Taib built foundation to guarantee Sarawak's continued progress, says former political secretary

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Sarawak governor and chief minister, the late Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud had built a strong administrative foundation in Sarawak during his leadership to ensure that the state can progress in the future, says Datuk Abdullah Saidol.

The Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Office (Corporate Affairs, Information and Sarawak Public Communication Unit-UKAS) said the success included higher education institutions such as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and several government agencies capable of generating revenue for the state.

"The government agencies (created) as a result of Abdul Taib's leadership include the Land Custody and Development Authority which develops government land to increase state income and the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) which is involved in the timber industry.

"In addition, I, as a Sarawak village boy and also a former student sponsored by the Yayasan Sarawak, am proof of the vision and desire of the late Abdul Taib to build human capital and give birth to a new generation of Sarawakians in the future who are knowledgeable, have progressive thinking and a competitive mentality," he said in the programme "Malaysia Petang Ini" on Bernama TV Monday (Feb 21).

Abdullah, who is a former chief political secretary of Abdul Taib, said throughout his service under his leadership, Abdul Taib took a firm stance in embracing the political philosophy of development.

"Tun (Abdul Taib) was known as a person with resilience and one who practices a political culture representing the unification of various races in Sarawak as well as patterning the thinking of every representative to always be earnest, brave, diligent, and to prioritise the well-being of the community he represented.

"Tun's political struggle, in the beginning, was not easy because Sarawak is a big state, with a plural society comprising different religions as well as with a large settlement of Bumiputera living in the interior," he said.

The late Abdul Taib was generous with his knowledge, ready to share opinions, and could analyse government policy in depth and with far-sightedness.

Meanwhile, former Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Sarawak women chief Datuk Seri Sharifah Mordiah Tuanku Fauzi said Abdul Taib was also a firm, trustworthy and honest leader who cared about development, education and religion.

She said the late Abdul Taib’s demise is a great loss and he would be difficult to replace. - Bernama

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