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Implications of Sarawak election on Sabah

In view of the super confidence of DAP that only they can bring change to Sabah, we wish to share with the public our party analysis of the DAP performance in the April Sarawak state elections and its implications on the coming general elections. SAPP had sent five teams to lend moral support to Pakatan and to learn about the Sarawak elections.

Sarawak DAP conducted a superb campaign, tapping into the widespread unhappiness among the urban Chinese whose discontent with the Taib Mahmud government has been simmering ever since 2006 over the urban land leases renewal issue. Other than national issues, the community generally found it difficult to do business due to monopolistic policies.

The anger is directed at the Chief Minister who has served for thirty years. It is as if the Chief Minister of Sabah today is still Datuk Harris Mohd. Salleh of 1981. The Chinese had at one time overwhelmingly supported Taib and BN ever since the 1987 Ming Court incident. That support has now being withdrawn.

DAP sent their entire party machinery from KL, Penang, Selangor, Perak and other states to Sarawak. Money and time was not a constraint. Sarawak DAP was also smart enough to quickly settle the seat sharing formula with Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and PAS. The tension with PKR over two Chinese urban seats was resolved when the power to select candidates (by issuing the Authority to Use Party Symbol) was taken away from the Sarawak DAP chief by the DAP HQ in Kuala Lumpur. That way, PKR and DAP leaders in KL were able to settle the seats sharing whatever the wishes of the local leaders. This KL top down method is the same as the BN, which SAPP is uncomfortable with because it is against the principle of autonomy.

Out of the 15 seats contested by DAP, DAP did very well in the big towns (winning 10 seats with big majorities). In mixed seats, DAP won another two (Dudong and Batu Kawah with majorities of 317 and 543 votes respectively). DAP lost in two mixed seats (Bawang Assan and Simanggang by 1808 and 2447 votes). In Limbang's Bukit Kota mixed seat, where the entire Sabah DAP was encamped to help, DAP lost by a whopping 5001 votes (BN 6835 to DAP 1774).

It is safe to assume that DAP would have won also Batu Lintang in Kuching (won by PKR) and Senadin in Miri (PKR lost by 58 votes) if DAP had contested in these two seats. This makes a maximum potential of 14 DAP state seats. But this is Sarawak DAP's maximum because in parliamentary elections, DAP resources will be stretched nationwide. The fact that, after the Sarawak elections, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang openly called for a DAP-SNAP merger shows that the DAP leadership knew that DAP has reached its peak in Sarawak.

The outcome in Sarawak is that the Chinese represented by DAP is now in the opposition and the bumiputras, represented by other parties, remain in government. This is the "two parties system" championed by DAP, with the Chinese in the opposition and the Bumiputras in government. This is the DAP "416" promise of change of toppling Taib Mahmud on April 16. Instead, "416" turned out to be Taib's victory because Taib was sworn in on the evening of "416".
This is why SAPP had called on DAP green horns in Sabah not to be over elated by their so-called success in Sarawak. Sarawak "416" is neither a success for the opposition nor for Sarawak nor for the Chinese community.

Implications for the parliamentary elections

Translating the state results into parliamentary seats, when counted with neighbouring BN strongholds, the DAP and PKR combined strength is only 3 to 5 parliamentary seats. For instance, Bakelalan (PKR majority 473) would be outnumbered by Bukit Sari (BN majority 5063) when counted as one parliamentary seat (Lawas). This means BN could keep 26 to 28 of the 31 MPs in Sarawak. This is no secret because every party head quarters, be it BN, UMNO, DAP, PKR, PAS or SAPP has done their own analysis.

Therefore, to achieve Pakatan's target of 15 MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, the combined Sabah opposition (Pakatan plus SAPP) has to garner 10 to 12 MP seats out of the 25 MP seats in Sabah. To achieve this target, SAPP respects the wish of the people that the opposition works together. SAPP has been playing our part; our leaders have met with PKR and DAP leaders at various levels from top to bottom, attending Pakatan functions and building mutual confidence.

But we do not agree with the Lim Kit Siang's view that "to change Sabah, we must have change in Malaysia". In fact, to change Malaysia, we must have change in Sabah. This is because, if the national opposition cannot win in Sabah and Sarawak, then there is no change in Malaysia. SAPP aims to restore autonomy to Sabah by having a change of government in Sabah and in Putrajaya. It is not sufficient to have a mere changing of urban YBs like what happened in the recent Sarawak elections.

1 comment:

  1. yeh, DAP must be realistic. give way to PKR, SAPP and other parties that can garner more Bumi votes. Sabah DAP consists of CHinese only.


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