Abu Bekir Taib reflects on father’s legacy, remembers him as doting parent who always made time for his children

Abu Bekir (left) and his younger brother Sulaiman speaking to reporters after the funeral of his late father, Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

by Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Feb 22: The son of the late Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Dato Sri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, fondly recalls his father as a caring, disciplinarian, and supportive figure who dedicated himself both to his work and his family.

Abu Bekir, the second child of Taib, described his father as instilling a strong work ethic in his children, emphasising the importance of hard work and perseverance.

He reminisced about his father’s unwavering support, even in times of failure, stating, “He spurred us not to look back and to quit but to pick up the pieces and move on.”

“Being a hard worker is one of the many tough characteristics he had all the while, and that is why my father was such a determined and astonishing leader in life,” he told reporters after his father’s funeral at their family mausoleum at the Demak Mosque today.

Abu Bekir fondly remembered his father’s dedication to spending quality time with his younger brother Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib and sisters Jamilah Hamidah and Dato Hanifah Hajar, even amidst his busy schedule.

He shared anecdotes of movie nights and educational outings, illustrating Taib’s commitment to his family’s well-being.

“I remember we watched a lot of movies with swashbuckling scenes when we were young. We watched hundreds of them because of my father.

“We can see he is tired but because of his love for his children, he willingly spent time with us. He even falls asleep in the cinema. That is my father. He always remembered his children at home.

“He is a very helpful man, and he will give 100 per cent in his work and to his family,” Abu Bekir affirmed.

While acknowledging Taib’s strengths as a father, Abu Bekir humorously noted his father’s shortcomings in tasks such as changing diapers. However, he praised Taib’s efforts in exposing his children to diverse experiences, including travel and educational activities.

Abu Bekir, recollected when he was in primary school and his father held a federal portfolio as deputy information minister, he often paced them at Radio Television Malaysia studio (Angkasapuri), where they went to watch many films until he finished work at 5 pm.

“When he was at the ministry of primary industry, we spent time at Universiti Pertanian (Agriculture University) at Serdang, and learned to catch fish and how to rear it in captivity, and grew fruits and vegetables.

“He also brought us to travel abroad with him at his own expense, which was very educational for us – when he had assignments abroad we got to see a lot of cities all around the world,” he added.

Abu Bekir also shared that Taib was not good at changing diapers when they were young toddlers.

“He is not good at feeding children, especially babies.

“If my mother (the late Datuk Patinggi Puan Sri Laila Taib) tags along, he would bring all of us all at his expense. Growing up with him was a great experience,” he reminisced.

Abu Bekir expressed gratitude to the Sarawak Premier’s Office, the Federal government, and various organisations for their support in organizing his father’s state funeral.

He also extended appreciation to all those who offered condolences and prayers, including the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bokiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III, Sarawak Governor Tun Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, and Malaysians from all walks of life. — DayakDaily