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Friday, February 28, 2014

Protests held against 'governor' Taib


Several protests were held in Kuching this morning against Abdul Taib Mahmud becoming Sarawak's governor.

The protests were a prelude to a bigger rally to be staged tomorrow in front of the old court house in the state capital, which stands across the river where the swearing-in ceremony would be held.

Organised by civil society movements, the protests comprised small groups armed with banners and posters.

One of the organisers, Peter John Jaban, said the protests were held in front of the Spring supermarket, Third Mile Bazaar, Kuching Central and Batu Kawah.

Taib resigned as chief minister today, after 33 years at the helm, and was succeeded by Adenan Setam.

Meanwhile, Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (Brimas) denied being involved in organising tomorrow’s rally.

"We are not the organiser as reported in a local daily and we are not aware of any plan for the rally," said Brimas executive director Mark Bujang.

He was commenting on a statement made by Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Abdullah Saidol, who strongly condemned the plan to hold the rally.

Abdullah accused the planned rally as being politically-motivated as several opposition leaders would be attending it.

"However, if such rally is to be staged by civil society organisations in Kuching, we cannot stop them as it is their constitutional right to gather and voice their concerns,” said Bujang.

"We also would like to state clearly that Brimas is apolitical and has nothing to do with any political appointments. Brimas would like to see a respected and reputable head of state to helm Sarawak... (Someone) who is free of any alleged corruption and abuse of power," he added. 

As for Taib’s appointment, Bujang said Brimas would submit a petition to the Yang di -Pertuan Agong based on the reports accusing the veteran politician of corrupt practices.

"We believe the king would examine the reports and with his good judgement, revoke the appointment of Taib as head of state.

"It is fundamental that the head of state should be cleared of any allegation of corruption and abuse of power," he added.

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