Since Malaysia came into being, the Head of State or Yang Di Pertua Negri Sarawak was always a muslim. This started with the appointment of the Tun Abang Haji Openg bin Abang Sapiee from 16 September 1963 to 28 Mac 1969 by the Yang Di Pertua Agong.
In fact, Tun Jugah was proposed to be the first governor of Sarawak by the then Chief Minister Dato Stephen Kalong Ningkan before Malaysia came into existence but caused by unlawful interference by Malaya before Malaysia exited, Tun Jugah was not considered and had to settle to take the post of a federal minister, resident in Sarawak.
At the moment, Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri for the third term in a row effective from 1 March, 2022 and whose term for two years will expire soon. The question now is that if Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud retires or his current term expires, who should be the next governor of Sarawak?
Be it made known, it was never been the intention of our people in Sarawak before Malaysia came into existence, that the position of the governor of Sarawak be held by muslims alone, let alone by one race. I could not see anything in the Sarawak Constitution to say that the position of governor of Sarawak must be reserved only for muslims or for one race alone.
Therefore, it is time now that the position of governor should go to non-muslims, preferably a Dayak because the Dayaks are the majority race in Sarawak.
The dayaks had waited for 59 years now to see one of their leaders to become the governor of Sarawak.
We have many Dayaks who are experienced about public life to hold the post of governor of Sarawak. This could include Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Dato Leo Moggie Anak Irok, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leonard Linggi Anak Jugah, Datuk Idris Jala and Dato Richard Riot to name a few.
If a Chinese is given a chance, names such as Tan Sri Tiong Su Kuok, Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Dr.George Chan Hong Nam, Datuk Peter Chin, Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong, Datuk Song Swee Guan, Datuk David Teng Lung Chi, Datuk Lily Yong and Datuk Tiong Thai King should be considered.
All of them are known to the people of Sarawak and in the corporate world and have proved themselves as successful public figures.
VOON LEE SHAN
Parti Bumi Kenyalang