PENANG : The Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) wants Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to step down by August next year.
“Today, MoCS respectfully sends this request to the chief minister. It is the general consensus of the people of Sarawak that Taib has served long enough as CM.
"He should step down as soon as possible but we will give him till next August to do so,” its leader Francis Paul Siah said at a NGO-sponsored event in Penang last night.
“We still accord him due respect as the chief minister, but MoCS may not be that respectful if he is still at the helm of the state Government by next August.
"Today, we humbly plead and ask him to seriously consider stepping down. If Taib remains stubborn and refuses to listen, we may have to resort to other courses of action when the time is up.
"Then, the request and plea will turn to demand. We hope we will not have to demand as it would be uncomfortable for the chief minister,” Siah told the gathering of Sarawakians and Penangites at the Malaysia Day celebrations organised by the Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net) at Weld Quay on the island.
Stating that the August date next year should give Taib ample time to plan his departure, Siah also said that date should also enable the long-serving chief minister to celebrate his final ego-boosting 30th anniversary as Sarawak CM.
“We all know that this is a man with a huge ego and we will allow him to have a final bash on March 26, 2011. After that, Taib should seriously look at his crystal ball and if it is not afraid to tell him the truth unlike his Sarawak BN lieutenants, it would surely suggest that he listens more to the loud voices of dissent from Sarawakians than to his political sycophants.”
'Emulate the people of Penang'
Elaborating on the August date, Siah pointed out that MoCS was formed to advocate a new political culture for the state and promote democratization and “MoCS realises that this evolution is only possible with Taib out of the scene”.
“We announced the formation of MoCS on Aug 13 and we gave ourselves one year to help start this process minus Abdul Taib Mahmud. We are serious in this quest.
"The people of Sarawak are serious and we hope the chief minister would be gracious enough to help us achieve our target without much agony and pain for all parties concerned,” he said.
On the recent PBB supreme council’s declaration of support for Taib to continue as chief minister, Siah laughed it off asking: “Do you seriously believe anyone in the PBB council dare to say ‘No’ to such a powerful and vindictive boss knowing that they could easily be buried politically the minute they challenge his authority.”
“On top of that, 20 or 30 people in the PBB supreme council do not represent 2.6 million Sarawakians,” he added.
Earlier in his speech, Siah urged Sarawakians to emulate the people of Penang by opting for changes and vote in a new government in the coming state elections. He said that Penangites had made a wise decision in the 2008 General Election.
“Today, Penangites are generally happy as Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had performed admirably. There are noticeable changes with Lim’s more accountable and transparent administration.”
Siah added that he has relatives in Penang and “they have informed me that Penangites are generally very supportive of Lim and his plans of action for the state since taking office more than two years ago.
“So the people of Sarawak must cast their votes wisely in the coming state polls and elect sincere leaders of calibre who could help in the evolution towards a new political culture for the state - one that is free of corruption, nepotism and despotism,” he said.