Adenan Satem has just passed away. He was a breath of fresh air in Sarawak after the long rule of Taib. I liked his candid and frank style and he was decidedly much cleaner than his predecessor.
When first appointed as CM of Sarawak, we expected him to be a docile seat warmer because of his age and health issues. We also thought that he will just be a yes man to Taib. He proved us wrong and was a very formidable political opponent who electrified politics by speaking his mind. His victory in the last Sarawak elections proved how popular he was.
He will be best remembered for protecting the religious rights of minorities and taking a strong opposing stance against Hadi Awang’s 355 bill. He also attempted to re-negotiate the terms for federalism in Malaysia. He was a proponent of greater state autonomy.
He would have been a natural candidate in the Opposition. Malaysia has lost an important leader today. My deepest condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace.