Effendi to make comeback?


(FMT) – Former Agriculture Minister Effendi Norwawi who was reportedly not interested in the state’s top post is now ready to contest in Balingian if Chief Minister Taib Mahmud vacates the seat.

Taib is Balingian assemblyman and has held the seat since 2001.

He is retiring on Feb 28 and will be succeeded by Special Functions Minister Adenan Satem.

In confirming rumours here,  Adenan, who will be the state’s fifth Chief Minister, said he had contacted Effendi a few days ago.

“Effendi is welcome to meet me anytime, we can discuss several matters like the role he can play in the new state administration,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Since 2010, Effendi’s name has been closely linked with Taib and the CM’s seat.   Effendi, a Melanau like Taib,  has served as minister under both the Mahathir and Abdullah administration and is seen as most capable to lead the state.
His reported resignation in July 2013 as chairman and executive director of Encorp Berhad, a public listed company which he founded, further fueled rumours of his comeback to mainstream politics.

But Effendi has consistently said that he has ‘retired’.

In 2011 however rumours were rife that he will be contesting in the Semop constituency, where he holds political sway.

But this eventually did not happen.

Effendi is part of the intrigue which has gripped Sarawak since the run-up to the 2011 election when mounting federal pressure for Taib to step down became a open fact.

Taib last Wednesday announced his resignation and named Adenan as his successor.

The surprise announcement came three days earlier than the scheduled date Feb 15 and was reportedly to pre-empt any other federal ‘bid’.