KUCHING, Feb 21 — Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian said today his family lost a friend with the passing of Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who died early this morning.

He said Taib, 87, was his late father Tan Sri Sim Kheng Hong’s political partner, a family friend as well as chairman of the Sarawak Heart Foundation, of which he is a member.

“Thirty-three years of him as the chief minister had resulted in not just political stability, but also the beginning of very strong and trusted political partnership with my late father,” Dr Sim said.

“Apart from the politics of development in Sarawak, Tun’s legacy is Sarawak-based political parties governing Sarawak rather than letting outside parties enter Sarawak.


“Tun was the main initiator responsible for the relocation of cardiac service from Sarawak General Hospital to Samarahan as well as operations under the Ministry of Health Malaysia,” Dr Sim said in a statement.

He said after Datuk Amar Laila Taib died in 2009, Tun took over the chairmanship of Sarawak Heart Foundation and had always focused on how to help the cardiac service at the Sarawak Heart Centre and its patients.

“I learnt a lot from Tun’s strategy planning during the board meetings over the years.


“After Tun became Governor of Sarawak, he used to share with me his visions of Sarawak and his various advice.

“One in particular, which I remember until today, is never to listen to what a person says, but to study that person’s character,” Dr Sim recalled.

“He used to tell me that many people come to him saying bad things about me, he told them he knew me since I was young,” he said.