Ex-Kuching South mayor: Tun Taib was a mentor, great statesman

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A photo of Chan (left) and Taib when they last met in 2019.

KUCHING (Feb 21): Former Kuching South mayor Datuk James Chan described former Head of State, the late Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, as a great statesman who is fair to all races and religious groups.

“His cry of peace and unity among all ethnic groups stays loud until today, thus, that is why Sarawak has been enjoying the peace and prosperity all these years,” Chan told The Borneo Post.

“Sarawak is blessed to have a leader like Tun Pehin Sri who was fair to all races and religions,” he said of the late Tun Taib who served as the Sarawak Chief Minister from 1981 to 2014.

“As an ‘Anak Sarawak’, he had done so much to the state, and this had enabled his successors to continue developing Sarawak to what it is today – a stable, prosperous and peaceful state,” he said, adding that Taib had indeed left an impactful legacy for Sarawak.

On a personal note, Chan described Taib as a good friend and a mentor.

“I, for one, gained much support from the late Tun Pehin Sri Taib during my tenure as the Kuching South mayor, in that all the people in the Kuching South areas had benefitted from it.

“He was a good boss and certainly a great statesman who will be missed greatly,” said Chan.

Taib passed away at the age of 87 at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur at around 4.40am this morning. He was the seventh Sarawak Governor.

His remains will be taken to the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building tomorrow, where members of the public can pay their last respects between 8am to 11.30am.

After that, his remains will be taken to Masjid Demak for prayers before a state funeral at his family cemetery in Demak Jaya.