Missing Taib again fuels speculation of resignation as Sarawak Chief Minister

KUCHING - Tan Sri Taib Mahmud has been skipping public functions since Wednesday, adding credence to speculation that he will announce his resignation as Sarawak Chief Minister this weekend.

Top state officials were also tight-lipped over whether he will do so, with Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang skirtin­g the issue, asking reporters to "be pat­ient".

He would neither confirm nor deny talk of Taib's imminent departure.

Jabu represented Taib at the presen­tation of long-service awards to civil servants yesterday where reporters turned up in force.

On Wednesday, Second Minister of Resource Management and ­Env­iron­ment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan attended the Land Custody and Development Authority dinner on behalf of the CM.

Last night, Taib was again nowhere to be seen at India Street Pedestrian Mall Committee and Plaza Merdeka Holding Sdn Bhd's annual dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, where Housing and Tourism Minis­ter Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg came on his behalf.

At the handing of awards ceremony, top officials gave cryptic answers to questions on Taib's rumoured resig­nation announcement.

Jabu told reporters repeatedly to "wait for the meetings" this weekend. Taib is due to meet PBB supreme council members and later Barisan Nasional elected representatives in the state.

Asked if the resignation of Malay-sia's longest serving politician would be on the agenda, Jabu replied: "Be patient. I cannot speculate. After the meeting, after the meeting, ok?"