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Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 19th March 2011: 

Taib not stepping down as Sarawak Chief Minister any time soon

Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is not stepping down as Sarawak Chief Minister any time soon.

This is obvious from his latest very elaborate political dance which he had choreographed over his intended resignation as Sarawak Chief Minister.

Cutting through all the verbiage and verbosity indulged by Taib yesterday, the message is very clear: Taib will lead the Barisan Nasional into the state general election expected next month and he will continue as Sarawak Chief Minister after the polls!

Reason? Taib has not yet been able to groom a successor!

Taib had chosen his words carefully when he said:

"I will lead this election so that new blood can come up, but after that, when the people I have groomed can form a new team and can work for this country, for the people of various races, and that these people can work as part of a team, then I will call it a day”

It is still a long way to go before Taib is ready to hand over the reins of Sarawak state government to his successor – as he himself has outlined the many steps that must be taken before he could contemplate relinquishing the post of Sarawak Chief Minister, including:

(i) To form “a new team” to run the state government;

(ii) To ensure that the new team can “work as part of a team”.

This means Taib will have no qualms to continue as Sarawak Chief Minister for instance (i) if he is not satisfied that he has got a “new team” that could work for the country or (ii) not assured that the new team could “work as part of a team”.

This can take anything from one year to five years as he may have to keep trying “a new team”!

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has merely echoed Taib’s wishes when he said he respects Taib’s desire to quit politics but cautioned that Taib should not be pressured to quit.

Najib said Taib is ready to step down and when the time is right, Taib will pass the baton to his successor. There is no need to force him to quit.

As there is not only no successor at present but the new team has yet to be formed and tested, Taib’s stepping down as Sarawak Chief Minister is far into the distant horizon.

Clearly, Taib has to choreograph and act out the elaborate political dance of his preparedness to step down as Chief Minister to counter and neutralise the Sarawak Barisan Nasional’s Achilles’ heel in the impending Sarawak state general election – that Taib had overstayed as Sarawak Chief Minister.

It will be known soon enough whether Sarawak voters are so gullible that such a political ploy and bluff can work so as to return Taib for another term as Sarawak Chief Minister.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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