KUCHING, 30 APRIL 2009: Puan Sri Laila Taib, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s wife who died yesterday from cancer, was buried in the Demak Jaya Muslim cemetary in Jalan Bako today.
Her remains were lowered into the ground at 1pm next to the grave of her mother-in-law Hamidah Yakub, who died on 13 Jan 2006.
The Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the Tengku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail, and his consort Raja Zarith Sofia were at the funeral.
Present too were Sarawak Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, and Taib’s uncle, former Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was on his way back to Kuala Lumpur after a two-day official visit to Brunei Darussalam, was also at the funeral together with his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was in Kuching on official duty, was with his wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman.
Also present were former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah, and several federal and state leaders.
Laila, 68, who died at their residence at 3.45pm yesterday, leaves her husband, two daughters and two sons including Tourism Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman, and 15 grandchildren.
As a mark of respect for the late Laila, today’s official programmes in Kuching, including the one scheduled to be officiated by Muhyiddin, have been cancelled. However, a presentation of welfare aid to flood victims took place at 9.30am as scheduled.
Remain patient, says Abdullah
Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hoped that Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud would remain patient.
“Whatever the situation, his love for his wife will always be there, but I understand that he also loves Sarawak and the people.
“I believe that in this time of grief, there will be time for Taib to focus on the development needs of the state and people,” he said after attending Laila’s burial.
Abdullah, who also lost his wife Datin Seri Endon Mahmood to cancer on 20 Oct 2005, said he and other Malaysians were also saddened by Laila’s death. — Bernama