Najib conveys condolences to Taib Mahmud’s family

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed his condolences to the family of former Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Najib said that throughout Abdul Taib's tenure as the Sarawak chief minister, and later as the governor of Sarawak, his close relationship with the federal government and the Prime Minister at that time had led to continuous development.

"Sarawak has lost a respected political figure and leader.

ALSO READ : Former Sarawak governor Taib Mahmud passes away

"Condolences to the people of Sarawak and the family members of the late Tun Pehin Sri," said Najib in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Feb 21).

"May his soul rest in peace and be placed among the righteous," added Najib.

Sarawak's longest-serving chief minister took his last breath at 4.40am at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

This was confirmed by state Tourism, Creative Industry and Arts Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Abdul Taib's remains will be at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur before being flown back to Kuching later today.

Karim said Abdul Taib's body will be brought to the Sarawak legislative assembly building for final respects before burial.

Abdul Taib was the last surviving member of the first post-independence state cabinet formed in 1963, when he was sworn in as the youngest state minister at the age of 27.

He also served as a federal minister in various capacities for 13 years, before his appointment as Sarawak's fourth Chief Minister on March 26, 1981.

Abdul Taib was often described as the father of modern Sarawak.

As Sarawak's longest-serving chief minister from 1981 to 2014, he was instrumental in transforming Sarawak into a modern economy through what he called the "politics of development".

After stepping down as chief minister, Abdul Taib became the seventh Yang di-Pertua Negeri on Feb 28, 2014, succeeding Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng.

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