"Father Of Modern Sarawak" Gone Missing?

Taib – Father Of Modern Sarawak

Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is one of those rare breed of politicians who has helped transform Sarawak from a mere backwater area in the 1960s into a modern and progressive region in Malaysia today.

The Miri-born, Adelaide-trained lawyer has been in Sarawak’s political scene since the formation of Malaysia in 1963 right until today, in his capacity as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak.

In a press release issued by Astana Negeri in connection with the Sarawak’s 60 Years of Independence celebration, Taib said serving Sarawak for him had been ‘a calling’, as he actually had options after having graduated in 1960.

His political journey in transforming Sarawak began when he was appointed Minister of Communications and Works under the first chief minister of Sarawak Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan’s cabinet.

Recalling those days, Taib said developing Sarawak was ‘a daunting task’ as it was a vast, geographically-challenging and under-developed state….

Our comment

The Borneo Post appears to have chosen this Monday morning, somewhat randomly, to lead its news coverage with a strangely non-news oriented article entitled
Taib – Father of Modern Sarawak.

The article reads to all intents like an obituary but is referring to the present Governor of Sarawak, whose office has recently released a number of statements assuring the public that he is “well and in good stead”.

Indeed, the staff of the Astana have done more than that. They have issued a series of threatening police reports accusing various bloggers, activists and Facebook denizens of ‘fake news’ and stirring up public discord (under various oppressive acts which carry long sentences) for suggesting that the 87 year old Governor might have fallen ill.

Despite the need to publish these claims that Taib is hale and hearty, there has been no effort made to present the head of state in public.

A picture of Taib holding the hagiography to his long career in today’s Borneo Post would do a fine job of settling the now stifled rumours that the Governor might have succumbed to the long term effects of his earlier treatments for colon cancer.

Under such circumstances, it does seem to be a rather strange misjudgement by the crony newspaper to have issued the sort of glowing retrospective on Taib’s life (based on a press release yet again issued by the Astana) that one would normally expect to see the day after someone died.

Talking about adding fuel to the fire!

Never mind. This Saturday, the annual Independence Day celebrations (60 years) are due to be held, at which the Governor always takes a very central role. Things may have been quiet on the official duties front for several weeks at the Astana, but Sarawakians will be pleased to see him leading the occasion as normal on that day.


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