Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian does not think that Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir will contest in Sadong Jaya in the upcoming state elections in the light of his divorce case made public.
"The divorce case comes at a wrong time for the BN, and the right time for the Opposition," Baru (right) said when commenting on divorce papers filed by Shahnaz A Majid at the Kuala Lumpur High Court last month.
"Therefore, I don't think Taib will want him to contest," he said.
Political scientist Dr Jeniri Amir said Abu Bekir was not a suitable candidate. "His divorce case will tarnish the image and reputation of BN.
"The Opposition will exploit his divorce case to the fullest, and this will not be good for the BN and Taib," said the senior lecturer with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
"Secondly, if Taib agrees to pick him as the candidate, the people will see it as a case of nepotism," he said.
Taib is still weighing whether he should pick his flamboyant son to contest in Sadong Jaya, after villagers submitted a petition to PBB headquarters for the BN to consider Mahmud Bekir as candidate.
Shahnaz is seeking RM300 million of assets which the couple had amassed in their 19 years of marriage, as well as RM100 million in compensation.
The reasons for the divorce are irreconcilable differences and not having sex (nafkah batin) since 2001.
Her divorce case was called for mention yesterday. However, Abu Bekir was not present.
The court has fixed March 24 for mention, as well as March 15 for mention over her application for mutaah (compensation) and division of joint assets.
She claimed Abu Bekir, who is deputy group chairman of Cahaya Mata Sarawak, began to show changes in 1994, by assaulting her and shouting abuse.
The couple were married on Jan 9, 1992 and have one son, Raden Murya, 17.
Shahnaz claimed that since 1999, her husband rarely came home and could not be advised, was difficult to contact and was very sociable with other women.
Abu Bekir, she claimed, did not treat her fairly after marrying a widowed Russian national.
Shahnaz claims the couple own property in residences in many places, thousands of hectares in Sarawak, and land in Bukit Tunku in Kuala Lumpur.
They also have seven luxury cars that include models from Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley and Maserati.
Their joint assets include shares in 15 different companies including Cahaya Mata Sarawak and Sarawak Cable Bhd.
The couple also possess assets in the form of savings, Employees Provident Fund, and Amanah Saham Bumiputera units.
Villagers want Bekir
Meanwhile, a group of 113 villagers had come to PBB headquarters last week, asking that Mahmud Bekir be the candidate for Sadong Jaya, taking over the place of incumbent Wan Wahab Sanusi.
It is believed that a PBB leader was behind the villagers to hand over their petition to the party headquarters.
The same leader is suspected to be behind a rally in support of Taib's other son, Sulaiman Rahman, to contest in Samarahan in the 2008 parliamentary election.
The reluctant Sulaiman Rahman won, and was appointed deputy minister of tourism.
He proved to be a flop and eventually resigned from the ministry.
The same leader was also behind Sulaiman Rahman's election unopposed as PBB Youth deputy leader in 2008.
Again, he failed to discharge his responsibilities as the deputy Youth head and did not seek re-election for in 2010 PBB Youth convention.
If Sulaiman Rahman had proved to be successful in politics, he would be the top contender to be Sarawak's next chief minister.
Perhaps, Taib's experience with Sulaiman Rahman will prompt him to think deeply whether to allow Abu Bekir to be fielded.
His excuse was that Abu Bekir was not interested in politics, preferring instead to remain in the corporate world.
Sadong Jaya, Asajaya and Muara Tuang are the three state constituencies under the Samarahan parliamentary seat.
According to sources which have access to information within PBB, Taib (right) prefers that Abu Bekir continued to take care of the family business empire which is spreading all over the world.
"Taib does not really trust Sulaiman Rahman to take care of that," explained the sources.
Even if people petitioned for Abu Bekir to contest, Taib would still say "no".
"I will tell the party leaders that my son is not keen," he said.
Another group of PBB members, however, opposes Abu Bekir's candidacy.
They said the group of villagers who wanted him to be the candidate was not even from the Sadong Jaya constituency.
"This particular group was paid by someone to hand over the proposal to PBB headquarters," Sadong Jaya branch vice chairman Abdul Mutalib Julaihi insisted yesterday.
He alleged that this person wanted to create disharmony among party members in Sadong Jaya.
Taken from Malaysiakini.