SIBU: Former chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud was instrumental in transforming Sarawak, physically, socially and economically, during his 30-year tenure, according to state Second Finance Minister, Wong Soon Koh.
He said the state was very fortunate to have an outstanding leader like Taib.
According to Wong, Taib faced enormous challenges when he first took up the responsibility to lead the state government in 1981.
“Infrastructure and facilities were inadequate, the state lacked the manpower to explore and develop its wealth potential, the domestic market was limited and poverty was rampant,” he said at a dinner function last night, in conjunction with Taib’s first official visit to the area as Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
Also present were Taib’s wife Ragad Kurdi, state Land Development minister Dr James Masing, assistant ministers, department heads and community leaders.
Wong who is also Local Government and Community Development minister, said Sarawak underwent three phases of transformation during Taib’s era, involving political development, ‘The New Reality’, and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
“He was daring and optimistic, with a strong resolve to achieve everything he had set out to do.
“One after another, the drawbacks cleared, bringing about progress and rapid development and better living conditions for the people,” said Wong.