Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib the son of Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud has resigned as Deputy Minister of Tourism.
Sulaiman Abdul Rahman submitted his letter of resignation last week to the Minister of Tourism Datuk Paduka Ng Yen Yen due to misunderstanding with his Minister lady boss and this has been brewing for a while. Both are not in talking terms.
Sulaiman last week also sent Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak a copy of his resignation as the Deputy Minister and this it seems was not accepted by the PM.
Najib Tun Razak before he left for Sabah last Saturday did meet up with Sulaiman. Don’t know what transpired in this meeting.
In the March 2008 general election, Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib won a seat for parliament and became Deputy Tourism Minister. Before this, he did not have any political experience but was a high-profile corporate businessman.
Sometime last year, there was even a police report lodged by a former TV personality 22-year-old Avaa Vanja Ramli alleging that Sulaiman had beat her up blue and black in Kuala Lumpur.
There is also widespread gossip in Sarawak that Sulaiman is suffering from the disease AIDS and gets depressed and erratic most of the time and hence its difficult for him to function as a Deputy Minister.
Sulaiman’s sister Jamilah Hamidah controls the family’s business empire in Canada, America and England and it is said to be worth more than a billion dollars.
Sulaiman’s brother Mahmud Abu Bekir who is married to the elder sister of Malaysia’s Jazz Queen Shila Majid is also said to be worth more than $500 million.
Sulaiman’s other sister Roziah is one of the most powerful businesswomen in Sarawak with extensive holdings in property and timber business.
Sulaiman’s father Taib is also accused of deep corruption and nepotism with dominance of Sarawak’s political elite in the logging industry. It was even reported that nine Japanese shipping companies, which transported timber from Sarawak, had allegedly failed to report some 1.1 billion yen in income over a period of up to seven years. The report claimed the money was paid as kickbacks to Sarawak officials including a Hong Kong agent linked to Taib’s family.
Under Taib the logging industry in Sarawak has logged many of the ancestral lands of Sarawak’s indigenous communities, despite a lot of hue and cry, petitions and road blockades by the civil society. Forceful dismantling has led to several deaths and regular violent coercion by the Malaysian army, police and logging industry enforcers. There was also reports of RAPE of indigenous girls and women by loggers and enforcers of the industry and has become a hugely contentious issue in Sarawak. See here and here.