Saturday, May 15

I have identified my successor — Taib


Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

CM says he has groomed his replacement for 20 years

KUCHING: Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said yesterday he has identified his successor as Sarawak Chief Minister.

He did not name the person, but said he had groomed his successor for 20 years.

He added that the person replacing him must be acceptable not only to the Sarawak Barisan Nasional but also the people.

“I must choose the best person to take over from me and to work together as a team,” he said in an interview here.

Taib said the team taking over must be able to work together to ensure that all government policies and plans were implemented smoothly.

“We take into consideration all this. A disorderly succession is certain to anger the people,” he said, adding that change of leadership at the federal level had always been smooth.

“We have a plan among PBB leaders. I go first followed by leaders who had come later than me when people whom we groomed can discharge their duties well,” he said.

Taib, who has been chief minister since March 1981 when he was 45, said he had delegated “a portion of power” to several ministers to prepare the second liners for responsibilities at the helm.

On the PBB line-up for the election, he said that he had chosen candidates who could not only win but also “see eye-to-eye with the new leadership.”

Asked about the achievements of his administration, Taib said: “I don’t know how to rate my success. I think I’ve managed to get all the races to work together, backed by a desire to move in the same direction, which we call a philosophy of confluence of cultures.”

On the view that he had been chief minister for too long, he said he had to stay after the 2006 election because SUPP lost several seats and he had to “fill in the gap to groom new talents.”

The opposition harping on his long tenure “is like the pot calling the kettle black,” Taib said.

He said  that  DAP  advisor Lim Kit Siang and party chairman Karpal Singh, both 70, had been active  for  four  decades now and had ensured that their children were at the top.

PKR was no better, Taib said, noting that  Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is advisor, his  wife  Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail president, and his daughter Nurul Izzah vice-president. — Bernama