Monday, February 14, 2011

Inspired by Egypt, new calls for Taib to quit

Stephen Tiong

Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) has various options open to force long-serving Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to vacate his office by Aug 13 this year.

Its coordinator Francis Paul Siah said today the options included a peaceful and non-violent unleashing of people's power to force him to go.

He said MoCs was now initiating the formation of a “Rainbow Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)” to get Taib out office.

He said 12 NGOs, including one from Sabah, had responded to the initiative which started a week ago.

“We are going to sit down and get the Rainbow Coalition going,” he said, expressing hope that the NGOs, grouping together, would be a force to be reckoned with.

NONEHe said he would be visiting Sabah and peninsular Malaysia to garner the support of the NGOs to join the coalition.

“I am hoping to meet Jeffrey Kitingan (right), the co-founder the United Borneo Front, and leaders of the Sabah People's Party (SAPP) and Movement for Civil Liberties Malaysia later this month to get their support,” he added.

Siah said the steps taken by MoCS were to clear the way for Taib to vacate his office by Aug 13, the deadline set by MoCS.

“I think it is his wish to remain in power until his demise. There are people like that,” Siah said of Taib.

'Six months to vacate office'

He said Taib had to vacate his office, even if the BN won the upcoming state election.

“From today, he has exactly six months to vacate his office, and we expect him to be gone by Aug 13,” he said.

“We want him to will step down voluntarily before the deadline,” Siah added.

He said it was very clear that the people of Sarawak wanted a change and that change would have to start with the state leadership.

“I can say for certain that most of the Sarawakians want him to go. I would say that the majority of Malaysians want him to go and I can say that even Kuala Lumpur has sent signals that he should go,” Siah said.

“To us, Taib is the only one who thinks that he should stay, while the majority of others want him to go,” he added.

He said MoCS could not think of any reason why Taib should continue to hold the office.

“MoCS is being very reasonable to him as we are giving him six more months to plan his departure. The Egyptians gave President Hosni Mubarak only 18 days to quit,” he said.

“So, people can't say we are not kind and reasonable to Taib. In fact, many people told us that Taib must go down immediately, not by Aug 13, “ he stressed.

NONEOn Taib's recent statement that he would continue to be chief minister as he could not find a person qualified enough to replace him, Siah said: “MoCs can help resolve that problem immediately”.

“MoCS is ready to accept Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Abang Johari Openg (left), who is also the state Housing and Urban Development Minister, as the interim chief minister.

“Abang Johari is quite acceptable to all the races in Sarawak as he is not quite bad.

“Taib can't say he has no qualified successor. He has groomed Abang Johari for a long time, and yet he said he can't find a suitable and qualified person,” Siah said.

He said Taib should give Abang Johari a chance to prove himself by allowing him to be the interim chief minister.

MoCS endorses candidates for state polls

Meanwhile, MoCS has endorsed the candidacies of Sarawak PKR legal advisor See Chee How and its secretary Abang Zulkifli Abang Engeh for the upcoming state election.

It had earlier endorsed the candidacies of Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian and Dr Michael Teo, Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng, DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen and state assemblypersons Violet Yong, Ting Tzae Fui and Chiew Chin Sing.

MoCS has also endorsed the candidacies of Dr Wong Hua Seh and Fong Pau Teck, both of the DAP.

Siah said MoCS would campaign for these candidates and possibly contribute funds to them.

“We will help in whatever way we can to see that they win,” he said.

Taken from Malaysiakini.

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