Malaysia’s Sarawak: Last of the rajahs
The Economist - about 3 years
FEW of Asia’s elected leaders have enjoyed the power of Abdul Taib Mahmud, the chief minister of Sarawak. For 33 years he lorded it over this Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, once densely forested and still rich in oil. Mr Taib was an appropriate successor to generations of the British Brooke family, who ran the territory as their own monarchy for a century from 1841. They were known as the White Rajahs. Their 77-year-old, white-haired modern equivalent, Mr Taib, will officially retire on February 28th, passing the job to a hand-picked successor, Adenan Saten. Mr Taib, though, will probably get another comfortable job himself, retaining much influence.
Few have contributed more, for better and for worse, to the course of modern Malaysian history. Mr Taib has played a crucial role in keeping the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in power—it has ruled ever since Malaysia won independence from Britain in 1957. The two former British possessions on Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak, join
The Economist article