New Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has his work cut out for him but his big test is whether he can match his predecessor in delivering in the general election.
“I love you ’Milah, don’t leave me alone.”
Those were the last words of Tan Sri Adenan Satem to his wife Puan Sri Jamilah Anu as she comforted him in his final moments.
There has been an avalanche of tributes to the former Sarawak Chief Minister for the reforms he brought during his brief stint at the top. His death hit Sarawakians like a tonne of bricks even though they knew he was in poor health and had difficulty moving about.
His final day on earth had begun quite normally. He had requested for a shower and change of clothes so that he could feel fresher, and he told Jamilah he felt like eating his favourite dish – masak lemak ikan masin dan terung (salted fish and eggplant cooked in coconut milk). He had also asked for ice cream, his favourite dessert.
He had earlier told his special administrative officer Wan Khalik Wan Muhammad that he planned to attend the main Chinese New Year open houses in Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Bintulu.
Adenan had sat looking out at the view from his hospital window before returning to his bed and Wan Khalik was reading out to him from the newspapers, when he began feeling unwell and asked for Jamilah. He suffered a cardiac arrest not long after, as Jamilah and Wan Khalik recited prayers by his bedside.
Sarawak’s “singing Chief Minister” was 72 and the candle had burnt out all too soon for the man whose vision and policies have helped project Sarawak as a model of moderation.
Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg or Abang Jo, as he is widely known, is coming in on this sad note and into what many have described as big shoes to fill. He was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on Friday. It was a smooth and fuss-free transition, although barely hours after Adenan’s death, WhatsApp was on fire with the fake news that Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas had been appointed acting Chief Minister. Continue reading