KUCHING: Today (March 1) is Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s seventh anniversary as Sarawak’s Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
Appointed to the position on March 1, 2014 succeeding two-time governor Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, Taib oversaw two serving chief ministers Pehin Sri Adenan Satem and now Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Born on May 21, 1936, Taib is the eldest of 10 children. He is a lawyer by training and studied law at University of Adelaide in South Australia.
On July 22, 1963, he was appointed as one of Sarawak’s first six cabinet ministers led by chief minister Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan at the tender age of 27.
Throughout his career in politics, he earned the distinction of being the state’s longest serving chief minister in a reign that spanned 33 years on top of 13 years being a federal minister.
Famous for the politics of development policy, he has transformed Sarawak during his stewardship while at the same time preserved the core value of Sarawakians.
He changed the economic and political landscapes of Sarawak and left a lasting legacy, reflecting our unique identity and an unwavering resolve to preserve racial and religious harmony.
An astute politician, avid reader and a fan of Malay screen legend P. Ramlee, Taib is also fascinated by the local culture, exploring its depth through films and music.
In an interview with New Sarawak Tribune on his birthday last year, Taib alluded to languages as being a glue for Sarawakians, noting that they reflect the diversity of the people.
Being a proponent and later symbol of Sarawak’s unity, the Head of State in his most recent address during the Chinese New Year celebration had stressed that unity must be preserved as it allowed continuous development.
“Sarawak has rightly earned a reputation as a peaceful state where people live in unity and harmony in spite of differences in ethnicity and religion.
“The state has truly embraced cultural diversity, unity and harmony, which has enabled the people to focus their time and energy towards development.”