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Sombre Mood Marks End Of Taib's 33-year Tenure As Chief Minister
Tomorrow, Taib will have an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Shah Mu'adzam at Istana Negara here to receive his credentials to be Sarawak's seventh Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
In the brief but meaningful farewell, Taib and his wife, Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, who were accompanied by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Minister in the Chief Minister's Office (Special Functions) Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who is also designated to be Sarawak's fifth Chief Minister, and state Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, were seen shaking hands with about 300 government staff at the building.
Also present were Sarawak State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Federal Secretary Datuk Md Yahaya Basimin and state and federal heads of department (HODs).
Government staff at the building, who lined-up in an almost 50 metre-long row, began gathering since noon, taking the opportunity to shake hands and take photographs with Taib and his wife.
They also brought banners with the words, 'I love Pehin Sri','Thank You Pehin Sri', written on them while about 10 staff were seen bringing a big banner with a 'thank you' poem (pantun) to Taib for his services rendered to Sarawak.
More interestingly, Adenan was seen reciting the poem while being observed by Taib.
Taib was later seen to pause for a moment looking at the building that served as his office for the past 33 years before heading to the main entrance for a photo-taking session with Jabu, Adenan, Masing and the HODs.
There was a poignant moment when Jabu shook hands and embraced Taib, with both men appearing to be emotional with Adenan also giving him an emotional embrace.
Later he also shook hands with all the HODs and even managed to impart some advice to them before moving to his car to leave the building.
Taib became the fourth chief minister of Sarawak on March 26 1981, replacing his uncle, Tun Abdul Rahman Ya'kub.
He was born in Miri on May 21 1936 and was the first among 10 siblings, who began his primary education at Sekolah St Joseph's in Miri before receiving his secondary education at St. Joseph's Kuching and later pursued his tertiary education at Adelaide University in Australia.
Taib married Puan Sri Laila Taib in Adelaide in 1959 and the couple was blessed with four children, two sons and two daughters.
After his first wife passed away from cancer in 2009, Taib married a second time to Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib in 2010.
On returning to Sarawak, Taib worked in the Crown Counsel as state attorney from 1962 to 1963.
His political career began when he joined the State Legislative Council of Sarawak on July 22, 1963, where he was appointed state minister for Communication and Works (1963-1966), Minister of Development and Forestry (1966-1967) before being appointed as Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry (1968-1970).
His career at the federal level began when he won the Samarahan Parliamentary seat in 1970 and was subsequently appointed as the deputy minister of Works, Post and Communication (1970), Primary Industries Minister (1972), Defence Minister (1978), Acting Foreign Minister (1979) and Federal Territories Minister (1980).
On March 9, 1981, Taib resigned from his post as Federal Territories Minister to contest in the Sebandi state by-election.
He won the Sebandi seat unopposed and was later appointed as Sarawak Land and Mines Minister.
Subsequently he was appointed as Sarawak Chief Minister on March 26, 1981.
news coverage in our Newswire service.
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