Hornbill Unleashed

March 5, 2014

Is return of the prodigal son coincidental?

Winston Way

First public appearance of Taib’s son, Sulaiman, has spawned rumours of him standing in Balingian.

Prodigal son, Sulaiman ‘s unexpected presence on Friday to welcome his father Taib Mahmud’s return from Kuala Lumpur as Sarawak’s new Governor has fired up the rumour mill here.

Speculations are divided over whether his return is linked to Balingian or the Taib business empire.

Of the two sons – the other is Mahmud Bekir – Sulaiman was his father’s ‘chosen one’ until he went AWOL in 2010 following his mother’s death.

At the time Sulaiman was first time MP of Kota Samarahan,  a seat which he won easily in the 2008 general election beating PKR’s Hussain Abang Apok wby a 11,411 vote majority.

He was subsequently appointed deputy Tourism minister under the then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and was retained in the post by his successor, Najib Tun Razak.

In December 2009, Sulaiman resigned from the post , citing personal reasons. Taib had once said that Sulaiman was disturbed by his mother, Laila’s  death in April 2009.

During Sulaiman’s absence, the Kota Samarahan seat was looked after by his uncle Ali Mahmud and other senior PBB leaders.

In last year’s general election PBB dropped Sulaiman and fielded former local government official Rubiah Wang who  went on to retain the seat.

Sulaiman’s surprising appearance on Friday night at Kuching International Airport alongside his siblings Mahmud, Jamilah and Hanifah to welcome his father as such did not go unnoticed, especially since he was not present at his father’s wedding in January and  official birthday celebrations in Mukah four months ago.

Was it co-incidental then that on Saturday national news agency Bernama reported that there was talk that the party was  closely guarding the name of another possible candidate for Balingian?

Will it be Sulaiman?

Speculations, though divided, are rife that Sulaiman’s  return is to persists with the Ya’kub political dynasty, which began with Sarawak third governor Rahman Yaakub, Taib’s uncle.

Mahmud, his elder brother who was speculated as a possible candidate, has however said that he ‘would prefer to concentrate on business first’. Many have attributed this to his ongoing divorce settlement issues.

Sulaiman, 45,  meanwhile is said to be intelligent and loving life in the fast lane. He is reportedly more  interested in cars than politics.  He is considered as ‘the most playful’ of the Taib offsprings and as the one who never take things or life seriously.

He was once on the board of directors of Cahya Mata Sarawak(CMS), a corporation closely linked with Taib, and also the chairman of RHB Bank, before he was purportedly asked by Bank Negara Malaysia to leave because his lack of commitment.

Sulaiman also had a messy separation with his wife, Anisa Hamidah Chan, who incidentally is the daughter of ex-deputy chief minister and SUPP president George Chan.

Sulaiman was also once speculated to be suffering from AIDS but he has since refuted the rumours.

Could Sulaiman extend  the Ya’akub political dynasty as suggested by some at the moment?

Most likely, the so-called ‘Ya’akub political dynasty’ will die a natural death, unlike those of the Lims, Anwars, Razaks and Jaafar in Malaya.

But whatever the agenda, what is almost certain is that his re-emegence is not a twist of fate, especially since his father, who is now the Governor, must swiftly relinquish his business stakes.


  1. He is no prodigal son but a PROBLEM SON! Has too much, pampered too much and shameless to reappear after running off from his duties on a lame excuse!

    Comment by brian — March 5, 2014 @ 4:46 PM | Reply

  2. Unless we are able to change the mindsets of ignorant rural folks, the right minded citizens of Sarawak may find very difficult to dismantle the strong entrenched power of the family. Any suggestion from the right minded Sarawkian? Give some tips to the opposition teams. More brains needed to rescue the hopelessness of the citizens of the state.

    Comment by loyarburok — March 5, 2014 @ 12:34 PM | Reply

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