Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud
Chief Minister of Sarawak
“My wish is always about the younger generation with a better standard of education, with better capacity to serve their country and lead a good life for themselves”.View Citation
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Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, is the Chief Minister of Sarawak.
Architect of Modern Sarawak
Like the Batang Rajang – Malaysia’s longest river that runs through Sarawak – the imprint of Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib’s policies is embedded in the lush landscape and in the life of every Sarawakian. Not since the days of Rajah James Brooke, of the Brook Dynasty that ruled over Sarawak for 100 years, has there been such a significant leadership that has transformed the socio-economic progress of the state.
Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri has spent the last 28 years of his life safeguarding the growth of his beloved State, preserving its traditions and balancing the new with the old. In that time, he has also been pivotal both as a unifying factor and a driving force in harnessing the best of Sarawak’s richness and delivery to put it on the world map.
An extraordinary leadership
Born in impoverished circumstances in Miri in 1936, this son of Sarawak was not automatically destined for a life of service to his people. But his character – forged through twists of fate, hardship and perseverance – lit a fire inside him that was to define much of his lifetime – and leave an indelible imprint on the state of his birth.
To him, Sarawak epitomized all that was exceptional and extraordinary – from its varied ethnic groups to its fauna and flora, and he was determined that it would carve its own special place in Malaysia’s history, whilst making a name for itself around the world. After he graduated with a LL.B from Australia, he returned home and immersed himself in Sarawakian politics. During this time, he gained the experience and exposure to the unique challenges and insight into extraordinary possibilities of the state. This instilled in him the quest to lead the charge to drive Sarawak’s modernization. He held various portfolios and worked diligently – becoming the most vocal champion of the State’s transformation.
From the 1970s to the early 1980s, he was given bigger responsibilities at the national level, serving under four Prime Ministers – in various portfolios in Sarawak as well as in the Cabinet – from Minister of Natural Resources to Minister for Primary Industries and Minister of Federal Territories. In 1981, he returned to Sarawak as its Chief Minister. Under his leadership, there is sincere co-operation and power-sharing among political leaders. His common touch has ensured and enabled a peaceful co-existence between the 28 ethnic groups that span the length and breadth of Sarawak – a remarkable feat in itself.
Balancing growth with progress
Sarawakians today are well-educated, wealthier and healthier. The state has invested extensively in education, providing scholarships and tertiary education opportunities both locally and abroad for its brightest and the best – so that these young people can come back and help develop Sarawak further. The Sarawak government’s policy of developing education has led to thousands of primary and secondary schools being built all over the State, including rural areas. A number of private and public higher institutions of learning have also been developed in the State including two branch campuses of Australian universities.
It is worth mentioning that outside of its main campus in Cyberjaya – the Limkokwing University’s only other campus in Malaysia is in Kuching, Sarawak. “My Wish”, he has said “is always about the younger generation with a better standard of education, with better capacity to serve their country and lead a good life for themselves”.
Transforming Sarawak through unique policies
Hic creative management of natural and human resources for economic progress via tourism and ecological conservation has earned Sarawak a distinctive spot on the world tourism map. With the capital city Kuching renowned as one of the most beautiful in Malaysia, and a cave system that is a World Heritage Site, Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri has seamlessly juxtaposed nature and development and made Sarawak’s heritage accessible to the world.
My Wish, is always about the younger generation with a better standard of education, with better capacity to serve their country and lead a good life for themselves.
Yet, despite the march of socio-economic development, Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri has ensured that every care is taken in the protection of Sarawak’s breathtaking natural beauty, ancient rainforests, and cave systems.
Guiding Sarawak to thrive in 21st century
Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri’s dynamic agenda for Sarawak has made it an equal partner in Malaysia’s development. Under his leadership, minds and markets have opened up – and Sarawak started to diversify and transform its economy into a more industrialized one.
Sarawak is also making great strides in the digital era. It is the first state in Malaysia to fully implement the e-government initiative, where every state government department can communicate with another and is accessible to citizens via the Internet.
The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the latest far-sighted policy to be introduced by Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri. It will serve as the next two decades as the state goes through a second wave of development.
“This (vision) is the biggest undertaking that would even outlive me whereby in 2030, Sarawak will be the richest state in Malaysia and will become a land of opportunities for the people,” he added.
In the 46 years of his career in public service, Rt. Hon. Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud has been a visionary and powerful force that has created, articulated and sustained the growth and development not just of Sarawak, but has contributed immensely to building a stronger Malaysia.
For his lifelong leadership, exceptional achievements and selfless service to the people of Sarawak and Malaysia, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Worldwide is privileged to honour him with the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Leadership.