Final appeal for a one-to-one electoral contest between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional in Sarawak general elections as the Sarawak polls on May 7 is a battle for Malaysia

Monday is the nomination day for the 11th Sarawak state general election.

I want to make final appeal for a one-to-one electoral contest between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional in Sarawak general elections as the Sarawak polls on May 7 is not just a battle for Sarawak, but a battle for Malaysia.

DAP and PKR leaders have actually reached an electoral understanding for a one-to-one contest in the Sarawak state general election with Barisan Nasional, which had involved difficult give-and-take, and it is most unfortunate if this electoral understanding reached by DAP and PKR leaders are broken resulting in a multi-cornered electoral contest involving the BN on the one part, and the DAP and PKR on the other.

I hope that in the interests of the political future, not only of Sarawak but of Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan parties can face the challenges of the 11th Sarawak state general elections as one team.

DAP leaders are prepared to campaign for PKR in state constituencies contested by PKR candidates, and PKR leaders are welcome to campaign in areas contested by DAP candidates so that se can send out a message, loud and clear, of Pakatan Harapan’s solidarity, cohesion and commitment to bring about political change not only in Sarawak but also in Malaysia.

I was in Bario in the Mulu state assembly constituency with the DAP candidate, Paul Raja, and have just returned to Miri and I have no yet caught up with the latest political developments.

Bario has been described as an “Erehwon”, or a place outside this world in terms of its natural beauty and characteristics. But despite these special qualities, there are many areas of improvement in Bario which can be aimed at, especially as Bario is land of the high-achievers of the Kelabit community.

One of these is to make Bario the “Davos of Malaysia”!

When outsiders think of Switzerland, they think of three places - Berne, the capital; Zurich the financial centre and Davos the tourist centre in the countryside, where every year, at the end of January, the leaders of the world, whether political, economic or in other fields of human endeavour, congregate to brainstorm about problems of the times and the future of humanity.

Why can’t Bario be developed as the “Davos of Malaysia”, where Asian leaders congregate every year to give fame to Bario?

This is not something which can be achieved overnight. It may take more than 10, even 20 or 30 years, but it should be a worthwhile target for the people in Bario and Mulu, even Sarawak, to achieve.

However, if the lofty goal of transforming Bario into the “Davos of Malaysia” is to be achieved, many preconditions must be fulfilled, whether about NCR land, infrastructure of roads and access or the development of world-class tourist and conference facilities.

On the way flying into Bario from Miri yesterday, I saw the Twin Rocks or Batu Lawi for the first time. It was an unique and awesome sight, which should be marketted all over the world as among the sights and scenes to represent Malaysia.

The Sarawak elections is therefore a battle for Malaysia, to bring to the forefront the rights and concerns of Sarawakians which should also be the common agenda of all Malaysians.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah