“Leave the succession plan to me and the Chief Minister. We know when [the] time is right to make the change in Sarawak. We know and I can assure you that the Chief Minister is ready.
“When the time comes, he is ready to leave the stage and we have a very good understanding when that is going to happen.”
Barisan Nasional (BN) chairperson and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, announcing that he and Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had reached an understanding on when the transition of power would take place. However, no date or timeframe was revealed. Taib has been chief minister for 30 years since 1981, and his family is one of the richest in Sarawak with assets overseas. However, Sarawak remains one of the poorest states in Malaysia. Taib previously claimed that he had intended to step down in 2006 but that did not work out and had to be postponed. (Source: PM: Taib will step down as CM when the time is right, The Star, 19 Mar 2011)
“Don’t worry, the change in leadership will be done in a planned manner. We don’t want it to be done suddenly as this would lead to uncertainty.”
Najib, urging the people to trust his assurances that Taib would step down some time after the state election. Najib also promised voters that if Sarawakians gave the BN a strong mandate, there would be “more changes” for the state. Najib was speaking at a BN event in Kuching. (Source: Najib: Taib will step down some time after state election, The Star, 10 Apr 2011)
“I have discussed with the Sarawak CM and he has agreed to have a leadership change in Sarawak.”
“Believe me, in me, at the right timing, this will be done.”
Najib, at the same BN event in Kuching, on Taib’s agreement to step down at some point after the elections. When exactly Taib will leave office is not mentioned. (Source: Taib will step down promises Najib, Free Malaysia Today, 10 Apr 2011)
“The time will come for seniors to step down and similarly for Taib, he will someday also retire, there will be new leadership to take over.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, assuring voters that Taib should already have a successor in mind. He added that in any party’s transformation, veteran politicians could not be discarded because of their experience. However, younger politicians would be brought in, as was being practised in the state elections. (Source: Taib has replacement in mind, assures Muhyiddin, Borneo Post, 10 Apr 2011)
“I will retire in two or three years’ time.”
“When I got here there was nothing, just two-lane roads and now there are four lanes and you don’t even realise.
“Take it or leave it. I am retiring in two years. This is my parting words because I love you.”
Taib, who is 74, announcing a general time frame for his quit date, when speaking to Chinese Malaysian associations in Kuching. Taib declared there was no other state like Sarawak where “locals get better work, better pay, better profits and better share than outsiders”. (Source: Taib loses cool, now says to quit in 2 yrs, Malaysiakini, 13 Apr 2011)
“When the time is right, we will fulfil the promise.”
Najib in a press conference after BN’s win in the 16 April 2011 Sarawak elections, when asked whether Taib would be stepping down. Taib’s party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu won all 35 seats it contested while the other BN parties won another 20 seats. However, the number of seats the Opposition parties secured improved from eight in 2006 to 15 this time around, with the DAP doubling and the PKR tripling its presence in the state assembly.
Taib, who has said he is not ready to step down immediately, took his oath of office as chief minister for the seventh time at 10.30pm on 16 April. The event was broadcast live. (Source: Clean sweep for PBB, but Taib still on rocky ground, The Malaysian Insider, 16 April 2011)
“For now I have decided to announce I’ll be going away sometime mid-term, and I will use whatever time I have to groom a team and I hope that team will continue with whatever good policy I leave behind.”
Taib, speaking to reporters about when he would step down as chief minister now that BN has won the Sarawak elections and maintained their two-thirds majority. (Source: “I promise to leave mid-term”, Malaysiakini, 17 Apr 2011)