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All but one BN and Pakatan leaders want Sarawak CM to step down! - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Except for one studied reaction from a political secretary to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, all the others in a selected SMS sampling of several key opinion leaders in Sarawak agreed wholeheartedly with Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen that the former

should step down sooner rather than later.

The opinion leaders sampled covered members of parliament, state assemblypersons, political secretaries and senior party activists, all from the ruling BN component parties.

“It’s na├»ve to think that the chief minister’s coming or going is at the call of an opposition MP or several MPs,” went the only response that seemed to veer towards Taib. Like the others polled, he wanted his name kept out of the public limelight.

chong chieng jen interview 141108 02Another who had watched the interview and was queried on this reply, responded: “Yes. But what he (Chong) said is very damaging. Others will use the interview to whack Taib with it. The incestuous role of CMS is being queried.”

“True also. The truth is Taib’s critics have no plan of their own for the governance of Sarawak ... and no resources,” said a senior party activist in PBB (Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu), Taib’s party.

Asked what he meant by resources, he replied: “Resources for the fight to take over the government.”

What's his excuse to stay on?

The fact that the Taib family is well-heeled is in no doubt, a point repeatedly stressed by Chong in his appearance on the ‘Uncensored’ talk show hosted by Malaysiakini editor Francis Paul Siah. The show was recorded on Thursday.

Short of labeling Taib as extremely corrupt, Chong pointed out that the chief minister can be accused of improper dealings and getting caught in conflict of interest situations in feathering his own nest in the years he has been in power.

“Wow!” was the response from a senior state cabinet minister.

He added that his silence to a renewed query can be taken as a sign that he agrees with Chong but on condition that his name was not revealed.

A third response: “What he said is an understatement of the decades that Taib has been in power.”

taib mahmud“It will eventually become really embarrassing,” said a state assemblyman from a rural seat.

“What’s his excuse to stay on? He should leave it to the younger generation. I think that it’s now a race between Taib, (MIC chief S) Samy Vellu and (PBS chief) Pairin (Kitingan) to see who can stay on the longest.

"My guess is that Taib will be the last to go, fortunately or unfortunately, and probably Samy the first.”

One was hopeful for the future: “I don’t think that the 'tsunami' will come to Sarawak. But you can never tell.”

Other responses were along similar lines although there were some who simply responded: "Ha Ha Ha".

It’s anyone’s guess what such responses mean. It could either mean that Chong is just a mosquito bite, so complete is Taib’s vice-like grip on the state, or it may mean that they are tickled pink that Taib is coming under increasing and greater public scrutiny for outstaying his welcome, among other things.

Those polled had been informed and asked a simple question: “Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen has called on Taib, in a interview, to step down as chief minister. He has cited various reasons - hanging around too long, having done more harm than good and, legally speaking, indulging in improper dealings and conflict of interest situations to feather his own nest. He once reminded Taib of a Confucian proverb: “If the leader is rich and the people are poor, then that leader ought to be ashamed of himself.”

“What do you think? Be brief.”

Son, niece in Parliament

In the March general election, Taib recommended his son, Sulaiman, for a parliamentary seat and later a post in the federal cabinet. He also fielded a niece. In the 2006 state election, the chief minister brought in a brother as a state assemblyman.

sulaiman taib and avaa vanja ramliSulaiman was executive chairman of RHB Bank for a time until Bank Negara ruled, citing conflict of interest, that he could not hold the post.

However, the son of the chief minister is more remembered for the alleged assault on a former television personality Avaa Vanja Ramli (photo) in a Kuala Lumpur night club in 2003 than for his role as a banker or legislator.

Sulaiman is now the deputy tourism minister.

Taib became chief minister of Sarawak in 1981 - the same year Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister. He took over from his maternal uncle Abdul Rahman Yaakub who assumed the post of the Sarawak governor for a term.

The next state election is not due until 2011 but could come as early as next year, sources say.

Taib is said to be in the best of health although he had been diagnosed not so long ago with colon cancer. He has been under medical treatment and supervision in Singapore and Australia but shows no signs of slowing down or making way for a new line-up.

taib mahmud alfred jabu pbb prs 011108In the past, Taib had often talked about grooming his successor from a possible list of three but, except for Abang Johari Tun Openg, the other two either quit or were left out from being in the running.

Taib has often hinted at the possibility of packing Abang Johari off to the federal government but apparently fears a Malay backlash.

Similarly, he has blown hot and cold with Alfred Jabu, his deputy for 27 years and the leader of the Pesaka wing in PBB.

Taib now has his work cut out as Jabu has become increasingly unpopular among the Dayaks and has been accused of trying to emerge as the self-appointed paramount chief of the Dayaks by bullying his way in the selection of Dayak MPs and state assemblypersons for all BN component parties -