Tributes continue to pour in for late Taib

KUCHING: Tributes continued to pour in for the late Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud as last respects were paid at his state funeral on Thursday (Feb 22).

Anglican Bishop of Kuching Datuk Danald Jute said Taib's passing is a loss to Sarawak, and the Christian community shared in the family's sorrow.

"I know people from different affiliations will hold different opinions of the late Tun, but we are privileged to have had his leadership as the chief minister and governor.There is no doubt he brought a great deal of development to the state," he said when met after paying his respects.

Danald also said Taib, who went to a mission school, understood the contribution of the church through mission schools.

"He had a heart for greater interactions among people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. He was a good friend of the church," he said, adding that Sarawak's unity and harmony could be attributed to Taib's leadership.

Former Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Robert Jacob Ridu said Taib was a visionary leader who addressed state and national issues with the proper focus.

Citing an example, he said Taib had fought to protect native customary rights (NCR) over land from being amended when he was an assistant minister in the first post-independence state cabinet in 1963.

"His contribution to the state and nation is enormous," he said.

Kuching Melanau Association president Faridah Osman, who led a group of 10 members to pay their respects, said the Melanau community felt Taib's loss deeply.

She said Taib, who was a Melanau, gave a lot of advice to the community and supported their cultural development.

"Whenever we organised programmes at state level, he always reminded us to maintain Sarawakian hospitality. I will always remember that," she added.

Taib, 87, passed away at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur at 4.40am on Wednesday (Feb 21).

His remains were flown back to Kuching on Wednesday afternoon for a state funeral and burial on Thursday (Feb 22).

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