Local English dailies, Eastern Times and Borneo Post devoted many of their news pages on Tuesday with flood reports from Kapit, Sibu, Miri, Baram, Debak, Bintulu, Sibu to Kuching. It seems that the entire state is currently underwater!

In the centerfold, usually occupied by state news had been taken by “puji-pujian” or congratulatory adverts to Tan Sri Taib Mahmud of fondly known as Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Datuk Amar Puan Sri Laila Taib 50th Wedding Anniversary.

“Borneo Post is making tons of monies today,” a taukey of kopitiam shop who wanted to be anonymous remarked, on seeing several pages of full-page adverts on Taib’s golden jubilee wedding anniversary – paid for by local corporations linked to the chief minister such as KTS, PUSAKA to name a few.

The “Sarawak First Couple” who just came back to the state capital, Kuching after spending two good weeks of holidays abroad, started their courtship in 1959. At that time Taib was a young aspiring lawyer who met the love of his life, their 50th wedding anniversary souvenir book.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang described the couple as a perfect example of keluarga bahagia or happy family.

“On behalf of all the rakyat in Sarawak, I wish to express our heartiest congratulations to Pehin Sri and Datuk Amar Puan Sri Laila who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary,” he said.

Borneo Post which is owned by a tycoon closely linked to Taib describe their marriage is as solid as rock and together they have helped chart the course and destiny of a small state.

Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud and Datuk Amar Puan Sri Laila Taib celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary today with Sarawak, the state they helped to transformed, as backdrop, it said full of praises.

Polish-born, Laila Chalecki and Melanau gentleman Taib married at the Adelaide Mosque by Iman Ahmad Skaka Al-Haj on Jan 13, 1959.