Sarawakians who did not vote for the opposition voted for Najib Tun Razak's 'transformation programme.'
DAP won 12 seats in yesterday’s historic state elections, including three in Kuching and its Pakatan Rakyat coalition partner, PKR won three. Batu Lintang constituency in Kuching is now PKR’s.
It was an amazing victory for the opposition and it was enough reason for a celebration.
The opposition collectively won 17 seats, including one by independent in Pelagus.
Sarawak did not experience a political tsunami but it did feel a significant tremour of an ‘earthquake costly to BN (Barisan Nasional)’.
Some 300,338 (45.5%) Sarawakians had voted for ‘truth’ in yesterday’s polls. A telling number by any standard if you read between the lines.
Their votes were fueled entirely by Chinese disgust against ‘Pek Moi’ (Taib Mahmud) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president George Chan and issues such as religious freedom and native customary rights (NCR) land grabs and policies in the rural interior.
Dismissing the drizzle and armed with an umbrella, 32-year-old Tan, a supporter of ‘democracy’ when met at the 30,000-strong DAP Stutong rally on Friday night excitedly said: “We have waited for a long time…we want democracy…we want freedom to be Christians.”
“Before you will never see people coming out to listen to a ceramah like this…Sarawakians are shy people.. Now they will even wear the DAP t-shirt if you give them ..we want Ubah!’
‘Ubah’ or ‘Change’ is DAP’s scream in this ‘Sarawak4Change’ campaign reminisence of ‘Sibu4Change’ back in May 2010.
There too the DAP dragons blew fire and brimstones in ceramahs the night before and in a show of absolute unity, Sibu voters handed their vote to DAP’s Wong Ho Leng.
It would have been historic if Pakatan had denied Taib his two thirds majority.
But this would not have happened.
As much as one hates to admit it, Taib is still ‘god-like’ in the rural and interior and cold cash does bring with it much comfort to poor pockets.
And given the fact that Prime Najib Tun Razak had made a personal plea for Sarawakians to ‘trust’ him, the Malay-Melanau and the Ibans gave him their faith.
Najib had promised to put right the wrongs in the state and that included hastening Taib’s departure.
Voted for Najib
The truth of yesterday’s polls was that Sarawakians who did not vote the opposition voted for Najib.
They did not vote for Taib or Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB). They voted for Najib’s personal commitment to do the needful in Sarawak.
Perhaps knowing this was what compelled Taib to hasten his swearing in ceremony last night.
Barely an hour after the Election Commission announced the official tally of BN winning 55 seats and Opposition taking 17 seats, Taib immediately called on the governor to swear him in.
A candid SMS from an insider with regards to the swearing-in read “in haste of course…better safe than sorry”. It is an indication perhaps of Taib’s distrust of Najib and Umno.
“I think he’s afraid that Najib will move to appoint another CM,” said another observer.
Highly likely considering Taib is now indebted to Najib and his Umno team for yanking him from near political death.
In an unprecedented move Najib parked himself for six days in the run-up to the election, and criss-crossing the state in a bid to save a floundering Sarawak BN and an embattled Taib.
On a tweet, Umno swung into action, descending in Sarawak in droves and taught the locals how to campaign when you have the likes of DAP and PKR in the fray.
At the end of polls yesterday, Sarawak BN was saved. It had retained 55 seats and Najib had put an end to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s march forward.
Taib’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) retained all its 35 seats while its partners Parti Rakyat Sarawak retained eight our nine seats and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) won six out of its nine seats.
Almost wiped out from the Sarawak political scene is SUPP. It managed to retain only six out of its 19 seats, even many of its leaders crashing.
As expected George Chan, a six-term SUPP incumbent in Piasau, lost to a young DAP greenhorn Ling Sie Kiong. Ling, a lawyer, garnered 5,998 votes while Chan polled 4,408 votes.
But federal assistance, in particular Najib’s help, comes with a price.
Speculations are rife that Taib would now be compelled to name a successor who is Umno-friendly, rescind his immigration policy and review his stand over the Federal Government’s long-held interest in obtaining Bintulu and turning it into a Federal Territory like Labuan.
As for Umno, it has already muscled itself into Kuching.