KOTA SAMARAHAN: Tan Sri Adenan Satem, despite his short tenure as chief minister, has left the state in a healthy shape.
Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud said the late chief minister’s people-oriented policies and bold approach in fighting for the state’s rights has pushed the state to achieve stronger economic growth.
The Head of State was impressed with the performance of the state under the late Adenan.
“This is very sad indeed. I took him (Adenan) into politics a long time ago, some time in the late 70s. I knew then that he has great leadership qualities, solid thinking and very analytical.
“He has served the state well with utmost sincerity. In fact, he left behind a government in a great shape as ever, even better than when I passed the baton over to him,” said Taib, who was the state’s longest serving chief minister, after paying his respect at the Sarawak General Hospital Heart Centre here yesterday.
Adenan, who passed away at 1.24pm due to heart complications after being admitted on Sunday, was the state’s fifth chief minister. He succeeded Taib in March 2014 after helming the state for 33 years.
Among Adenan’s popular policies were his fights against illegal logging, abolishing all toll charges in the state as well as reducing electricity tariff for domestic, commercial and industrial use among others.
During his short tenure as chief minister, Adenan allocated 70% of the state’s Budget each year for development purposes, with the lion’s share going to rural empowerment.
The state government has also drawn up a strategic planning to enhance its annual growth from the current 4.4% to 6.5%, in its bid to achieve a high-income status by 2030.
Adenan was roped into the Sarawak Cabinet on July 11, 1985, as Assistant Minister of Land Development. In 1992, he was appointed as the state Social Development Minister and became Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries in 1998.
On March 30, 2004, Adenan was sworn in as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment but resigned from the post on Feb 14, 2006, following a minor Cabinet reshuffle.
He returned to the State Cabinet in 2010 when he was appointed special advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office. He was appointed to special functions portfolio, mostly in-charge of handling land matters, in June 2011.
Adenan was once a journalist and a school teacher before he took up law.
He served as the Kuching Magistrate from 1970 to 1972, as law advisor for Petroleum Affairs in the Primary Industries Ministry from 1972 to 1974 and served as a lawyer at the Borneo High Court in 1975.
His political career started when he was appointed Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) law advisor in 1976.
Adenan was Muara Tuang assemblyman from 1978 till 2006 before he moved to Tanjung Datu in 2006. He also served as Batang Sadong MP for one term.