Wednesday, October 07, 2009

:: Taib Mahmud: I am ever willing to step down

My fate with PBB members: Taib
By Edwin Raoh

President says he is willing to step down if, in the interest of the party, that is what members want

BETONG: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said he will leave it to Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) members to decide whether he should stay on as their president. He said he had indicated his intention to call it a day in the past but party members wanted him to stay on, which was why he has remained their president.

“My position as PBB president is for the party members to decide and I am leaving it to them to decide. I have openly said I am ever willing to step down as president any time now but party interest has the final say,” Taib said.

He said this when opening the triennial delegates conference (TDC) of 11 PBB branches held at Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan Hall here yesterday.

The 11 branches were Lingga, Beting Maro, Bukit Begunan, Simanggang, Engkilili, Batang Ai, Saribas, Layar, Bukit Saban, Kalaka and Krian.

PBB is expected to hold its triennial delegates conference early next year. Taib, who is the state Barisan Nasional chairman, has been PBB president since 1981.

Taib yesterday also emphasised that party members must remain united and work hard to safeguard party unity.

“Unity in PBB is imperative as it is the backbone of the state BN and at the same time to enable it to face greater challenges in the second wave of the politics of development,” he said.

He said PBB leaders and members must strive to make PBB relevant as the state moved forward to produce a middle-class society equipped with knowledge of a fast changing world.

“Our people must be able to steer Sarawak to a greater level of development and progress especially with the development of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE),” he said.

PBB deputy president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang said earlier that party members had collectively agreed that Taib should remain at the helm of the party.

Jabu, who is also a deputy chief minister, said the 11 PBB branches had passed a resolution that the post of party president be uncontes-ted in the coming TDC.

“PBB has also passed a resolution that he (Taib) should remain as chief minister and support the politics of development,” Jabu, who is Rural Development Minister, pointed out.

He said PBB also fully supported the development of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

PBB deputy president Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, senior vice presidents Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan and Datuk Douglas Uggah, secretary-general Dr Stephen Rundi, PBB permanent chairman Dato Sri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and PBB supreme council member Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar were among those present. Meanwhile, Johari on Sunday was reported as saying that there could be no contests for the top posts at the coming TDC.

According to him, there are a growing number of members who want the top posts to be left uncontested.