PUTRAJAYA, Feb 10 — Former Prime Minister
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today praised outgoing Sarawak
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for having
provided excellent service to enable the Barisan
Nasional (BN) to administer the state for a long time.
He said Sarawak,
under the leadership of Taib, had garnered the strong
support of the people and had won many elections.
said that Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), as the
principal partner of the Sarawak BN, had made the
coalition stronger and more united and contributed much
to the state through various development projects.
Mahathir said that any leader who was advanced in age
would have to step down to give others a chance to lead.
the successor (of Taib) will get the support that he has
received so far and there will be no enmity among the
potential successors,” he said after solo cyclist Wan
Hashim Wan Mahmood, 68, called on him at the Perdana
Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya. Wan Hashim launched
his mission on Jan 26 to cycle solo around peninsular
78, who is PBB president and Sarawak BN chairman, had
announced that he was stepping down soon as the chief
minister, a post he has held since 1981.
Speculation is rife that Taib will step down by the end
of this month and be appointed as the next Yang Dipertua
Negeri of Sarawak.
Replying to a
question, Dr Mahathir said Taib’s departure as the chief
minister would have an effect on PBB but added that he
felt that the party would continue to excel, given the
strong unity it possessed.
PBB is strong. We have to also take the party into
account. The party has served Sarawak well; much
development was implemented by the party under Abdul
Taib Mahmud. I am confident his successor will also be
able to do the same,” he said.
Kuching, former PBB publicity chief Datuk Peter Minos
said Taib would surely select as his successor someone
who would be able to continue to maintain unity in the
party and state BN.
would also like to see that his successor was able to
lead the many races in the state to live in unity and
harmony, safeguard Sarawak’s basic interests to the best
of his ability and maintain Sarawak’s autonomy within
“Definitely, he also wants someone who can keep up the
good work done so far in the social and economic
sectors, if not better it.
will miss Abdul Taib for all the good things he has done
for the state and its people.
“Whatever critics and cynics say, Abdul Taib has truly
done his best in keeping Sarawak safe, stable, peaceful
and progressive,” he said. — Bernama
10 February 2014