Biodata of the President of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB)
The Early Years
The Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (DR) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud was born on May 21, 1936 in Miri, Sarawak. He received his early education at St. Joseph's School, Miri and his secondary education in St Joseph's School, Kuching. He graduated with an LLB in 1960 from the University of Adelaide, South Australia. In 1964, he attended a Harvard International Seminar.
He was appointed Crown Council from 1962 to 1963. In 1963, he was appointed a member of the State Legislative Council until 1968. In 1963, he became State Minister for Communications and Works and from 1966 to 1967 he was Minister for Development and Forestry. On several occasions, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (DR) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud acted as Chief Minister.In 1968, he was appointed Federal Assistant Minister for Commerce and Industry until 1970 when he became Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and Deputy Minister of Works, Telecommunications and Posts after winning the Parliamentary seat for Samarahan constituency in Sarawak. In 1972, he was appointed the Natural Resources Minister and in September 1974, he became General Planning and Socio-Economic Research Minister after being returned as a member of Parliament for Samarahan constituency.On August 6, 1975, he became Information and Special Function Minister in addition to holding the portfolio of General Planning and Socio-Economic Research Minister. He was appointed the Primary Industries Minister in January 1978. He was again returned as a member of the Parliament of Samarahan constituency in the 1978 general election. He joined the new cabinet that was subsequently formed as Defense Minister and later in the 1980 Cabinet shuffle, he was given the portfolio of Federal Territory Minister.In February , Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (DR) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud resigned from the Federal Cabinet to contest the Sebandi State by-election in which he was returned unopposed and was made Sarawak's Land and Mines Minister before becoming the Chief Minister on March 26.Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (DR) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud was returned unopposed in the Parliamentary Constituency of Samarahan in April 1982. He also defeated his opponent in the State Constituency of Sebandi in the State Elections held in December 1983. In 1986 Parliamentary Elections, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Abdul Taib retained his Samarahan seat. He also defeated another opponent to retain the seat of Sebandi in the 1987 State Elections.In Politics, he was Vice-Chairman of Party Berjasa Sarawak in 1964. In the same year, he became a member of the State Alliance Council, Sarawak and a member of the Malaysian Alliance Council. When the National Front was formed in 1974, he also became an Executive Council member.In 1965, after the merger of the Party Berjasa and Party Negara, he was elected Secretary-General of the new party, Party Bumiputera until 1972. In 1972 he was appointed assistant party Whip in Parliament. From 1972 to 1973, he was Deputy President of Party Bumiputera Sarawak. In 1973, after the merger of Party Bumiputera and Party Pesaka Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Abdul Taib was Deputy President of the new party, the Party Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB). He is now PBB President.He has served in many public and voluntary bodies and has also represented the Government at various international conferences.He was elected President of the Regional Islamic Dakwah Council of South East Asia and Pacific (RISEAP) at the General Assembly in Kuching in September 1988.Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (DR) Haji Abdul Taib was also the Vice-President of PERKIM (Muslim Welfare Organisation Malaysia). He was however elected unanimously as PERKIM President on December 3, 1989, when Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Alhaj relinquished the post.Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (DR) Haji Abdul Taib has written and published several works. These are : Muhammad and His Mission, Islam and Utility of Mankind (published in Islamic Review; Working England), Freedom of Thought of Islam (published in Islamic Literature of Pakistan), Islam and Nation Building in Malaysia, Harmony in Islam (published in Suara MIRO) and Appropriate Strategy for Developing Countries in a Period of Resource Scarcity (published in Foreign Affairs Malaysia).
Progress Under His Leadership
Under Sarawak's illustrious Chief Minister of 19 years, the state has undergone tremendous growth and development. When Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud took on the role of Chief Minister, he brought with him a vision of where Sarawak would go and how we would get there. In the decade and a half since, he has put Sarawak firmly on the path to economic and social progress.Since 1981, Sarawak's GDP has grown from RM 6.5 billion to RM 19.7 billion in 1995 and further increased to an estimated of RM 29.9 billion in 1999. The GDP per capita has also increased from RM10,488 in 1995 to RM14,950 in 1999. The State has also shown a decline in the incidence of poverty and hard-core poverty. In 1995, 31.9% of the population was living in poverty and 10% in hard-core poverty. By 1997, the incidence of poverty was down to 7.5% and hard-core poverty went down to 0.7%.The quality of life in the state has also improved. Infrastructure development has reached a wider population in the state since the eighties. In 1980, only 31.8% of Sarawakians had water supply. In 1995, the figure has reached 85% of the population and the government estimated that this figure to be 88% in 2000. 76% of the population had electricity supply in 1995, but this number is expected to reach to 89% by year 2000. Healthcare and education have followed similar trends.In short, Sarawakians today in general healthier, wealthier and better educated than they were 19 years ago.Most importantly, the Right Honourable Chief Minister has also brought political stability to Sarawak, favouring constitution rather than outright confrontation in resolving political differences. Under his leadership, there is sincere cooperation and power-sharing among political leaders.
Vision for A Developed State
The Chief Minister is bringing Sarawak on a unique path to achieving Sarawak's own Vision, in line with the national vision to be an industrialised country by the year 2020. The Chief Minister believes that Sarawak has all the potentials for rapid economic growth. "We have the land and mineral resources; we have enough skilled manpower, and there is plenty of capital around us. And above all there is real political stability. What we need is a system and a machinery that will bring these factors together for rapid development".
Development Policy and Philosophy
Guiding Sarawak towards Vision 2020, the Chief Minister also encouraged a more diversified economy, paying particular attention to the manufacturing and industrial sectors (See Industrial Development) as well as the tourism sector. As a result of the Chief Minister's foresight, Sarawak's GDP growth exceeded the national average for the first time in 1995.Despite the rapid economic growth of the state, the Chief Minister has placed emphasis on balance and sustainability in the state's development. To balance urban and rural development, the state government has gone into plantations, the development of Native Customary Land (NCL) (Please see Commercial Agriculture), careful town planning as well as natural resource planning (e.g. the creation of national parks and reserves). Ever faithful to the ideals of sustainable development, Sarawak is noted for its outstanding forest management (Please see Forestry and Forestry Management) , and is moving towards more down stream processing activities to ease the dependency on the state's natural resources. Religious and social development is also given due attention in the government's policies and plans.
Chief Minister's Office22nd Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia,Petra Jaya, 93502 Kuching,Sarawak, Malaysia.Tel : 082-440801Fax : 082-444566