Taib was a champion for unity, says Fadillah Yusof

PETALING JAYA: A visibly distraught Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof had to fight back tears when recounting his memories of the late Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Speaking to reporters after the former Sarawak governor's remains were flown to Kuching from the Subang Airforce base here on Wednesday (Feb 21), the Deputy Prime Minister said he received a lot of guidance and advice from him.

"I was personally picked by Tun. There was a lot of guidance and advice on how to fight for Sarawak and our country so that our country can be developed and where the people can live in unity and in harmony," he said.

He also described Abdul Taib as a leader who put Sarawak in a good position especially when it came to political stability and unity.

"The same goes for expanding Sarawak's economy.

"The leadership and people will feel the loss (of Abdul Taib) who contributed so much to Sarawak in terms of development," Fadillah added.

Earlier, the remains of Abdul Taib, the longest-serving Sarawak chief minister, departed from the Subang Air Force base at 1.58pm.

Abdul Taib, 87, breathed his last at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur at 4.40am on Wednesday.

Sarawak has declared two days of mourning for the late former Yang di-Pertua Negeri, with flags to be flown at half-mast while official functions involving entertainment would be postponed.

A state funeral will be held for Abdul Taib at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex on Thursday (Feb 22).

Members of the public can pay their last respects from 8am to 11.30am.

After that, his remains will be brought to Masjid Demak for prayers before being laid to rest at the family burial ground at his private residence in Demak Jaya.

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