Friday, April 22, 2011


The recent Sarawak state general election was without any doubt a referendum on Taib Mahmud. Even, before the general election, resentment against Taib Mahmud and his 30 year rule had built up and the general consensus was that Taib Mahmud had stayed too long and he had to go.

Najib Tun Razak had also known of the general sentiment of the people and particularly of the Chinese electorate who simply wanted to see the back of Taib Mahmud. Recognisng the public sentiment, Najib who even took up temporary residency in Sarawak and tried to assure and convince the electorate, in particular the Chinese, that Taib Mahmud would step down after the general election or that Taib Mahmud had already intimated that he would step down after the general election. Then, in the midst of the general election, there was Najib heaping praises on Abang Johari, thereby giving suspicion that Abang Johari was being earmarked by Najib to replace Taib Mahmud after the general election.

Strangely, Taib Mahmud himself never once during the general election gave any indication or made any announcement that he will step down after the general election. It was Najib and Najib alone who was making the announcements of Taib Mahmud’s eminent departure. Not Taib Mahmud. Clearly, Taib Mahmud had no intention to step down and relinquish the office of the Chief Minister.

Thus, it raises question did Taib Mahmud sense something was already brewing on the day of the election and in particularly when it became known that the opposition and in particularly DAP had done very well to the extent of wresting all the blue ribband state seats in Kuching. It is reported that when the reporters met Taib Mahmud in his opulent house after the election results had became known, Taib Mahmud was fidgety and kept looking at his watch. Taib Mahmud it is reported to have rushed to the Tuan Yang Terutama’s palace and took the oath of office at 11 pm. The Star reports that Taib Mahmud rushed to TYT’s palace without even wearing his socks !. This is the same man who is always immaculately dressed !

It begets the questions, why did Taib Mahmud rush to take the oath of office immediately after the election and even more strange, why Taib Mahmud had to take the oath of office so late in the night. After all, BN had already secured a 2/3 majority. Did Taib Mahmud sense something was amiss or knew something was already brewing in respect to his position as the Chief Minister of Sarawak. Whatever it is, it was a master stroke by the wily old fox, to quickly take the oath of office and thereby ensuring his Chief Minister’s position is safe and secured.

Having secured his position, it is now clear that Taib Mahmud will only leave office when (and if ) he decides to do so. Not at the calling of Najib. Now that Taib Mahmud has secured his position, it may be Taib Mahmud who will be calling the shots in the coming 13th general election. It remains to be seen who will then be calling whom to depart. After all it is Taib Mahmud who is keeping BN’s fixed deposit.