Saturday, September 26, 2009

Death of a former Mentri Besar

[From Malaysia Today...]

Ex-Pahang MB Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar dies

KUALA LUMPUR (25 Sept 2009) -- Former Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar died at his home in Jalan U Thant here at 7.10pm yesterday, believed to be due to a heart attack. He was 66. Abdul Rahim leaves a wife and four children — Roslina, 37, Rosnita, Mohd Rizal, 32, and Rosazreen, 25 and four grandchildren.

Abdul Rahim was born on February 7, 1943, in Beserah, Kuantan and started his political career as the state assemblyman for Beserah after winning the seat in the 1978 general election. An economics graduate from Universiti Malaya, he was Pahang Menteri Besar from July 19, 1978 to November 7, 1981.
— Reuters

RPK's rousing tribute to Rahim Bakar

Rahim Bakar was a most outspoken individual and the Pahang rakyat loved him. He would blast away, even in public, and there were no ‘sacred cows’ as far as he was concerned. In fact, whenever there were palace spies around, Rahim Bakar would purposely raise his voice so that they could hear what he says. Then he would sit back with an amused look on his face to see the spies scurry away to report to the Pahang Sultan what Rahim Bakar just said.

The best way and no other way to describe the relationship between the Menteri Besar and the Palace was that they were in a state of war. Rahim Bakar whacked the Sultan to kingdom come and he did not care a damn what the repercussions would be.

At that time, the Prime Minister was Tun Hussein Onn, a jewel and no-nonsense of a man. He was brought up in the British tradition and acquired his discipline in the British army. Hussein Onn would not tolerate any shit and in spite of his Johor Palace links he would keep the Royal Family on a tight leash and would offer them no slack.

It was always an unwritten rule that the nine Malaysian rulers would be allowed certain ‘excesses’. For states like Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, and so on, these excesses would include large tracts of timber concessions. States like Negeri Sembilan, which did not have too much timber land left, the ‘concessions’ would be in the form of pig farm licences. Why do you think they call that state Negeri Sembilan Darul Khinzir?

The Sultans would be given a certain timber ‘quota’ every year, which they are expected to use wisely. Most Sultans would have Chinese partners to work the timber concessions and for Pahang it was the infamous ‘Tengku’ Wong ...

[Read the full story here.]