Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tun Rahman Yakub

Tun Rahman Yakub is undeniably one of the most outstanding politicians in Sarawak. Born to a poor Melanau fisherman in Bintulu, Tun Rahman Yakub rose to become deputy Lands and Mines Minister and Education Minister in the Federal Cabinet in the 1960s. He returned to Sarawak and became its 3rd Chief Minister in 1970. During his term as Chief Minister from 1970 to 1981, Sarawak experienced unprecedented growth and development. It was also during his tenure as Chief Minister that peace was restored to Sarawak with the communists laying down arms and returning to society under the Sri Aman Accord. His nephew, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud succeeded him as Chief Minister when he stepped down to become Sarawak's 4th Governor in 1981. The uncle and nephew had a major split which was only recently patched up. Tun Rahman Yakob who is 80 this year declared to the press last month that " Blood Is Thicker Than Water", adding that he has sorted out a minor difference between his nephew in the past. The above pictures show Tun Rahman Yakub visiting Sibu when he was Chief Minister. The first picture shows he was received upon arrival in a helicopter by Datuk Patinggi Dr. Wong Soon Kai. The lady behind Tun Rahman Yakub is called "Siew Ling". He had named a commercial centre in Miri "Siew Ling Commercial Centre". She must have been an important person to him to get this honour. The second picture shows Tun Rahman Yakub arriving Sibu for Chinese New Year visits. Facing the camera and smiling on the extreme right was Datuk Philip Ling, the second son of prominent businessman and banker, the late Tan Sri Datuk Ling Beng Siew. Datuk Philip Ling was killed just a few years ago in a road accident while returing from playing golf in Kuala Lumpur. The bottom photo shows Tun Rahman Yakub at prayers after he officiated at the opening ceremony of the new Sibu mosque. On his right was the late Datuk Haji Noor Tahir who was once Sarawak's Forestry Minister.

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