Sarawak DAP made it very clear today that it will oppose any move to appoint long-time Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud as the next Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak, or governor.
This is because Taib is actively under investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Sarawak DAP chief said today.
“A 10-member special task force has been set up to investigate Taib after many complaints of corruption, abuse of power and conflict of interests were filed against him,” said Chong Chieng Jen, who is Kota Sentosa assemblyperson and MP for Bandar Kuching.
He said this in reference to speculation within political circles, and even among the masses in Kuching, who are concerned about political developments in the state.
The speculation that has been spreading is that Taib will, after Feb 28, 2014, step down as chief minister and take over as the next head of state.
The speculation came in the wake of the latest extension of the tenure of office of the current head of state, for three months starting from December 2013.
‘A rather unusual extension’
“This is rather unusual for the extension of the Sarawak head of state for three months only,” Chong said, pointing to widespread speculation that Taib would take over from the current head of state Mohd Salahuddin Abang Barieng.
“As far as the DAP is concerned, the candidate for the post of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak should not be a person tainted with corruption or criminal records and should not be a person being investigated by the MACC.
“We know that MACC has set up a 10-man special task force just to investigate Taib Mahmud for alleged corruption.”
Until the special task force concludes its investigations, he added, Taib basically remained a suspect. Under such a stigma, and until this special task force clears Taib’s name, he should not be appointed as the Sarawak head of state, Chong added.
The word also going around is that Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu (left) will take over as the next chief minister.
Numerous complaints have been lodged against Taib in the past few years, ranging from alleged land-grabbing to corruption and abuse of power.
It has also been reported that he and his family own a massive property portfolio in the state, in the country and abroad as well, including in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia, all worth billions of ringgit.