Showing appreciation: Taib making a gesture of thanks to journalists during a press conference at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Kuching.
PETALING JAYA: Outgoing Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud is expected to get his letter of appointment as the new state Yang di-Pertua Negri next Friday.
It is learnt that Taib will also submit his official letter of resignation as Balingian assemblyman to the state legislative assembly Speaker on the same day.
Sources said the decision to make Taib, who turns 78 this May, as the state TYT has been finalised and the appointment letter will come from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
Taib is scheduled to receive the appointment letter from Tuanku Abdul Halim at a ceremony to be held at the Istana Negara in Jalan Duta at 3pm.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Sarawak incoming chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem are among the leaders and dignitaries expected to witness the ceremony.
With Taib taking over as TYT from Tun Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, sources said the Balingian by-election was now confirmed and would have be held within 60 days from the day that the Election Commission receives official notification from the Speaker on the vacant seat.
This quells media speculations that an acting TYT might be appointed until June to allow Taib to vacate his seat without having to hold a by-election.
A by-election need not be held if the seat is vacated after June 20 as that would fall within two years of the expiry of the State Legislative Assembly’s current term and would not require a by-election.
The Election Commission said it had not been notified of the vacancy in Balingian, adding that if Taib was to accept his appointment letter on Feb 28, he has between now and the day itself to inform the Speaker that he was relinquishing his seat.
“The process of him resigning and the Speaker informing us can be done just hours before he accepts the letter. In fact, we are expecting this to happen,” said a source.
Taib has helmed Sarawak for 33 years since he was sworn in as the fourth Chief Minister of the state on March 28, 1981.
He named Adenan as his successor who will take over Sarawak’s top job on March 1.
In Kuching, Taib said he would not interfere in the new state administration under Adenan unless asked.
“I don’t know whether he would need any advice from me. I think the post of Governor is a position where you gather enough experience and pass it to the governing leadership but only if they ask,” he said.
“If the new leadership feels that they want my views, I’m willing to give them for all they are worth.
But I’m not sure whether (Adenan) should ask me for public advice.
“Mine is advice in a different sense from his advice to me. His advice to me will be mandatory, I must follow it as the head of state.
“But my advice is just one of the opinions he has to gather,” he said, referring to the head of state’s role.
of acting on the Chief Minister’s advice.