Dr Sim: Taib played monumental role in blocking outside political forces from gaining foothold in Sarawak

Dr Sim Kui Hian (file photo)

KUCHING, Feb 21: The late Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the longest-serving chief minister of Sarawak, is remembered for his steadfast commitment to keeping Peninsula-based parties such as the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA) out of Sarawak, advocating for local political parties to govern and safeguard the State.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian emphasised that Taib’s 33-year leadership not only ensured political stability but also fostered social and religious harmony in Sarawak.

“Sarawak lost another great anak Sarawak with the passing of Tun Taib.

“Tun (Taib) was my late father Tan Sri Sim Kheng Hong’s political partner, chief of his Cabinet, a family friend and my Sarawak Heart Foundation chairman,” he reminisced in a statement posted on his social media today.

Dr Sim highlighted Taib’s role in the relocation of cardiac services from Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) to Samarahan, operating under Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia in 2001.

“After the late Puan Sri Datuk Patinggi Laila (Taib) passed away in 2009, Tun took over the chairmanship of Sarawak Heart Foundation and had always focused on how to help the cardiac services in the Sarawak Heart Centre and the patients,” he said.

Dr Sim also praised Taib’s leadership qualities, recalling his wise counsel and vision for Sarawak even after he became Sarawak Governor.

Taib’s advice, “Never listen to what a person says. Study his or her character,” resonated with Dr Sim, who expressed gratitude for Taib’s contributions to Sarawak’s development.

“Thanks for all your contributions to Sarawak, Tun. Al-Fatihah. RIP,” he said.

Taib passed away at age 87 at the Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur Hospital (CVSKL) today, having served as Sarawak Governor from 2014 until late last month.

Known as the ‘father of modern Sarawak,’ Taib’s legacy is deeply ingrained in the State’s history and development, transforming it from a humble backwater region in the 1960s into a vibrant, progressive part of Malaysia today. — DayakDaily