Is Adenan Satem going to be our new Chief Minister?

Posted on June 7, 2011


The media loves to speculate.

Let’s face it, good speculation (and even a few bad ones) sells newspapers.

One of the biggest news to speculate on nowadays (actually for several years now) is who will take over from our current Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, when he steps down in the next one or two years time (which he has indicated he will do).

With headlines like “Adenan is back” The Borneo Post is effectively saying “Adenan is firmly back in the race to be CM” …without actually saying it.

So what if “Adenan is back”? What’s the big deal? We’ve seen this headline before, remember…just over a year ago?

Well, it’s sort of a big deal now when you consider the fact that none of the other posts for ministers and assistant ministers have been announced, have they?

Basically, Adenan Satem has been given a seat in the Sarawak State Cabinet before anyone else gets a portfolio in the impending cabinet re-shuffle.

So you can’t really blame the media if they’re excited about this piece of news.

Let’s look at it this way, in less than two weeks, the State Legislative Assembly or DUN (Dewan Undangan Negeri) will convene.

Make no mistake that in those few days, the performance of our Barisan Nasional elected reps will be scrutinised and appraised, especially in what is expected to be a much noisier DUN.

Whether they get to become our new ministers or assistant ministers will probably depend on how well they do at the upcoming DUN session.

Only a handful of the senior leaders will be exempted from this tight scrutiny, and since Adenan Satem has already been assured of a part in the new cabinet, we can safely say that for now he has the full confidence of our Chief Minister.

And for him to be given the portfolio of Minister with Special Functions in the Chief Minister’s Office can only add to the speculation of what his true duties will be, even though he has himself stated that land matters will be his main focus.

Of course, let’s not forget that this is all speculation on my part.

After all, the formation of a cabinet is a purely political exercise and not really an exercise in HR.

So, theoretically you could be well versed in economics and finance, but if you’re a political lightweight, forget about entertaining any thoughts of becoming the next State Finance Minister I or II.

So does this all point to the fact that Adenan Satem is going to be our new Chief Minister? Who knows?

All we know for sure is that when our new cabinet is revealed by the end of this month, Adenan Satem will already be assured of a place in it.

And that is one less thing for us to speculate on.


How The Borneo Post reported the latest “comeback”:

Adenan is back

Posted on June 7, 2011, Tuesday

MAN OF THE HOUR: Adenan to operate within the purview of the Chief Minister’s Office.

Tanjong Datu assemblyman appointed Minister with Special Functions in the Chief Minister’s Office

KUCHING: Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem, 67, was yesterday sworn in as Minister with Special Functions in the Chief Minister’s Office.

Adenan explained that he has no portfolio in the State Cabinet but he would be a minister with special functions to attend to matters which the Chief Minister would entrust to him.

He added that he would operate within the purview of the Chief Minister’s Office.

“Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has spoken to me about this (new appointment) and, among other things, he has asked me to deal with land matters,” Adenan told the media at his office at the Sarawak Foundation Headquarters in Semariang here yesterday.

Taib himself was also Minister of Special Functions at the federal level from 1975-78.

Adenan thanked Taib for continuing to have confidence in him to be a member of the Cabinet.

“With this appointment, my previous position as Special Advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office automatically lapsed,” he explained.

When pressed further about his new portfolio, Adenan, who is Tanjong Datu assemblyman, refused to make any comments as it was “too premature” for him to do so.

Adenan’s latest appointment would further fuel speculations on the Chief Minister’s succession plan.

The other three potential candidates are Deputy Chief Minister and PBB deputy president I Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Minister of Housing and PBB deputy president II Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and PBB senior vice president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.

Political observers said that Taib is well-known for his prowess to handle the state’s political intrigues without hurting anyone of his potential successors.

The observers also noted that Taib would want to strengthen his Cabinet to face a stronger opposition in the June 20-29 sitting of the State Legislative Assembly.

The new YBs from the opposition front include lawyers Baru Bian and See Chee How who are well-known for their expertise in NCR land matters.

Before the state election, Baru had thrown a challenge to Taib for a debate on NCR land issues.

But during the BN Convention on March 5 this year, Taib, who is also the Minister of Planning and Resource Management, had tasked Adenan, who has been in politics since 1978, to take up the challenge instead.


How BERNAMA reported the 1st “comeback” last year:

Adenan Appointed Special Advisor To Chief Minister

March 26, 2010


KUCHING: Former natural resources and environment minister Datuk Amar Adenan Satem has been appointed Special Advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office responsible for public affairs effective April 2.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud said Adenan, the State Assemblyman for Tanjung Datu, is accorded full minister status and qualifies to receive privileges of a minister.

“We hope that Adenan will put his experience to good use in his new post particularly in information and broadcasting,” he told reporters after chairing the State Cabinet meeting at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here on Thursday.

Taib said the minor Cabinet reshuffle also saw the appointment of Datin Fatimah Abdullah as Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department.
Fatimah, the Dalat State Assemblywoman, has been charged with early child education, family development, planning and training.

“Since Fatimah has successfully implemented early child education and family development programmes, we feel that a full minister is needed to strengthen the sector,” he added.

Fatimah was Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Human Resource and Training), Assistant Minister of Social and Urban Development (Women Development) and Assistant Minister of Agriculture Modernisation (Domestic Economy and Training).

Batu Kawa State Assemblyman Tan Joo Phoi was appointed Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Environment).
Tan was chairman of Padawan Municipal Council. (BERNAMA)