Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 19th April 2011:
Suggest DAP and SNAP should seriously consider a merger to accelerate Iban/Dayak political awakening following the 416 Sarawak general elections
Political scientist Dr. Bridget Welsh in her article “The myths of Sarawak polls results” in Malaysiakini today has debunked two myths about the 416 Sarawak general elections:
Nothing can be further from the truth in both cases.
The 416 Sarawak general elections saw not just a Chinese swing against the Barisan Nasional but also by other communities as well.
Bridget said preliminary findings of the 416 Sarawak general elections highlight that “the movement is greatest in mixed constituencies”, stressing:
“No question about it, a growing number of Chinese supported the opposition in Sarawak. The interesting finding from the results, however, is that they are not alone, and in fact the Chinese swing toward the opposition is comparatively less (yes, less) than the changes within other communities.”
This is borne out by BN losing three Dayak-majority seats and the slashing of Barisan victory margins in other Iban seats to an all-time low.
The Bidayuh seats were most impressive - for although Pakatan Rakyat failed to win a single one of the Bidayuh seats, there was a 17.9% swing in the Bidayuh votes in favoour of the Opposition!
The second myth that the Opposition received support only in urban areas was smashed by two results:
According to Bridget’s preliminary analysis at the seat level, the gains in semi-rural seats were more than in the other areas: 19.7% compared to 14.8% in the rural areas and 13.4% in the urban communities.
These are all very encouraging and even inspiring pointers for the Pakatan Rakyat in the next great electoral contest in Sarawak – the 13th national general elections which would be held within months.
In the past few days, I have been receiving emails from supporters expressing their hope for the future and expectations of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat in Sarawak.
A.Jong wrote from Perth urging the DAP to uphold the rights of Malaysians and not just the urban Chinese.
I want to assure Jong that right from the very first day of our formation 45 years ago DAP had been fighting for the rights and interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, geography or socio-economic status.
Admittedly, thanks to enemy propaganda in the controlled mass media in the past decades, DAP is projected and perceived by some as a Chinese party.
This is a perception that the DAP must eliminate so that all Malaysians can accept and support us as a political movement committed to the betterment of the welfare of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
Sarawak DAP cannot rest on its laurels having won 12 seats in the 416 Sarawak state general elections but must prepare immediately for the 13th national general elections which is not far off.From now till the 13th national general elections, DAP leaders, members and supporters must work with Pakatan Rakyat partners to reach out to all Sarawakians including Ibans/Dayaks and Malay/Melanaus.
In the 13th national general elections, we should avoid any multi-cornered contests which can only benefit the Barisan Nasional and for this reason, I would even suggest that DAP and SNAP should seriously consider a merger of the two political parties to accelerate Iban/Dayak political awakening following the 416 Sarawak general elections.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor