Late Taib was master political tactician who guarded Sarawak, prevented BN from gaining foothold

Ibrahim debating the Motion of Appreciation for Taib in the august House on May 8, 2024.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 8: The late Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was a masterful political tactician and a true blue Sarawakian who staunchly defended Sarawak by preventing Barisan Nasional (BN) components from Peninsular Malaysia from establishing a presence in the region.

Satok assemblyman Dato Ibrahim Baki highlighted Taib’s commitment to ensuring Sarawak remained under the leadership, administration, and sole management of Sarawakians.


“He successfully navigated and convinced BN components from Peninsular Malaysia not to set up branches in Sarawak as certain sections of Umno (United Malays National Organisation) had intended to set foot in Sarawak.

“Had Umno’s entry to Sarawak materialised, it would have changed our political landscape,” he remarked during the debate on the Motion of Appreciation for Taib in the august House here today.

Having witnessed Taib’s political progress since he was the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth branch leader in 1985, Ibrahim described him as an unwavering party loyalist who did not waver an inch in his resolve when it came to safeguarding PBB, which he helped formed.

Taib faced his greatest trial during the Ming Court crisis of 1987, when dissenting elements within PBB and the coalition sought to unseat him.

However, he stuck to his guns alongside other PBB loyalists, including Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Tan Sri Leonard Linggi Jugah, and other prominent leaders, successfully defending and preserving the integrity of PBB, the coalition, and the government.

The dissenters were crushed in the 1987 Sarawak Election, and under Taib’s stewardship, Sarawak enjoyed political stability throughout his tenure as Chief Minister.

“Today, Sarawak is in the good hands of GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak). The people gave a clear signal with the huge mandate in the 2021 Sarawak Election. The people wanted Sarawak to be administered and managed by Anak Sarawak without any interference from political parties outside of Sarawak.

“GPS, a ‘Sarawak First’ government now commands a supermajority in the august House, operating in a more pragmatic political climate compared to the rest of the nation. We now enjoy political stability and excellent economic progress. Sarawakians are living in harmony irrespective of race, religion and other cultures. And we are able to focus on development initiatives and policy-making thanks to Tun Pehin Sri,” he said.

Ibrahim acknowledged Taib’s lasting legacy as the Father of Modern Sarawak who oversaw its transformation and was a bulwark of religious freedom and racial diversity.

“His contribution to Sarawak are immense; his policies, initiatives and vision have touched the hearts of many and made a difference for us all. For that, myself and my fellow Sarawakians are forever in his debt. We have not only lost a statesman but we have lost a father figure whose wisdom served as inspiration for us all,” he concluded. — DayakDaily