Sunday 9 September 2012

Kit Siang: Will PM enforce Taib's exit promise?

Come April, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's self-imposed deadline to step down will expire, but there is little sign that it will happen, said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

In a press release today, Lim noted that Taib had publicly said yesterday that there was no need for a leadership change as the people of Sarawak currently "enjoy peace, political stability and organised development".

NONEShould Taib refuse to step down next April, Lim (left) warned that it would be a serious setback for Najib who revealed in April 2011 that he had brokered Taib's retirement date.

"It would appear that Taib's speech today is specially meant for Najib's ears, with the unmistakable message that he is not going to honour his understanding with (Najib).

"A test of wills between Taib and Najib is currently underway, with Taib thumbing his nose at the Prime Minister, defying Najib to see who can last longer politically.

"Taib is confident that Najib is too weak politically to try to enforce their understanding before the Sarawak elections that he is to be chief minister for only two years," said Lim.

Midway through the Sarawak election campaign, Najib flew in to provide reinforcement as it was increasingly apparent that BN was losing some ground.

Pakatan Rakyat's campaign had focussed on Taib's 30 year reign as chief executive of Sarawak and allegations of him amassing an amazing fortune during his tenure at the expense of the environment and the people.

NONEThroughout the campaign, Najib (right) said he had brokered a retirement deal with Taib and even exhorted Sarawakians to "believe" him.

Under pressure, Taib said during the later stage of the campaign that he would step down in "two years". But after being sworn-in, Taib became ambigous and said he would leave "mid-term".

Lim said that come Sept 16, all eyes will be on how Najib handles the prickly subject.

Najib will be leading his entire cabinet to Bintulu, Sarawak for the Malaysia Day celebration on that day and Taib is certain to be present.

"This will also be the most appropriate occasion to clarify whether his understanding with Taib on the latter's stepping down.. two years after the Sarawak elections, still stands," he said.

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