--- Story on Adenan Satem, a James Ritchie special report for hegehegeh.com 

IN March 2004, Adenan was hand-picked to enter Federal politics and contested the Batang Sadong seat in the 11th parliamentary election. He defeated PAS candidate Adam Ahid by a massive majority of 9,731 votes.

He was appointed as Federal Minister of Natural Resources and Environment—a portfolio he held for only two years before returning to Kuching where he remained as a parliamentarian but without any specific task or portfolio.

In May 2006 Adenan exchange constituencies and was fielded in the Tanjung Datu which he won after beating PKR candidate Sobey Daud, with a majority of 4,136 votes.

Four years later in 2010, he was appointed Special dvisor to the Chief Minister, and later in 2011 as Minister with Special Functions as well as to the State Minerals Management Board—“Lembaga Pengurusan Mineral Negeri”.

During this time Adenan’s heart condition became a stumbling block as the over-zealous politician pushed himself harder while trying to solve the many issues that Sarawak faced.

One of Adenan’s great concerns was for the Penan—a disadvantaged minority and his worry and the environmental degradation left behind the rest of society and environmental degradation of their jungle environment.

In the 1980s timber activities in remote Baram caused wanton destruction which left to a decade-long series of anti-logging blockades.

A powerful advocate environmental degradation, Adenan used referred to the Bible, in a pun where he portrayed man as the biggest destroyer of the forests.

He said: “In the 1970s, I wrote a speech (during a State legislative sitting) called ‘The Eighth Day. According to biblical knowledge, God created the world in six days, on the seventh day he rested.

“But on the eight day, mankind messed it up.”

Destined to become Chief Minister

When Taib fell ill in 2005, there were rumours that Taib was going to step down but not before appointing his successor; the four names mentioned were Adenan, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan and Dato Sri Effendi Norwawi.

However, Taib recovered and it was not until 2013 when the Chief Minister agreed to step down in favour of Adenan.

Adenan said that his selection as successor was only indicated to him only weeks before his appointment in early 2014.

Both Taib and Adenan, had separately planned a pilgrimage for the Hajj in Mecca when a chance meeting brought them together.

“Taib was already booked to go to Mecca and learnt that Adenan was also going on the Hajj. By pre-destination and God’s grace, Taib invited Adenan to join his entourage where the Chief Minister popped the question him becoming Chief Minister and the rest is history.

Adenan—The chosen one!

On Feb 12, 2014 Taib announced he was stepping down and had chosen Adenan Satem as his successor. 

Taib expressed his confidence that with Sarawak’s established policies, Adenan would be able to ensure that State maintains its momentum of greater development.

Adenan’s close call

Several years before Adenan Satem became Chief Minister almost died on two separate occasions when he was admitted to the IJN—the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur and a private hospital in Singapore where he had to be revived after two heart attacks.

Adenan said he was ready to go when God gave him a new lease of life to do what he had to do.

“I was very sick and I thought I was going (to die). I called all my relatives, my children and grandchildren. They all came and you know when you called all your children and grandchildren, you know what it’s all about. I was ready to go. But God is great and I recovered and I was back to normal”.

His greatest gift to Sarawak was on May 7, 2014 when he led the Sarawak to a famous victory in the state election, taking 72 out of 82 state assembly seats.

Two years later on January 11, 2016—16 days short of his 73rd birthday—Adenan had gone to be with his maker. (*)

Read part 1 of the story by cliking this link!