1989 : In another 3 years
1995 : In another 5 years
2011 : In another 2 years
2012 : “My private affair”
My succession is a private affair
KUCHING: An irate Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday lambasted opposition DAP for pestering him to name his successor, adding in not so many words that it was none of DAPs business.
I dont have to tell you that because it is our private affairs.
When the time comes I will announce and you will see it will be better than the DAPs succession plan in Kuching, Taib said when his winding up speech at the state assembly was interrupted by Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chien Jen who stood up to ask about Taibs succession plan.
A surprised Speaker Asfia Awang Nassar tried to stop Chong from raising the issue as it is very sensitive, but Chong insisted that he wanted a clarification, pointing out that he had raised the issue in the debate.
May I know any successor, any succession plan in mind? Chong asked.
I have mentioned in my debate speech about Yang Amat Berhormat (Taib) who has made a promise during the last State election to retire in two years time, he said.
To this Taib rebutted: I have said but there is one responsibility you do not know, making it smooth and maintaining that this country doesnt go down with all this kind of politic that you are famous for friction.
Taibs 30 years as chief minister was hot issue in the Sibu parliamentary by-election in May 2010 so much so that Taib was advised not to campaign in the Chinese populated areas.
BN who held the Sibu seat for 24 years, lost control when its candidate Robert Lau of Sarawak United Peoples Party was vanquished by DAP state chairman Wong Ho Leng.
In the last April state election, Taibs tenure in office again dominated other campaign issues. In order to cushion the effect of the issue among the Chinese voters in particular, Taib announced that he would step down two years after the election.
In spite of the announcement, SUPP lost 13 seats out of 19 it contested to the opposition. It was the worst defeat it had ever experienced in its 52 years of its existence.
Now that one year has gone, Taib is yet to name his successor.
Whos next, Taib?
Nevertheless, two people are waiting in the wings Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Abang Johari Tun Openg (who is seen as Umno-friendly) and senior vice-president Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
Deputy PBB president Alfred Jabu and Taibs Special Advisor with ministerial powers, Adenan Satem, are not in the list. Adenan is out because of his health conditions.
But the question uppermost on peoples minds now is why isnt Taib announcing his successor?
Does he have someone else in mind besides Awang Tengah and Abang Johari, who are expected to be seat warmers much like Singapores former president Goh Chok Tong?
If he remains silent on the issue before the next general election, DAP is certain to capitalise on Taibs rule which is associated with corruption, abuse of power, cronyism, land alienation and native customary right land-grabbing