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Friday February 22, 2008

Taib will not defend Kota Samarahan seat


Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

KUCHING: Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will not defend his Kota Samarahan parliamentary seat to make way for his son Datuk Sri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib.

The Sarawak Chief Minister, who has served as MP for 40 years, said he was not seeking re-election to concentrate more on his work at state-level.

At 71, he said he was getting old.

Taib said although there were several requests to nominate Sulaiman as a Barisan Nasional candidate in the 2004 state election, he did not allow it.

“I did not want him (Sulaiman) to stand in the state election for the simple reason that people will speculate that he will be my successor (as Chief Minister) when I step down.

“Now, he has to prove himself as Sulaiman Abdul Rahman and not Taib junior,” Taib said after announcing the state Barisan’s 31 parliamentary candidates at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters at Jalan Bako here yesterday.

Sulaiman: One of nine new faces introduced by the coalition.

Sulaiman, 39, is former RHB Bank chairman and is now non-executive director of Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMSB) controlled by the Taib family.

He is also the son-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.

Sulaiman is one of nine new faces introduced by the coalition. There are three women in the line-up.

PBB is allocated 14 seats, including the three new seats of Igan, Sibuti and Limbang.

SUPP gets seven seats, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), six and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, four.

The new faces comprise five from PBB and two each from SUPP and PRS.

They include Taib’s three political secretaries – Nancy Shukri (Batang Sadong), Ding Kuong Hiing (Sarikei) and Ahmad Lai Bujang (Sibuti).

Other first-comers are Norah Abdul Rahman (Tanjung Manis), daughter of former Chief Minister Tun Rahman Ya’kub (Taib’s uncle), Hasbi Habibollah (Limbang), Alan Sim Yaw Yen (Bandar Kuching), Masir Kujat (Sri Aman) and William Nyallau Badak (Lubok Antu).

The incumbents who were dropped were former Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Adenan Satem and former Science, Technology and Environment Minister Tan Sri Law Hieng Ding.

Among the incumbents retained were Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui (Miri), Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas (Betong), Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew (Sibu), Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Joseph Salang (Julau), Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading) and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Joseph Entulu Belaun (Selangau).

Also retained was former Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Muhammed Leo Michael Toyad (Mukah) though he had said earlier that he would not seek re-election.

In the 2004 election, the coalition won 27 out of 28 seats, losing Bandar Kuching to DAP.

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