Sarawak Chief Minister and Najib ally dies of heart attack

Sarawak Chief Minister and Najib ally dies of heart attack
Sarawak’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KUCHING - Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem passed away Wednesday afternoon at the Sarawak General Hospital in Kota Samarahan.

He would have turned 73 on Jan 27.

He was born in 1944.

Adenan became the fifth chief minister on Feb 28, 2014, replacing Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Many have attributed Barisan Nasional's landslide victory in the 2016 Sarawak state election to Adenan's leadership.

Barisan won 72 out of the 82 state seats, while DAP won seven and PKR won three seats.

The president of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) began his political career in 1976 when he was appointed a committee member and the party's legal advisor.

Later in the same year, he contested in elections and won twice -- the first in a by-election for the Muara Tuang parliamentary constituency, and in the state election later in the same constituency.

Adenan was an assemblyman for Muara Tuang from 1976 until he moved to Tanjung Datu in 2006 for the state election where he won.

He became the Member of Parliament for the Batang Sadong constituency after the 2004 general election and later was appointed as the Natural Resources and Environment Minister.

He, however, relinquished his ministerial post two years after being in office and returned to Sarawak.

In 2010, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Chief Minister and later in 2011 as Minister with Special Functions.

The father of five had an illustrious career which included being a journalist, a teacher, a magistrate and a legal adviser prior to his win in Muara Tuang.

He received his legal education at theUniversity of Adelaide in Australia and was once appointed as a public prosecutor in 1969 in Adelaide. He served as magistrate from 1971 to 1972 in Sarawak.

Adenan was appointed as chairman of Sarawak Foundation on Feb 1, 1999 after Taib gave up the post.

His appointment as the Sarawak Chief Minister was also historic, as he was the first leader of Malay descent to hold the post.

Previous chief ministers, Tan Sri Stephen Kalong and Datuk Tawi Sli were of Iban descent while Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub was of Melanau descent. Taib is also of Melanau descent.

During Adenan's tenure, he spoke openly about autonomy for Sarawak and the rights of Sarawakians.

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