KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah presented Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud the instrument of appointment as the new Yang di-Pertua Negri of Sarawak at the Istana Negara here.
The ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the new Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Abdul Taib, who stepped down as Chief Minister from yesterday after almost 33 years in office, becomes the seventh Yang di-Pertua Negri of Sarawak today, succeeding Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, whose term of office ended yesterday.
He was the fourth Chief Minister of Sarawak, having assumed the office on March 26, 1981, succeeding his uncle Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’kub.
In KUCHING, Abdul Taib’s children said they were enthusiastic that they would finally have more time with their father following his resignation as Chief Minister.
Describing their father as a workaholic, son Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib and daughter Datuk Hanifah Taib-Alsree said it was time their father took it easy and enjoyed his retirement with his loved ones.
“He has worked for over 50 years. We had to sacrifice a lot, so hopefully we will get to spend more time with him.
“Otherwise, it will be just like our graduation all over again where we needed to inform him six months prior (to the event),” Hanifah told reporters at the swearing-in of Adenan as Sarawak’s fifth Chief Minister in the state capital yesterday.
She said being the leader of the state required sacrifice not only from Abdul Taib himself but also his family.
“We stood by him all this while because we knew he was doing it for a greater cause, and now you get to see all that he’s done in the 33 years (as CM) and how many lives he has improved,” she said.
Bekir said he remembered the days when his father would come home tired but still made it a point to have some quality time with the family.
“He is a dedicated father and would make time for us. He would take us to go watch a movie but it was difficult, though,” he said.
Hanifah said: “There was no guarantee we would have him for the weekends before. Even when he was feeling under the weather, he would attend events.
“I mean, if it’s five people (you are meeting up with) you can change plans but if it involves 5,000 people, you can’t.
“So let him have some rest now. Let him be able to say ‘Hmm... can I get bored today?’” she added.