Taib should not become TYT, says DAP rep

Newly-resigned Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud should completely retire from politics and not take up appointment as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, says Padungan State Assemblyman Wong King Wei.

Speaking in an interview to Radio Free Sarawak, Wong said that the Malaysian Anti Corruption Committee (MACC) has yet to complete the probe it began against Taib two years ago.

“If he is appointed as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, he could be the first head of State in the history of our Country who is still subjected to the probe of MACC”, said Wong.

This is in reference to the various allegations of corruption and abuse of power in particular as exposed in the documentary “Inside Malaysia’s Shadow State”.

Wong also noted that the Yang di-Pertua Negeri is a ceremonial position and according to the Sarawak state constitution, the office holder should not be actively engaged in business.

“If the Tuan Yang Terutama (as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak is styled) is engaged in business, this would violate Article 2(2) Sarawak State Constitution. The constitution states that the TYT shall not hold any office of profit and shall not actively engage in any commercial enterprise,” said Wong who is a lawyer by profession.

Taib helms several family-owned enterprises including Cahaya Mata Sarawak and Mesti Bersatu Sdn Bhd.

Conflict of interest

The first term Padungan State Assemblyman also questioned the conflict of interest that would arise, should Taib be recommended to take up the position of Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

Under existing laws, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak is appointed to the position by the King, acting on the advice of the Chief Minister. Hence if the TYT appointment were to take place, Taib as the outgoing Chief Minister would in effect be recommending his own name to the King.

This would be a clear conflict of interest situation.

Taib’s resignation as Chief Minister takes effect on 28 February, the same day that the Yang di-Pertua Negeri post becomes vacant due to TYT Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng’s term expiring. The PBB strongman today announced that Tan Sri Adenan Hj Satem would succeed him as Chief Minister. 

Wong told Radio Free Sarawak that regardless of the transition, it was likely that Taib would still hold the reigns of power “behind the scenes”, especially if he takes over as TYT.

He alluded to it being akin to the rule of an Empress Dowager who ruled behind a curtain, while her son sat on the throne in front. -The Rocket

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