Jabu: Taib’s demise a loss of a good friend, mentor, big brother

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Jabu speaks to reporters.

KUCHING (Feb 21): Former Sarawak deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang has described the untimely demise of Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as a loss of a good friend, a great mentor and a big brother.

He said the former Sarawak Governor has sacrificed a good 61 years of his life since 1963 as the chief minister and head of state.

“He devoted his time to the development of Sarawak from the time when Sarawak was at the bottom three of the worst performing states within Malaysia to climbing up to top three, the best three within Malaysia.

“Under his leadership, Sarawak has prospered with leaps and bounds, and we are very sad that he has left us. I lost a very good friend, my great mentor, and a big brother, we grew together through our party PBB, stabilising the politics in Sarawak through many attempts and challenges in the political circle supported by the rakyat.

“He stabilised Sarawak’s politics and also brought together opposing parties for the state’s betterment, and we are very sad to lose a very great leader,” he told reporters when met during the arrival of Taib’s remains at Kuching International Airport here today.

Under Taib’s leadership, Jabu said Sarawak has managed political stability and racial harmony.

“His legacy is a testament to his exceptional leadership.

“The support of the people and the legacy he left behind must be emulated by future generations and I believe all the multiracial and multireligious communities in Sarawak will work together following his legacy and the leadership by GPS government under Premier Abang Jo,” he said.

Meanwhile, another former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi George Chan Hong Nam said that racial harmony is the greatest contribution by Taib.

It was also the reason why he got involved in politics in the first place, said Chan.

Chan then said that Taib was able to develop Miri city as it is today.

“Under his guidance and advice, I was able to contribute a lot of things, most specifically to the development of Sarawak.

“His contributions have fostered a greater sense of unity among the people of Sarawak,”  he said.

“The other contribution that he made was that he did not allow further interference from the federal government to interfere with matters of Sarawak which I feel is very important, because we manage to develop Sarawak the way we want to,” he added.

Chan then said that Taib was able to develop Miri city as it is today.

“And I believe people in Miri are truly grateful for him.

“All in all, he was a great leader and the reason why Sarawak is the way it is today,” he added.