PETALING JAYA: With Tan Sri Taib Mahmud’s likely elevation to be the next Yang Dipertua Negri, businesses linked to him, his family members and associates are unlikely to be affected.
“Taib has been the state’s chief minister for such a long time. It is likely that his successor will continue the policies that are in place,” said one observer.
To a question on whether the head of state is allowed to undertake business, a constitutional expert said it depended on the state’s ruling on such matters.
Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said the country’s constitution restricts the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from engaging in private businesses.
“However, each state has its separate ruling on such matters,” said Dr Shad.
Currently, Taib’s name does not appear in any of the listed companies linked to his family.
For instance, the major shareholders of the family’s flagship company, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS), are his family members that include his sons Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib and daughter Datin Hanifah Hajar Taib-Alsree.
Collectively, the family controls more than 40% of CMS that has it fingers in a wide range of business activities from construction to cement production and finance.
His cousin Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi is the chairman of Naim Holdings Bhd, Sarawak Energy Bhd, and Ta Ann Holdings Bhd.
Meanwhile, rating agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has said the rating on Sarawak of debt papers was not affected by Taib’s resignation because of the state’s strong budgetary performances, high levels of cash reserves and its supportive relationship with the Federal Government.