Taib laid to rest after state funeral


Well-wishers from near and far come to Kuching to pay last respects

KUCHING: Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud was laid to rest in the family cemetery at his Demak Jaya residence after a state funeral at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly.

The former Sarawak governor was buried next to his first wife Puan Sri Laila Taib, who died in 2009, at 2.20pm yesterday.

Dignitaries present at the burial ceremony included the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Final goodbye: Raghad accompanying the casket in the hearse from the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex to Masjid Demak. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The StarFinal goodbye: Raghad accompanying the casket in the hearse from the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex to Masjid Demak. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

They scattered flower petals over the grave, followed by Brunei Prince Pengiran Muda Abdul Mateen Bolkiah, Taib’s wife Toh Puan Raghad Kurdi Taib and Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Members of the public earlier paid their last respects to Taib at a lying-in-state ceremony at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly building from 8am to 11.30am.

Raghad and Taib’s children Jamilah, Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir, Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman and Datuk Hanifah Hajar were present to receive well-wishers.

Among the first to arrive was bank employee Hafizah Mohamed.

Sultan Hassanal (right) and Wan Junaidi (centre) attending the burial ceremony.Sultan Hassanal (right) and Wan Junaidi (centre) attending the burial ceremony.

“I came because of the person himself. He contributed so much to Sarawak, so we should pay our respects to him,” she said.

Hafizah said she admired Taib’s leadership and considered him a legend.

Anglican Bishop of Kuching Datuk Danald Jute said the Christian community shared the sorrow felt by Taib’s passing.

He said Taib, who went to a mission school, understood the contributions of the church through mission schools.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian and members of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) paying their last respects.Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian and members of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) paying their last respects.

“He had a heart for greater interaction among people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds. He was a good friend of the church,” Danald said, adding that Sarawak’s unity and harmony could be attributed to Taib’s leadership.

Taib’s remains were brought to Masjid Demak for prayers before the burial. Twelve cannons from the 8th Royal Artillery Regiment lined the route to the mosque, firing an 87-round salute in his honour.

Taib, 87, died in a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur at 4.40am on Wednesday.

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