World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Sarawak Energy’s crony contracts: NGOs lodge complaint

Sarawak Energy’s crony contracts: NGOs lodge complaint with Norwegian corruption watchdog

Complaint against Sarawak Energy’s Norwegian CEO, Torstein Dale Sjotveit pressures Norway’s anti-corruption agency, Økokrim, to move against the ex-patriate hydropower manager – Sjøtveit accused of granting contracts worth over 400 million USD to the family of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud

Oslo/Norway, 3 November 2013 - In a surprise move, Swiss rainforest advocacy group, the Bruno Manser Fund, and its Norwegian partner, FIVAS, have lodged an urgent complaint against the state-owned Malaysian power supplier, Sarawak Energy, with Norway’s anti-corruption agency, Økokrim. The complaint is directed against Sarawak Energy’s Norwegian CEO, Torstein Dale Sjøtveit, for unduly favouring the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. Under Norway’s tough anti-corruption laws, Norwegian citizens can be held accountable for their involvement in corruption anywhere in the world.

The complaint follows the announcement by Sarawak Energy that it has granted Sarawak Cable, a company chaired by Taib’s son, Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, two contracts worth 196 million US dollars for the construction of powerlines in Sarawak. Earlier research by the Bruno Manser Fund had shown that, between 2010 and early 2013, Taib-family-linked companies had already been granted contracts worth over 220 million US dollars. With the latest announcement, the grand total of contracts awarded to the Taib family during Mr. Sjøtveit’s tenure as CEO of Sarawak Energy is more than USD 416 million.

“The extent of conflict of interest in the Sarawak power sector is simply shocking”, Bruno Manser Fund director Lukas Straumann said on Friday after a meeting with Økokrim in Oslo. “And it is disturbing to see that ex-patriate managers working for the Sarawak government, such as Mr. Sjøtveit, are playing an active role in the Taib family’s machinations. Corruption is a crime and its responsibles must be held accountable.”

The Bruno Manser Fund also criticized Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission for remaining inactive despite several complaints against Mr. Sjøtveit and Sarawak Energy that had been lodged last year. “It is obvious that Malaysia’s judiciary is protecting the Taib family and its backers from criminal prosecution. We therefore believe that only an investigation in Norway can push the matter forward.”

Mr. Sjøtveit has recently been conferred the honorary title of “datuk” (Sir) by the Governor of Sarawak. It is widely assumed that the distinction was awarded on request of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud as a recognition of services rendered to his family.

The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is committed to protect the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples. The association’s focus lies on Sarawak, the Malaysian state in Borneo. The Bruno Manser Fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.

Sources used for this release:

Torstein receives honorary Datuk, New Sarawak Tribune, 15 September 2013NGO reports Sjotveit to MACC, 6. September 2012
Økokrim website

Please contact us for more information:
Bruno Manser Fund
www.bmf.ch
www.stop-corruption-dams.org

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>



Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>

MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news