Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Governor's 1st Duty

The new Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Juhar Hj Mahiruddin's (bottom pic) first official duty will be to visit the graves of two former Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah, (governor) the late Tun Datu Hj Mustapha Datu Harun (top pic, left) and the late Tun Hj Mohd Fuad Stephens (top pic, right) tomorrow Monday Jan 10.

This will be the first public function of the former Speaker of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly who was sworn-in as Sabah's 10th governor on Jan 1 at the Istana Negeri in Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah.

Both Tun Mustapha and Tun Fuad had the distinction of having served as both Sabah governor and Chief Minister. Tun Mustapha was Sabah's first Yang di-Pertua Negeri (then known as Yang di-Pertua Negara) when the former British colony of North Borneo became independent Sabah and one of Malaysia's then 14 States on 16 September 1963. Tun Fuad (then Dato' Donald Stephens) was the first Chief Minister.

After Sabah's first direct general election in 1967, Mustapha became the State's 3rd Chief Minister, replacing Datuk (now Tan Sri) Peter Lo who succeeded Stephens in 1965. After dissolving his UPKO party which lost in the election, Stephens was made the Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia in the late 1960s.

In 1973, Mustapha, still the Chief Minister, made Stephens the State's 3rd governor, replacing the late Tun Ahmad Raffae, father of former Sabah Minister Dayang Mahani. Stephens stepped down as TYT or Tuan Yang Terutama (His Excellency) in August 1975 following the formation of the new Berjaya party which he later led. Two months later, Mustapha gave way to his deputy the late Tun Said Keruak due to pressure from Berjaya.

There was a reversal of fortunes when, in April 1976, Stephens once again became Chief Minister follwing Berjaya's victory in the State's 3rd general election. But alas, the joy of Berjaya members was short-lived as Stephens and almost half of his Cabinet Colleagues were killed in an air-crash. Stephens was succeeded by his deputy Datuk Harris Salleh, a former Minister in the Mustapha Cabinet.

Mustapha, meanwhile lived on to see another new party, PBS, defeating Berjaya in 1985 in a 'history repeating itself' scenario. Following PBS's pulling out from Malaysia's ruling national coalition BN in 1990, Mustapha dissolved his Usno party to make way for the national Umno party to enter Sabah. The majority members of both Usno and Umno were Muslims and to enhance Umno's image in Sabah, Mustapha was made Federal Minister for Sabah Affairs.

The PBS government collasped soon after the 1994 State general election which it won narrowly, due to defections. The Umno-led BN took over. However, by then Mustapha had left Umno, dissatisfied that he was replaced as Sabah Umno chief months before.

Ironically, Mustapha died on 2 Jan 1995 not as an Umno member but as a PBS member! Ironic because Mustapha had challenged PBS president Datuk Joseph Pairin in court after the 1985 election, seeking a declaration that he (Mustapha) was the rightful Chief Minister. Mustapha became the new Chief Minister for less than 24 hours after then governor the late Tun Adnan Robert revoked his appointment. No wonder they say that in politics there is no permanent friend and no permanent enemy!

By the way, Tun Mustapha's grave which has since been turned into a Memorail is at Petagas near Putatan while Stephens' is at the State Mosque in Kota Kinabalu. It is not known if the new TYT Juhar will also visit the graves of two other former governors also buried at the State Mosque compound. The duo are the late Tun Said Keruak and Tun Hamdan Abdullah.

Tun Said also had the distinction of having served as both the governor and Chief Minister. He was made TYT by the PBS government in the late 1980s. He served until 31 Dec 1994, but not before he swore-in his son Datuk Salleh as the new Chief Minister on 27 Dec 1994! In other words, the Keruak family also had the distinction of having produced Sabah's only Governor-Chief Minister team!

The only other TYTs whose children also served as State Cabinet Ministers (but not Chief Minister and not necessarily during their tenure as TYT) were the late Tun Raffae, the late Tun Mustapha and Tun Sakaran. Their children, respectively, are Dayang Mahani Raffae, the late Datuk Hamid Mustapha and Datuk Amir Kahar Mustapha and Datuk Nasir Sakaran.

The late Hamid Mustapha was Culture, Youth and Sports Minister during Berjaya time in the early 1980s while his younger brother Amir Kahar was Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries during PBS era. Again, ironically, none of the Mustapha brothers served as Minister during BN time since 1994 despite their father's influence and sacrifice after dissolving Usno to make way for Umno!

May the souls of all the late State leaders and politicians I have mentioned rest in peace. Their contributions cannot be ignored by Sabahans. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Friend, you have missed to mentioned certain irony and distinctive features of Tun Ahmad Koroh and Tun Adnan Robert's being the TYT of their times. Tun Ahmad was TYT when his younger brither Tan Sri Suffian was the DCM and Son Eric @Azmy Koroh was YB Pensiangan. Tun Adnan and Tun Koroh were both from the Murut stock of Keningau and "related". They ere both converts.