Masing believes Taib clean
Borneo Post, June 23, 2011, Thursday
CENTRE OF MEDIA ATTENTION: Reporters crowd around a speaker in the Media Room as Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud delivers his personal statement regarding the investigation by the Swiss Federation into his alleged assets in Switzerland.
KUCHING: Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said he believed Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is innocent of all the corruption allegations hurled at him.
The Baleh assemblyman also lauded Taib for being brave enough to tackle the issue head on yesterday.
He said this when asked to comment on Taibs explanations to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) yesterday that he does not own a Swiss bank account or assets and investments in Switzerland.
It is very good for him (Taib) to tackle the issue straight on.
That is what I expected a leader to do. As a politician you must not hide anything. If you have nothing to hide then go straight on because we are judged by public perception, Masing said.
Masing added that he was impressed and satisfied with the Chief Ministers answer and he eagerly awaits the Swiss authorities to respond.
The onus of proof is from the other side, Masing stressed.
Asked whether the public would be convinced of Taibs innocence, Masing lamented that members of the public always make judgement based on emotion and not the law.
That, he added, represented one of the toughest obstacles which all politicians have to endure.
We are not judged by the fine lines of the law. We are judged by allegations, half truths and lies.
Meanwhile, Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh said what Taib did yesterday was to make it known to the whole world that the graft allegations were unfair to him.
Of course once the allegation is made and published in the press, not only the image of the Chief Minister but the state government of Sarawak may be tarnished, he lamented.
Therefore, he added, it was important for Taib to make the statement in DUN to redeem himself and to clear his name.
I think it is the right thing to do, Soon Koh said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Ministers statement failed to impress PKR leaders.
State PKR liaison chief and Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said it was quite unfortunate that Taibs statement was not put up for debate.
He pointed out that there was no mention of whether the Chief Ministers letter had been replied to and that PKR would be interested to know what Taib wrote and the reply, if any, to it.
As it has been reported that this involves MACC, we hope that the whole investigation will continue on in spite of the explanations he (Taib) made in the Dewanas it is only an explanation. If there is really truth in it, then of course it is of concern to the public at large, especially Sarawakians, said Baru.
When asked whether the Chief Ministers denial would help to assuage public concerns, Baru said he did not think so as there was nothing particularly significant about the statement.
You need to have concrete facts and evidence and decisions made either by the Swiss President or authority of Switzerland, or even from MACC. The report we hear is about an ongoing kind of investigation, so as for now, well leave it as it is.
Unless they come up with a conclusion, its nothing that would wipe out any doubts or anything for that matter.