KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said his son Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman’s decision to quit as deputy minister had nothing to do with politics.
He said Sulaiman’s wish to leave the Federal administration was based on personal reasons as he was still affected by the death of his mother, Puan Sri Laila Taib, who succumbed to lung cancer on April 29.
“He had not been feeling very well about six months ago so I said, well, you are the best judge of that,” he told reporters after launching the Sarawak Federation of Malay Economic Bodies (Gabem) here.
Like the rest of his family members, Taib said Sulaiman, who replaced him as the Kota Samarahan MP in the 2008 general election, was “not very happy and a bit upset about his mother’s recent demise”.
However, Taib, who is also Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman, did not disclose whether he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who confirmed that he had received Sulaiman’s resignation letter.
Sulaiman, a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Youth vice-president, was appointed to the post in the administration of then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and was retained by Najib in April.
Amid speculation surrounding his resignation, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen denied that she could not see eye-to-eye with her deputy and maintained that their relationship had been good in the seven months they had worked together in the ministry.
Meanwhile, Taib welcomed the move by Japanese silicon maker Tokuyama Corporation to invest RM12.5bil to produce solar cell components in Sarawak.
He was commenting on Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement on Tuesday that the plant, which will produce polycrystalline silicon for solar cells, is expected to commence operations in 2011. — Bernama