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When will Taib really go?

“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.”

Taib (Wiki commons)

Taib (Wiki commons)

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.”

Muhyiddin (file pic)

Muhyiddin (file pic)

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 (file pic)

Najib (file pic)

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) 

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6 Responses to “When will Taib really go?”

  1. Andrew I says:

    A bit like waiting for George Lucas to come out with the last segment of the Star Wars saga. I felt lucky to be alive to be able to watch it. Imagine if you had to call it a day before [the movies] came out…you might be a restless spirit roaming a cinema.

    This is the price for creativity and I’m sure it’s the same to create the right team to succeed all the tremendous efforts that have been put in previously.

  2. lkl says:

    The meek shall inherit the earth, but not Sarawak.

    The Nut Graph should do an in-depth analysis on the Sarawak natives’ undying loyalty to BN, from all angles, even psychology.

    • Kate Green, Zombie Shooter -- offended Sarawakian says:

      They should start with the cheaper option of analyzing the undying loyalty of West Malaysians to BN, including psychology. Clearly rural voters have problems with their mind because they vote for the government based on issues important to them.

      Sarawakian voters are mostly rural. Who won most of the rural votes in West Malaysia in the 2008 elections and in the line of by-elections?

  3. Kate Green, Zombie Shooter -- angry Sarawakian says:

    As usual, a good coverage of things said by various government authorities by The Nut Graph.

    Unfortunately, the audience of The Nut Graph is mostly West Malaysian, and I am afraid that the response to such coverage by West Malaysians tends to be typical: arrogant, presumptuous, and condescending, with the ‘ulterior motive’ of ‘we only want to make sure Sarawak votes along our interests so we can take over the country, so we will pretend to care for your issues and forget you once we get what we want’ thinly veiled.

    As a Sarawakian, I flat out refuse to read comments on other Malaysian news portals because it makes me so angry. I wish that articles such as these were shared among the rural, the poor, the deprived-of-even-basic-needs-such-as-electricity to truly empower them by informing them and allowing them to make their decision, rather than disseminated in an insular circle of West Malaysians whose interest in Sarawak is mostly for the number of seats my home state offers.

  4. Adam says:

    When will Taib really go?

    He will surely go when the time comes for him to go, willingly or otherwise, really.

  5. A realist knowing the web of his family business derived mainly from political power would never dream of Taib leaving as soon as promised, unless the team he assembles will be his proxy to do better business for him and his cronies, or he is given the post of governor which still gives him full control and power to do his own thing.

    It must be remembered that he dissolved the State Assembly two days after “being told to step down” on the 19 March. It is the only way to tell the PM that he is still in control of PBB, and PBB in control of its 35 seats. It does not matter if he lost all the Chinese seats. It’s not his problem. Now the “backroom boys” and others among his innermost political strategists will find a way to get rid of Najib, as they did with Pak Lah, Mahathir and Anwar. Do not be surprised if Taib outlasts Najib. He has the time and options to get the job done.

    As long as money politics and politics of patronage is in full demand, Taib knows what to do to outmaneuver any Umno leader who is not friendly to him.


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