With a charter like that, it's small wonder they decided to target
Sarawak's Chief Minister Taib
Mahmud. Mr. Taib had been the Chief Minister of the Malaysian state for the
past few decades (since 1981) and has been accused of corruption for years. In
a "sting" operation, , investigators posing as foreign investors got
Taib's cousins and lawyers on video discussing plans to buy Sarawak land
(illegally) for hefty profit and how they could evade taxes by funneling the
money through Singapore.
Global Witness even put up a video titled "Inside Malaysia's
" which had went viral in the
region. In it, a lawyer for Taib's family, Mr. Alvin Chong openly told the
investigators it's "obvious" to go through Shadow State Singapore
to evade taxes as the Singapore
government "has a China
Wall... a firewall. They will not tell the Malaysian government nothing".
He then went on to say that Singapore
is "the new Switzerland.
We operate Singapore
accounts too, both personal and corporate entities".
What's worse for
Singapore is that the video had
snippets of conversations that implied that this arrangement is something that
had been done before. When the investigators told Mr. Chong this plan
seems very well-though out, he smiled and said he had "done it many a
times". The video even had one of the Chief Minister's sisters,
Norlia Abdul Rahman, describing how the money for the deal would be paid for in
and that “it had been done before”.
Ouch! If there were any doubts that
become a centre for money laundering, this video pretty much settled it. This
isn't the first time Singapore
had been accused of being a centre for money laundering. Indonesia say about 20 Indonesian, all suspected
of crimes in Indonesia, are
all hiding out in Singapore.
In the wake of the video, both the Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore had come out with a careful statement on the claims made in the video. The statement state that the
government do not withhold information requested by the Malaysian government.
Unfortunately for the
Singapore government, that wasn't
the main point of the video.
Seriously, who cares if info has been passed from
Singapore to Malaysia? The main point of the
video is that MONEY passed from Malaysia
Money that was gotten from a dodgy land deal that went through Singapore to
evade taxes. Did that happen? Had it happened before?
On this, there is silence from
Singapore. And that is,
unfortunately, as good as admitting it.