Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 20th March 2011:
Short of voting out Barisan Nasional in next general elections, the only way to ensure Taib steps down as Sarawak Chief Minister is to deny BN two-thirds majority in Sarawak State Assembly
Within a few hours, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has demonstrated that his talk of stepping down as Sarawak Chief Minister is so vague and elastic that he and he alone is the sole decider of what it means - and not even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is prepared to cross his path.
Taib is in fact asking for a blank cheque to continue as Sarawak Chief Minister until he could groom a successor and “form a new team” to govern Sarawak – two tasks which may take him the entire term of the next government after he had dismally failed in the past 30 years to prepare for a succession.
When he announced in Serian yesterday morning that he will step down after the next Sarawak state polls, he spawned speculation whether he was talking of a timetable ranging from one to five years.
By the evening, at the Kuching International Airport, he had lengthened the timetable speculation from three to five years!
Although some media reported that Taib had committed himself to a timetable to hand over the chief ministership, it is clear that Taib did not make any such commitment yesterday.
Although Taib was specifically asked at the Kuching International Airport whether he would hand over to the new team at mid-term, Taib’s answer was anything but definitive and specific when he said: “Yes, if possible that is my plan. It was my intention, since 2006, to step down. But it did not work then, so I postponed it.” (Sunday Star)
Just as his plan to step down as Chief Minister from 2006 had not worked and he had to postpone it, his plan to step down as Chief Minister after the next elections whether at mid-term or later could similarly go awry for the whole duration of the next government “forcing” him again to postpone his retirement plan.
When in a matter of hours, Taib’s timetable to step down as Sarawak Chief Minister after the elections could be extended by some three years, it is clear that Taib is not stepping down any time soon.
Short of voting out Barisan Nasional in next general elections, the only way to ensure Taib steps down as Sarawak Chief Minister is to deny BN two-thirds majority in the Sarawak State Assembly.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor