Late Taib lauded for elevating Bidayuh recognition, uniting PBB

From left (clockwise): Tiong, Roland, Sharifah Mordiah and Jabu.

KUCHING, Feb 21: The late former Sarawak Head of State (TYT) Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has been instrumental in bringing the Bidayuh to a position of recognition, and for which the community is indeed very grateful and appreciative, says Dato Sri Roland Sagah Wee Inn.

Sagah, who is Education, Innovation, and Talent Development (MEITD) Sarawak Minister, said Taib shaped his policies to include all communities, regardless of race or religion.

“His politics of development are legendary. His legacy is felt all over Sarawak,” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, federal Tourism, Arts, and Culture (Motac) Minister Dato Sri Tiong King Sing highlighted that Taib is rightly regarded as the father of modern Sarawak, having been a mainstay of leadership for many decades and continuing to offer his guidance and wisdom in the stewardship of the State until his passing.

“I am fortunate to be able to count on Tun Pehin Sri in my long career for his astute and ageless advice. We are all indebted to his uniting leadership.

“The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), and indeed all of Sarawak mourn the loss of a visionary leader who brought much development and growth to our proud State.

“His contributions to the development of Sarawak is what put our State on the map. We have long valued his guiding hand in ensuring equitable sharing among all the different ethnic groups that call Sarawak their home and motherland, and as a result, we enjoy a world-renowned unity and common sense of purpose among Sarawakians,” the PDP president said.

“To many, Tun Pehin Sri, who came from humble beginnings and reached the pinnacle of leadership, had not lost sight of the need to help and bring up the poorest and least fortunate of Sarawak in all its most remote corners, no matter anyone’s background.”

Meanwhile, former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang shared that he has lost a close friend who served as his mentor and older brother during their time together in Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

“His leadership was firm and supported by the ‘rakyat’ (people). He brought people together. He brought all of the quarrelling parties together,” Jabu added.

Former State elected representative Dato Sri Sharifah Mordiah Tuanku Pauzi expressed profound sadness and shock at Taib’s passing. She reminisced about their shared journey, dating back to 1979 when she first entered the Sarawak Legislative Assembly.

At the pinnacle of her political career, she willingly relinquished her Sebandi seat to pave the way for Taib, recognising his potential to become the next chief minister of Sarawak, during the 1981 State election.

“I am thankful and grateful to Taib and his family for entrusting me with the responsibility of serving as assistant minister of the Ministry of Women’s Welfare and Affairs in the cabinet (back in 1987).

“Thereafter, he appointed me as his political secretary where I served for a decade,” she said when met by reporters at the late Taib’s residence at Jalan Bako here today.

Sharifah Mordiah added that she cherished the invaluable lessons learned from Taib, particularly his guidance and advice.

“I deeply appreciate his significant contributions to the people and the development of Sarawak.

“As a Sarawakian, we felt indebted to Taib as it is not easy to find a leader so committed to the welfare of the people, with a keen strategic vision that propelled major developmental initiatives in Sarawak,” she emphasised. — DayakDaily