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Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud must have been more than rattled by allegations of corrupt practices bandied about in the electronic and print media. In the Sarawak State Assembly meeting last Monday, he made a 10-page personal statement refuting all the claims about him as published in the Japan Times on March 29.

In Malaysia, the story was broken by malaysiakini , which also carried a series of follow-up reports on the Japan Times claim that 1.1 billion yen (RM28 million) was paid to Sarawak officials as kickback or rebate for the purpose of facilitating the timber trade from Sarawak to Japan.

When the PM was queried by reporters for comments on the case, the PM replied that he had not received any official report, and that if a report has been lodged with the relevant authorities, investigations would be carried out.

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