has been kept under wraps by inner family members led by the Geneids, who have moved in to profit from their control over Taib. In just a few years Razia and Robert have alienated vast areas of Sarawak’s land into companies they own and insiders say they have accumulated billions in profit.
The Prime Minister, who is desperately campaigning in Sarawak for the whole of the last week of the election, knows that his own political future depends on BN keeping hold of Sarawak. However, at the same time he is being forced to promise supporters and voters alike that he will be getting rid of the old man as soon as possible after the election.
Yesterday’s attempt at reassurance was hardly impressive!:
“I have spoken to him. The Chief Minister has promised there will be a succession. Believe me, when the time comes it will happen!”
The commitment has given the opposition full licence to challenge the PM to provide a date and name a successor, meanwhile reminding voters that Taib made the same promise in 1995! The situation was not helped by Taib’s own version of events today, made in public and in front of his boss the PM.
The truth is that if Taib does win the PM will be more powerless than ever to force his removal and Sarawak will be plunged into several more years of rule by bomohs and the Geneids. This is why so many insiders are now desperately speaking to Sarawak Report and also why all the news out of KL is that BN bigwigs are still pressuring Najib to get the old man to quit!
There is another, hugely embarrassing aspect to this awkward affair. Voters will also be aware of the fact, already exposed by Sarawak Report, that Taib’s young new wife Ragat, who has immediately become a central figure, is also a direct relative of Robert Geneid. Given the new revelations it emphases the level of control exerted by this couple over the running of Sarawak.
Devastating dossiers handed to Sarawak Report
Revealingly the papers expose the level of panic and lack of self-confidence felt within inner circles about BN’s chances in this election, after so many years of victory.
One paper entitled ‘Datuk Raziah’s Bomoh List of BN Candidates’ begins by admitting that “DAP, PKR, SNAP and Independent candidates are better prepared” than BN.
The paper goes on to claim that “the 2011 Sarawak BN candidates were decided by Datuk Raziah’s Bomoh, Stella Tashman and her partner [Robert Geneid]”:
“Pehin Taib, after so many years of doing the same thing and trusting Datuk Raziah, Dato Robert Geneid and their bomohs more than anyone else, only formalised the process. This is a great pity because the candidates were not chosen primarily based on their ability and their performance during their years of service as DUN, or because they were chosen by the supporters in BN is to keep hold of and protect the huge tracts of land and the possessions that they have taken from the state”.
The insider reflects and confirms many of Sarawak Report’s recent exposes by saying:
“What about Pehin Taib’s Cahya Mata Sarawak, PPES group of companies and his son, Mahmud Abu Bekir and Mahmud’s nominee and partner, Chris Chung, who now have in their collection of grabbed estates and land hundreds of thousands of acres of land belonging to the people of Sarawak? Don’t they too have a strong reason to want to make sure the selected BN candidates will protect what they had grabbed throughout these years?”
Among the candidates criticised by the insider are the candidate for Tupong, Daud Abdul Rahman and for Lambir, Ripin Lambat. The author of the dossier confirms the rumours that the candidate list was vetted by Stella, which created last minute delays. It is also claimed that “Semoi Peri, who had already expressed her wish not to stand, was pressured to stand agains for reasons known to Raziah’s Bomoh….Datuk Zul Philip, candidate for Jepak was not expected to be chosen, but somehow his name was confirmed to stand by the Raziah Bomoh list. All these years he is one candidate who has never failed to show his face close with Pehin and Datuk Raziah “.
The feud with Salleh Jafarruden
The dossier also provides family-level insights into the extraordinary decision by Taib’s cousin Salleh Jafarruden to fight against the Chief Minister in his own constituency. It explains that Jafarruden had written three letters to Taib to try to help work together to solve the problems within BN because he was according to the dossier:
“Very concerned about the increasing destructive influence of Datuk Raziah, her husband Robert Geneid and their Black Bomoh [Stella]. Compounding the issue was the Lebanese Bomoh is a cousin of Dato Robert Geneid and she lives in Dato Raziah’s house within Pehin Taib’s residence as her second home. Salleh and his emissary simply intended to help salvage damage from deteriorating further. [But], because Taib was heavily influenced by Datuk Raziah, her husband and their Bomoh, Taib simply chucked aside any advice”.
The dossier continues:
“He [Salleh] was a gentleman opponent who actually wanted to advise Pehin Taib that he was most prepared to assist him in minimizing some of the damage arising from the greed by people like Datuk Raziah and her husband…. Of course he never received any response to the letters he sent to Taib.”
The informant goes on to explain that the couple and the Bomoh are now conspiring to control who takes over from Taib.
“They want and they do whatever it takes to get the Minister of Planning, Dato Amar Tengah Awang Tengah to take over from Taib, so that they can continue to grab money. Awang is commonly known to be at Dato Raziah’s beck and call whenever she wants something from the State Government”.
The account goes on to provide an extraordinary insight into the tiny family cabal that was responsible for drawing up BN’s candidates. It reveals that Taib’s inner circle goes little beyond the unelected Geneids and their Bomoh!
“Little wonder, therefore that Dato Amar Awang Tengah was the only one privy to the meeting with them hours before Taib appeared at the PBB HQ for the State Election Candidates List Announcement”
Such revelations from close Mahmud family sources can only add to the sense of decay and impending disaster that has surrounded the BN campaign as it enters its last week. The insider sums up the situation that has forced Taib’s cousin to run in Balingian:
“Salleh.. realised the growing danger of the people surrounding Taib and the increasing damage to the Sarawak State if things continue unabated and remained uncorrected. Greed and Bomoh are a very lethal combination to any leader. Salleh decided to fight Taib only after he realised there is no way any concerned Rakyat or family members can make Taib listen”
Who is Robert Geneid?
The extraordinary evidence coming out of this series of inside revelations is that the real power behind the throne in Sarawak is now the third husband of Raziah Mahmud, Robert Geneid.
The couple have long been a force in the state. Virtually penniless at the outset of their marriage they are now worth billions of ringgit, thanks to huge state contracts and concessions put through their companies by the Chief Minister, many of which have already been documented by Sarawak Report.
Lands totalling well over 70,000 hectares have been handed over to the Geneids in the past few years alone – an area greater than the area of Singapore.
Many of these land titles have intruded on Native Customary Rights Lands and the mean and ruthless way in which the couple have attempted to force through ownership has resulted in a good number of the 200 plus land disputes now going through the courts.
High profile cases have included the current prosecution of Numpang Suntai in Simunjan, who has been leading protests against the forced purchase of his community lands for a mere RM 250 per person by the company Quality Concrete. Raziah was the original recipient of the land title and is a Director of Quality Concrete. The value of the wood in the area alone is estimated at hundreds of millions of ringgit!
This issue more than any other is now threatening BN’s continuing political survival.
Geneid is the son of a Lebanese born Australian fruit vendor, based in Sydney. Raziah had made little from her opportunities before he became her third husband and insiders say that she was always short of cash.
After, the situation soon changed as he moved to maximise the opportunities provided by her connections with Taib. Like, a number of Taib’s son-in-laws and brother-in-laws he has picked up key positions in the family companies.
Although one ill-conceived roofing venture had lost the state/family company CMS some RM45 million he was brought into the senior position of Managing Director of Property Development for the company, giving him a central role in the management of the multi-million ringgit conglomerate mainly made up of assets privatised from the state.
The Geneids also spearheaded the controversial Royal Mulu Resort development, which alienated the lands of the Berawan tribe into the Taib family company and they control Miri Property Holdings, another substantial hotel chain.
Kumpulan Parabena, a construction company that has received numerous state contracts, is also controlled by the Geneids. Millions in state contracts have passed through its hands, although most of its work consists of the lucrative sub-contracting of projects handed to them by Taib and there has been little if any evidence of direct construction work.
Aside from the vast areas of timber and plantation concessions that have equally passed profitably through the couple’s hands, Geneid also controls several thousand hectares of current plantations through companies such as Miracle Harvest.
Geneid is now on the Board of Malaysia Tourism, while Raziah is on the Board of Sarawak Tourism, the Borneo Convention Centre and numerous other powerful posts.
The couple’s wealth is legendary and frequently recorded on the pages of publications such as Asian Tatler Magazine.
They have extensive investments in Australia and vast houses in Sarawak as well. The two marriages of their daughter Elia, who has also been handed her own vast plantations by the State of Sarawak, attracted widespread attention owing to the blatant expenditure involved.
The success of the Geneids has thus visibly far outstripped the benefits that have accrued to even the other wealthy Mahmud family members over the past few years. And they more than any of them have most to lose should Taib’s government fall and the handing out of these contracts and land titles come under proper scrutiny!
Not just wealth but power
What is only just now being fully revealed in the last few weeks before the election is the extent to which all this wealth and success has depended on what would appear to be the direct manipulation of the Chief Minister, as he has started to lose his judgement and faculties.
The Bomoh Stella, who defiantly stepped into the lime-light last week, after she was exposed by Sarawak Report, is now revealed to be the direct relative of Robert Geneid.
He has also extended his tentacles and influence into the Chief Minister’s most intimate private life, having provided him with his second wife – an issue that has also, according to our insider sources, caused enormous anger and worried amongst other family members. Abu Bekir referred to the circumstances of the surprise nuptuals in January when he spoke at the wedding:
“This unification would not have happened if not for Datuk Raziah Mahmud and husband Datuk Robert Geneid. It was Robert’s cousin Iqbal who introduced Puan Sri to my father”
It has now been confirmed that Ragat is directly related to Robert, by other family members.
Insiders have told us they believe the marriage of Ragat and Taib, separated by 45 years, is less a question of instant love and attraction and far more a question of exerting a nanny-like control over the old man, while the Geneids move to consolidate their gains and finish off exploiting their massive raid on Sarawak!
Failed by BN
While even members of Taib’s own family have shown willing to try to put a stop to this exploitation of Sarawak, BN’s so-called leaders in KL have clearly failed to do anything about it. Whether they are culpable through just weakness or self-interest, it is clear that Sarawak’s best interests lie in being rid of BN.