KUCHING, Jan 11 — Sarawak political leaders from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and the Opposition united in expressing their sorrow over the unexpected death of state Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem from a heart attack today.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who is also PBB senior vice-president, summed up the impact of Adenan’s loss on the state when he said: “He is a great son of Sarawak and country, and a great personal friend”.
To Parti Rakyat Sarawak president and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing who has been a veteran member of the Sarawak Cabinet, the loss was very close to home.
“I have lost a friend. Datuk Jamilah Anu lost a husband, his children lost a father and Sarawak lost a very good and gutsy leader, who called a spade a spade.”
He said it is now up to the elected representatives to carry the state forward and fulfil Adenan’s aspirations for Sarawak.
State Opposition Leader Chong Chieng Jen described Adenan as a good man.
“During his tenure of office as the chief minister, despite the great resistance within the system, he has tried, to the best of his ability, to introduce some changes for the better for Sarawak.
“It is sad that time is not with him,” Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, said.
Despite such a short tenure as chief minister, he said Adenan has contributed greatly to Sarawak and shown that Sarawak can stand up against the might of the federal government.
“His demise is a loss to Sarawak and on behalf of DAP Sarawak and the people of Sarawak, I would like to thank him for his deeds and contributions to the state,” Chong said.
Sarawak PKR chairman and Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Baru Bian said Adenan had truly cared about Sarawak and Sarawakians of all races, ethnicity and religions.
“He chose to carry on with his role as chief minister even though his health was declining. He did his best for Sarawak and I had the greatest respect for him,” he said.
On behalf of the PKR members in Sarawak, Baru also extended his condolences to Jamilah and family over the great loss.
Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak president Cobbold John Lusoi said Adenan’s death is the saddest day for all Sarawakians.
“He would have done much more for Sarawak had it not for the sudden demise,” he said, adding that within a short period as chief minister, Adenan had done much to the rural communities by giving bigger allocations for infrastructure development.
Adenan had just won a second term in the Sarawak state election last year, after taking office as chief minister on March 1, 2014 replacing Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is now the state governor.
“Our prayers goes out to the family and may his soul through the mercy of God, rest in peace,” Lusoi said.