On Friday 2nd February Sarawak Report issued pictures capturing the wife of the ailing ex-Governor Taib Mahmud, Raghad, apparently directing a massive packing operation in the downstairs area of their Demak Jaya mansion.
Next to a mass of suitcases, rolled up carpets and covered chairs ranged dozens of boxes of a somewhat unusual shape and size for moving chattels.
Did Raghad have a collection of books that she wanted to take with her somewhere perhaps, since these pictures left no-one in any doubt she was on the move?
It has now emerged that at the time Taib was no longer at the house but back in the Intensive Care Unit at the Normah Hospital – on life supporting medications and connected to tubes and an oxygen mask, according to pictures now circulating that Sarawak Report has only partially displayed.
Ragad herself has confirmed this matter by uploading on to Facebook an alleged snapshot of her husband’s ICU hospital notes dated the afternoon of Friday February 2nd, in which a nurse appears to have expressed concern that a butler had appeared to indicate that Raghad wanted her husband brought home.
According to the (unclear) notes uploaded by Raghad, the nurse wrote that the butler had told staff that “Tuan Puan wants to bring patient home” to which staff had made clear the doctors needed to be consulted and that various procedures, including the cleaning of intravenous tubes needed to be performed.
Why this is proof that Raghad did not later remove Taib from the hospital at midnight against doctors’ advice is unclear.
Indeed, despite threats from the Sarawak police about ‘the spread of false news’, it has now been confirmed by the self-same police force that the story later published on Sunday by this site, revealing that police reports were filed in the middle of the night by the hospital to notify his removal by his bodyguards under Raghad’s instructions, was true.
Taib was removed in defiance of Raghad being put on notice by Taib’s sons’ lawyer not to do so without their consent.
It has also been confirmed (as was also first reported by this site) that Taib’s own brother Tufail had filed a separate police report on behalf of Taib’s “real children” and immediate family the following day.
In that report he demanded police take action to investigate and protect the patient and he threatened that the family would ensure that Raghad would be held fully accountable and responsible for any harm caused by her actions to Taib’s wellbeing.
Sarawak Report has it on good authority that mid-afternoon on Monday police duly raided Demak Jaya to be followed into the mansion by Tufail himself.
Insiders have confided that for the longest time the children and siblings of Taib have been increasingly banished and kept away from their father’s company, beginning with a rift with his once closest sister Raziah back in 2014.
(Ironically it was Raziah and her husband Robert Geneid who had procured Raghad through a marriage broker as a young bride for Taib prior to the 2011 state elections).
Relations have reached a nadir over recent months as news emerged of documents signed by Taib handing significant amounts of shares and assets to Raghad from the Taib family estate.
The then Governor’s sons have lodged legal action alleging Raghad procured those signatures illegally, whilst keeping Taib himself away from family members as his health began to visibly collapse.
Raghad has remained with Taib for much of the period in Turkey receiving treatment whilst maintaining his capacity remained sufficient for him to remain in office.
That plainly was untrue, and last week Taib was unceremoniously replaced as Governor through an announced appointment of his successor by the departing King in KL.
So, what have the police found in those boxes waiting for removal at Demak Jaya, apparently at the behest of the imminently departing Raghad?
More, as yet unproven pictures have started to circulate of alleged security camera footage and photos of those boxes being allegedly packed in the adjacent guards’ area to the hall at Demak Jaya.
If these pictures are correct the contents of many of these boxes are RM50 notes – a haul potentially amounting to several million ringgit.
Some of the boxes shown in the wider hall are decorated with the Governor’s crest of which Ragad had apparently requested more be printed – a request refused after Taib was removed from office. Other boxes are merely plain with no such ‘official protection’ against inspection.
Whether these all still remained in the mansion by the time of Monday afternoon’s arrival of the forces of law and order is yet to be confirmed. Likewise, it is yet to be confirmed whether any of these dozens of regular shaped containers were indeed performing the purpose of storing layer after layer of unexplained cash.
If so it will not be the first time the Taib family have dealt in large transfers of cash and Raghad will doubtless have an explanation for such a form of transport in this digital age.
However, there is only one acceptable step for the police to take over these boxes whatever they may contain, particularly in the middle of the ferocious family dispute that has now overflowed into the courts.
This is to freeze all such items and all Taib’s assets, including those purportedly handed over to Raghad in recent months, and to put them under lock and key.
Second wives, siblings, children, step-children are all now set at each others’ throats (as so long predicted) over the vast fortune acquired through an abuse of public office over four long decades by this finally departing and once all powerful figure.
Yet the people of Sarawak know quite well that all this wealth belonged to them and ought to be returned, along with all the foreign properties and shares and privatised public assets grabbed over the years by Taib Mahmud.