COMMENT: As widely reported by the media, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud’s parting words in what was supposed to be his last time chairing the state Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting were “Sarawak for Sarawakians”.
It remains to be seen whether this means that the wealth and lordship of Sarawak ultimately go to Sarawakians or it means tyranny by the familiar instead of by those across the South China Sea.
The fact is that allegations of abuse of power and corruption, as well as the inequities in development and income that infest Sarawak continue to this day even under Taib, and his Sarawak for Sarawakians rule.
Who are those that had appropriated the billions spent by the federal government on infrastructure projects that never saw fruition if locals are the only ones holding political and administrative power in the resource-rich state?
All those questions were not addressed when Sarawak BN secretary-general Stephen Rundi Utom conveyed Taib’s message to the press after the state ruling coalition’s meeting on Feb 10.
Taib has decided to resign from office at the end of the month and news reports said he will saddle into the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s seat soon after.
The upcoming resignation is the end of an era for Sarawak after 33 years of rule, or as some claimed, misrule by Taib.
“His strong words were that we needed to protect the rights of the state as per the constitution,” Stephen said.
Pressed on the matter, he conceded to reporters that this may literally mean keeping Umno from entering Sarawak or “something like that”.
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