Taib: I’ve a surprise today

By Lian Cheng, NST

KUCHING: Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the subject of a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation, said he would spring a surprise today.

Asked to comment on the probe after the opening of the 17th state legislative assembly yesterday, Taib said: “I will have an official statement tomorrow. They are barking up the wrong tree.” With a big smile, he added: “You will have a surprise tomorrow.” MACC is probing into Taib for alleged abuse of power in his position as chief minister.

MACC commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed said last week that it was investigating Taib over allegations of timber corr uption.

Taib did not offer clues on a possible state cabinet reshuffle, including the vacant post of deputy chief minister.

At the state assembly yesterday, Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Tan Sri Dr James Masingwas seated next to Taib and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu.

This sparked speculation that Masing, whose party won eight seats as opposed to Sarawak United Peoples’ Par ty’s six, might be made the new deputy chief minister.

Taib said: “This is just speculation. I have not thought of all these things.

Do we have one DCM or three or four DCMs? I don’t know yet.” He added: “I am a bit worried about how I can give the Chinese the chance to express themselves in a more natural way.

“This is very important because I want Sarawak to always remain a multiracial state.

“We are determined to keep it like that because there is no race in the state with a simple majority.

“The only way to have a working democracy is to have consensus among all sections of the community.” “This time, the appointment of a new cabinet is a bit difficult because SUPP didn’t obtain more seats. ” He said he would consult Barisan Nasional parties on whether SUPP should retain the DCM’s post.