KOTA KINABALU: Sabah leaders have expressed their sadness at the passing of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
They also paid tribute to the late Adenan whom they described as a good leader who was an inspiration to the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman in a statement said Malaysia had lost a good man and a leader who had foresight.
“He was a leader who understood the sentiments of the people. I have not only lost a comrade but also a good friend. On behalf of the Sabah state government and the people of Sabah, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the family and the people of Sarawak on their loss,” he said.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) acting president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the nation mourned the passing of Adenan who is fondly remembered for being vocal with his thoughts.
“He has proven to be the man of the hour and Sarawak was very privileged to have him as Chief Minister. It’s a sad day for Malaysia. He will be missed. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
The Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister recalled their last meeting during Malaysia Day hosted by Sarawak last year, where he also described Adenan as a ‘strategic thinker and smart political craftsman’.
“He once told me that he is living on borrowed time from God, and he has no other agenda but to see Sarawak develop better by tapping on the resources from the Federal Government.
“His quiet, unassuming character and yet bold, and resilient in what he believed was right is a model for many young politicians to emulate.
“He is indeed a great defender of Sarawak’s rights. His heart was with the people of Sarawak,” the Kota Marudu member of parliament said, adding that as the chief minister, Adenan was sincere with his actions for the good of his people and that his leadership has been inspirational to many, including leaders in Sabah, including Maximus.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk Teo Chee Kang said the late Adenan was a true Malaysian leader whose no-nonsense styled leadership inspires a great number of people not only in Sarawak but the whole of Malaysia.
Teo, who is also Sabah Minister of Special Tasks, said the passing of the Sarawak Chief Minister was a great loss to Malaysia.
“LDP extends our deepest condolences to the family of late Tan Sri Adenan Satem,” he said.
Deputy Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said Adenan was a greatly respected and revered leader, many in Sabah established close rapport with him.
“It’s a great loss not only for Sarawak. Many here have good relationship with him as well. His demise came as a truly devastating news,” he said.
Pang, who was yesterday met by reporters at the opening of Japan Week in City Mall, also said that the former Chief Minister’s successor will have a lot to live up to, and expressed the hope that whoever takes over can deliver for the betterment of the State.
“It’s not easy to fill his (Adenan’s) shoes, but we hope that his successor will be able to display equally capable leadership like the late Chief Minister did.
“He was a fair leader, impartial to religion, race or nationality. He treated everyone the same,” said Pang.
He went on to say that Adenan, who was fondly known as Tok Nan, defended all religions like his own, and in the short time he served as Chief Minister, had left behind a legacy that will live on in the next 10 and 20 years.
In relaying the influence of the late Tok Nan’s administration, Pang said: “He will surely be made a role model to whoever will replace him. He is what we want a Chief Minister to be. He’s going to be a benchmark for the rakyat to gauge the leadership of a person.”
UPKO acting president Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said Adenan’s passing was a great loss and Sarawak had lost a very good leader.
“Our deepest condolences to the family and people of Sarawak,” he said, adding that he had met Adenan many times, even before his time in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
“He always came across as a fatherly figure. The state election last year gave me more opportunities to collaborate with him and his BN machinery.
“Upko has lost a very dear friend and ally,” said Madius.
Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah president Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin also expressed shock and sadness over the the passing of Adenan.
The Klias assemblyman in a statement yesterday said, “I am shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Seri Adenan Satem today. I am flying to Kuching this evening to join his family and our fellow Sarawakians in mourning this loss.
“Tan Sri Adenan is a close friend in politics as well as a buddy in golf games. Adenan was a towering figure in safeguarding state autonomy and he was highly regarded by our multi-racial community, including in Sabah too,” Lajim said, adding, “My deepest condolence to his family and all Sarawakians”.
For Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) deputy president Darell Leiking, the late Adenan had shown the people in Sabah and Sarawak that they can be a force to be (reckoned with).
“We had a different political ideology; he was the only Barisan Nasional Chief Minister who showed us in Borneo that we can be a force to be reckoned with when the people of Borneo, especially its frontline leaders, use their rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” said Darell, who is Penampang member of parliament.
“I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Adenan,” he added.
The party’s vice president cum Likas assemblyman, Junz Wong, is also saddened by Adenan’s passing.
“I wish to express my deepest condolences to his family members and all Sarawakians for their great loss. In Sabah, we must build our own legacy to honour what this man had started for the Borneo states,” he said.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah chairperson Christina Liew in her condolence message described the late Adenan as a strong leader and a source of inspiration to the two Borneo states on issues of rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“His passing is a great loss to Sabah and Sarawak. I wish to express our utmost and heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Chief Minister of Sarawak Tan Sri Adenan,” the Api Api assemblywoman said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee also expressed his sadness over Adenan’s passing.
Yong wrote on his Facebook wall, “Adenan will always be remembered for fighting for Sarawak and Sarawakians and standing up to Putrajaya”.
DAP Sabah chairman Stephen Wong Tien Fatt has also extended his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Adenan.
“It is undoubtedly a great loss to Sarawak and Sabah and to Malaysia as a whole. Tan Sri Adenan had been consistently and tirelessly fighting for equal status to be accorded to the two Borneo states in Malaysia. May your soul rest in peace and your legacy lives,” the Sandakan member of parliament said.