KUCHING, Oct 22 – Sarawak grew from strength to strength and transformed from one of the poorest to become one of the most prosperous states in the country under the leadership of Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said he truly believed that the modern Sarawak of today was the culmination of Taib’s significant contribution, not only in pursuing the goals of economic progress, but also in fostering the spirit of unity among the people of the state throughout all the years he was in office as the Chief Minister. The Sarawak Information Department in a statement on Wednesday said Najib noted this in his message for a coffee table book entitled “Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib – The Visionary Builder of Modern Sarawak”, that was launched last month.
The Prime Minister said Taib, who is now the Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak, had been instrumental in uniting Sarawak’s multi-racial and multi-religious society mainly due to his deep conviction that the only way for the state to progress was through cooperation among the different ethnic groups. Najib also pointed out that one could see how the 1Malaysia concept was being practiced in Sarawak and how the country as a whole can emulate the success of the concept in the state.
He said as the Chief Minister, Taib was able to dramatically improve the standard of living and quality of life of the people by providing them with opportunities in education, generating more job opportunities and building a robust environment for businesses to thrive. The Prime Minister said looking back at all that Sarawak had achieved over the past 33 years, the title of Visionary Builder of Modern Sarawak was an apt one for the former chief minister.
Taib was Sarawak Chief Minister for 33 years before he handed over the state leadership to Tan Sri Adenan Satem last February. According to the statement, the 408-page book launched in conjunction with Taib’s 78th birthday celebration at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) last month, chronicled the story from his childhood education to his appointment as the Yang Dipertua Negeri.
It contains 630 photographs, and serves as a tribute to Taib for all his contributions towards the development of modern Sarawak. Compiled and edited by a team of writers comprising of educationists, editors and reporters, the book also includes the future impact of his contributions in terms of the foundation that he had built to ensure the continued progress and prosperity of the state.