Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taib Is King

In Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister, who detractors call the Rajah Brooke of modern Sarawak (for his iron-fisted 30 years rule of the state) and "peh moh" ( or "white-haired" for his silver hairs) is king!

He had just led his party Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) to a clean sweep of the 35 state seats they contested, helping the Barisan Nasional coalition to retain it power in Sarawak for another 5 years. Sarawak People Have Spoken

It is said that even the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is afraid of him.

In a move seen by many as an attempt to win votes from Sarawakians fed with with Taib's 30 years reign as the Chief Minister, Najib had  said before the recent state election that Taib Mahmud would leave after the election.

However, Taib Mahmud had quickly contradicted his boss by saying that he would stay for several more years.

Nobody who ever openly contradicted a Malaysian Prime Minister had got away with it, not even Anwar Ibrahim.

In 1998 during the Asian financial crisis, Anwar had given a speech in Hong Kong where he said that Malaysia should follow IMF's recommendations, thus contradicting his boss, then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Anwar was then sacked from his office as the Deputy Prime Minister and the rest is history.

It may be more difficult for Najib to do an Anwar on Taib Mahmud, not least because Najib needs PBB to remain in Barisan but also because of the baggage both are alleged to have, one for his alleged connection to the death of the Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaaribu and the other for his alleged rape of Sarawak for the benefit of himself, his family members and cronies at the expense of the Sarawak people.

Sarawak is the biggest state in Malaysia and arguably the most resource rich, but it remains the poorest state if not one of the poorest states in Malaysia.

It remains to be seen if Taib Mahmud can fulfil his election promise to the Sarawak people to make Sarawak the richest state in Malaysia, something he apparently failed to do in his 30 years reign as the Chief Minsiter.

If Taib Mahmud is able to turn Sarawak into the richest state in Malaysia in these 5 years, he would have proven that he can indeed  walk on water as some people cynically say he could.

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