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

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news