Sarawak Report can reveal that Taib’s eldest daughter, Jamilah, was dubbed “Princess Jamilah” while still at college in Canada, on account of her fabulous wealth.
Fellow students at the Ottawa’s Carlton University were so amazed at the teenager’s conspicuous wealth, her designer outfits and grand accommodation, that they jokingly gave her the royal title.
The disclosure, which was made to Sarawak Report by former student contemporaries of Jamilah, adds to the Taib family pretensions to royalty that just won’t go away.
Just days ago the Chief Minister’s cousins were exposed bragging that people treat them “like kings”, while complaining that the “very, very poor” natives, whom they called squatters, “always expect some handouts” when they pass through the rural areas.
The information about Jamilah’s early wealth also directly contradicts recent claims by Taib that his daughter is a self-made woman who achieved her extraordinary wealth only “because she is clever”.
In a statement Taib offensively boasted that all his four children (and indeed his entire family) are all extremely rich on account only of their brains and not money or opportunities passed on by him.
He then tapped his head and dismissed the “crabs” all those who have not achieved wealth in Sarawak, by saying “People who don’t have it up here, there is nothing you can do”.
Arrogant and untrue?
In a stroke Taib has succeeded in insulting all the poor people of Sarawak, by suggesting they could be rich like his daughter if only they were not so stupid!
However, our investigations have demonstrated that in fact it is Taib who has made his family rich, by taking the public wealth for himself, instead of investing in education, health, housing and jobs for the people of the state.
We ask one simple question. If Jamilah got rich on her own accord, then how is it she was able to amaze Canadian college students with her extravagant wealth, before she had even had a chance to finish her studies and take up a job?
Boyfriend Sean’s Mercedes Convertible was a birthday present from Jamilah!
Taib’s response to revelations that Jamilah started a huge property company in Canada when only a student in 1983, was that he started Jamilah up in business with a small “nest egg” he’d received as retirement payment from his period as a Federal Minister.
He has failed to be specific about this highly irregular ‘retirement payment’ or to say how much it was.
But, the college contemporaries have confirmed that Jamilah flashed her fabulous wealth while still a teenager and revealed that she had dazzled her then boyfriend, now husband, Sean Murray with fabulous gifts.
For his birthday, they recall, she bought him a 1983 Mercedes Convertible:
“Jamilah Taib bought her boyfriend Sean [later her husband Hisham Murray] a red Mercedes Convertible for his birthday when they were still just teenage students”, one former classmate has confided. “We all called her Princess Jamilah, because she was always draped in jewels and finery and lived in fabulous places. She was determined to buy up Sean, who didn’t come from anything like such a wealthy background”
This information matches research by Sarawak Report, which has established that the couple’s Ottawa company, Sakto Development Corporation, was in fact set up in 1983 by Taib’s brother Onn, together with college grade children, Jamilah and Abu Bekir.
The evidence contradicts the narrative that has been put about, which is that Sakto was somehow a ‘Murray family company’, established by Sean’s father and twin brother.
Sakto had already invested tens of millions of dollars in hundreds of properties well before Sean married into the family in 1987 and while Jamilah was still at college.
Once married to Jamilah, Sean assumed directorships of a number of Taib family businesses in Australia and America, which had had nothing to do with him at the time they were set up.
Nevertheless, he now poses as the patriarch of a vast and wealthy property empire in Canada, which has off-shoots in the UK, the US and elsewhere in Europe. Numerous Murray family members now enjoy jobs in what was a creation funded by kickbacks for timber concessions in Sarawak.
The evidence is overwhelming that the money for all this opulence in fact came from Taib, who was already known as one of Malaysia’s richest politicians thanks to timber kickbacks and his cheating of the people from the profits from destroying the Borneo Jungle.
Wealth does not mean royalty
Jamilah’s ostentacion and regal pretentious are of course matched by similar extravagance on the part of her siblings Rahman and Abu Bekir, who are both famously addicted to fast cars and the fine life.
A San Francisco college contemporary of younger brother Rahman (known by his friends as Mr Versace) was once again moved to refer to ‘Malaysian Monarchy’ as he described the jaw dropping wealth of a youthful playboy, who had planned to buy up Bugatti (his favourite car manufacturer) and to move the factory from Italy to Sarawak!
Remember, the formal salary of the “monarch” supplying all this wealth to his feckless family is a mere RM12,000 ringgit a month.
The rest of the money has been stolen from the people who now represent one of Malaysia’s two poorest states in terms of income per capita.
Grander and grander
Jamilah and Hisham Murray have moved into ever more extravagant excesses during the progress of their ‘royal’ marriage. Regarded as one of the rich set of Canada Jamilah is rarely seen sporting the same over-sized jewels or couture twice and is much photographed at any event.
Her children tweet about ponies, sailing and holidays in the well known off-shore tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.
More particularly, Jamilah has interests in no less than 84 substantial companies based in Sarawak and benefitting from state concessions and contracts. These include Sarawak’s largest company CMS, of which she is
a major shareholder, even though she has never been back to live or work in the state since she departed for college in Canada back in the early 1980s.
Now how on earth did she manage that?
And, although Taib likes to pretend that neither he nor his family do business in Sarawak, preferring to exercise their amazing brains in tougher and more competitive environments elsewhere, Jamilah and her husband Sean have in fact popped up as the beneficiaries of a number of key opportunities on Kuching’s so-called “isthmus” development zone.
Notably, the rightful landowners, who were compulsorily forced out of the Isthmus area by government orders and rewarded with puny compensation, have been less fortunate in getting hold of such concessions.
Perhaps they were really just “squatters”?
Clearly, they just don’t have the brains (or could it be the connections) of Sean and Jamilah Taib.
Major new Canadian property revealed
See our slideshow of pictures of Canada’s flashiest female, just one of the Taib family Princesses below.
The Murrays have already been revealed as the proud possessors not only of so many companies in Sarawak, but also the Sakto/Citygate property empire in Canada, Sakti in the US and Ridgeford Properties in London, which all control hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate.
In Australia they are also major shareholders and directors of Sitehost, a major property company in Adelaide.
Today, the Swiss NGO the Bruno Manser Fund, has also revealed that this flashily attired and fun-loving couple are the owners of a large 300 acre property and home on Howe Island in the St Lawrence Thousand Island District for the mega-rich.
These days Jamilah and Sean are considered high-society wealthy Canadians. On Malaysian public holidays, Jamilah is known to go to the Ottawa Embassy to meet up with Malaysian students and she hands them $50 notes.
This seems generous, if patronising, but it is clear that this is not money which is Jamilah’s to give, but money made out of kickbacks from Sarawak’s timber and plantation concessions and all the contracts given by the state.
The question marks over the origins of Princess Jamilah’s wealth have now started to pile up in Canada as the Murray’s rich friends and not so rich countrymen have started to understand that their snowy acres and grand palaces have been bought at the expense of destruction of the world heritage Borneo Jungle, its unique species of life and the comfort of its people.