Fadillah: Taib leaves behind great legacy for Sarawak

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Fadillah (second right) escorting Taib’s coffin at the RMAF Subang air base to be flown to Kuching earlier today. – Bernama photo

SUBANG (Feb 21): Former Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who died early this morning, laid a crucial foundation for Sarawak, encompassing all aspects including political stability, unity, development, and the economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that all levels of leadership and the people were saddened by the passing of Abdul Taib, who had contributed immensely not only to the state but to the entire country.

“The late Abdul Taib rendered numerous services to Sarawak in all aspects of development, and through  politics, he united the people of Sarawak and fought for the inclusive welfare of Sarawak itself.

“If I were to enumerate his contributions, there are many, but in terms of political struggle, it is about unity and also how to enhance the capabilities of the people of Sarawak in terms of knowledge, skills, and fighting spirit,” he said when approached by reporters at the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Subang air base today.

Fadillah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Petra Jaya, said that he himself received mentorship from the late Abdul Taib, who was also the former Chief Minister of Sarawak and led the state for 33 years.

“He imparted education, guidance, and messages on how we should fight for Sarawak and our country to progress so that the people can live in unity and harmony,” he said choked with emotion.

Earlier, Abdul Taib’s body was flown from the Subang air base at 1.58 pm in a RMAF C130 Hercules aircraft to be taken back to Kuching, Sarawak.

Abdul Taib, 87, died at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur at 4.40 am today and funeral rites were performed at Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

According to a statement from the Sarawak Public Communication Unit, Abdul Taib’s body will be taken from the Kuching airport to his house in Demak Jaya, Jalan Bako.

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

After that, the body will be taken to Masjid Demak near his house for prayers before a state burial at the family cemetery in Demak Jaya. – Bernama