KUCHING, Oct 4 — Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan today proposed that retired politicians Tan Sri Amar Leo Moggie or Tan Sri Leonard Linggi Jugah be appointed the next Sarawak's governor when Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud steps down.
He said the two are among Dayak leaders with vast experience in public life and have contributed to society when they held important positions in the government.
"If a Chinese is given a chance, names such as businessman Tan Sri Tiong Su Kuok, former Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, former federal minister Tan Sri Peter Chin and former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong should be considered," Voon said in a statement.
He said since Malaysia came into being, the head of state or Yang di-Pertua Negri Sarawak has always been a Muslim, stressing that it started with the appointment of Tun Abang Openg Abang Sapiee from September 16, 1963 to March 28, 1969 by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
"In fact, Tun Jugah ak Barieng was proposed to be the first governor of Sarawak by the then chief minister Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan before Malaysia came into existence, but then the federal government disagreed," he said.
Voon said Jugah had to settle for the post of federal minister of Sarawak Affairs.
He noted that Taib was reappointed for a third term on March 1 this year for a period of two years.
"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 go to non-Muslims, preferably a Dayak, because Dayaks are the majority race in Sarawak," Voon said.