Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections will be more reliable barometers of Najib’s fate in 14GE than the 11th Sarawak state general election

The Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak may be wide off the mark to think that the Sarawak polls show that Barisan Nasional can win in the 14th General Election.

At least the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was more realistic when after Adenan Satem’s swearing-in as Sarawak Chief Minister, he hailed Barisan Nasional’s victory as an indication of “Sarawakians’ confidence in Adenan’s leadership” – which is a very different matter from Sarawakians’ confidence in Najib’s leadership despite Najib’s hijacking of the Sarawak state general election from Adenan by being the Santa Claus of the BN election campaign of money politics.

Salleh should know that the impending parliamentary by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar will be more reliable barometers of Najib’s fate in the 14GE than the just concluded 11th Sarawak state general electilns.

This is one of the several myths which have been born in the past 36 hours after the results of the 11th Sarawak state general election on Saturday night.

Others include that DAP Sarawak had been dealt a devastating blow by the “crushing” setbacks in the 11th Sarawak state general election, that there is a major swing of urban voters to Barisan Nasional and that it was strategic mistake for the DAP to reach out to make inroads into the rural heartland.

Although DAP Sarawak had suffered a “crushing” defeat in Sarawak general election in the context of our hopes in the 11th Sarawak state election and our 2011 state general election performance, I am uplifted that the electoral debacle on Saturday had not “crushed” the fighting spirit of DAP leaders and members who are even more committed and determined to press on with the DAP’s political journey to ensure justice, freedom and human empowerment for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region,

Better understanding of the results of the Sarawak state general elections on Saturday have clarified certain misconceptions about the 11th Sarawak state general election, for instance, that the DAP-PKR clash in six state assembly constituencies was not the reason for the BN victory although the voters are rightly disappointed and dismayed by the failure to present an united Pakatan Harapan front or that contrary to general expectations, Sarawak Barisan Nasional’s rural grip are actually weakening and not strengthening.

The very fact that the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Sarawak Chief Minister have to queue up to visit and “rain” Tasik Biru with gifts, projects and promises to foil the election of the DAP candidate Modi Bimol is an indication not only of the massive firepower in the Barisan Nasional Sarawak election campaign but Sarawak BN’s realisation that its hold on the rural hinterland is not all that invincible.

The battle for the hearts and minds of Sarawakians and Malaysians must go on – to the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, the 14th General Elections by 2018 and to the 12th Sarawak state general elections in 2021!

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah