Former deputy chief minister describes late Taib as ‘fair man’, Ba’kelalan rep sees him as great politician with controversies

(From left) Snowdan, Chan and Baru.

KUCHING, Feb 21: Former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri George Chan has described the late Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as “a fair man” who believed in meritocracy.

When met by the media today at a prayer session for Taib at Masjid Demak, Chan in the impromptu interview described Taib as “a fair man” at least two times.

“Working with him, I found him to be a fair man, who treated everybody the same. 

“He was also a religiously-tolerant individual. I remember that he would go to churches and temples without any problem.  

“That is why when people see him as a leader who is so tolerant both racially and religiously, Sarawak follows. That is why Sarawak is so united today. (It) is because of the background that he has set up

“He is always been a very fair man. That, I think is his strongest point,” said Chan.

He also described Taib as being very charitable, never turning down requests of villagers in need of his help.

Chan added that Sarawak has lost an irreplaceable leader.

However, he also pointed out that Taib had groomed capable leaders to take over from him, resulting in good leadership and progress in Sarawak.

“An era has passed. I am sure the new leaders will also lead Sarawak the way he (Taib) had led Sarawak in the past, towards a bright future,” said Chan.

In a press statement Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Deputy Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan said Taib, who he described as the ‘Father of Modern Sarawak’ was the architect of the State’s progress today.

“His politics of development has had a profound impact on the multi-ethnic society in Sarawak, in such a way that the racial harmony we currently enjoy now is envied by others. 

“His understanding and willingness to accommodate political rivalry and turn it into opportunities of consensus has led the State to reach a high degree of tolerance,” said Snowdan.

Meanwhile, Ba’kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian believed that the passing of Taib means Sarawak has lost a formidable figure, “whose life was a tapestry of impressive political mind, notable achievements, and significant controversies”. 

“Despite our longstanding and often diverse political opinions and rivalry, I respected his political mind and the energy he brought to our debates,” said Baru in a statement. — DayakDaily