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Sarawak success a lesson to Sabah DAP

 | April 18, 2011

Sarawak DAP's tactical move to focus its 'limited' resources on winnable seats has inspired its Sabah counterparts to rethink their strategy.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP is studying ways to neutralise the massive abuse of government resources by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition during the just-concluded election.

The Sabah branch of the party said it would scrutinise the key issues learnt by its Sarawakian counterparts and also find ways to work closer and harder with other opposition parties to score “similar success” in Sabah.

Sabah DAP secretary Dr Edwin Bosi said the state branch would cooperate with all opposition parties, apart from its Pakatan Rakyat coalition partners, to overthrow Umno and the BN in the 13th general election.

“We have started talking with PAS and with PKR. We have also made contacts with SAPP to talk about a common strategy against Umno and BN.

“One of the lessons from the Sarawak election is the strength of BN in terms of resources, notably money, government machinery, election workers and promises.

An opposition party can go to a village and raise the issue of bad conditions of the road only to see BN sending lorry loads of gravel stones to the site.

“Whether the stones will be spread on the road does not matter as the villagers can see the ‘sincerity’ of BN.

“In Sabah, Umno and BN have an extra edge to ensure their victory,” he said.

Target winnable seats

Bosi said that DAP and its coalition partners should focus their strength on winnable seats and not be stretched too thin.

“We must each focus on seats where a party is strong, has a good candidate and can win and not spread thin with our already limited resources with unnecessary contesting in many seats where the likelihood of winning is very slim.

“The result in Sarawak gives us a useful feedback. The voter’s perception of a political party contesting is very important; however, it is also important to have the right candidate.

“They complement each other very well.

“At present, it is premature to tell how many and where the seats (both state and parliament) are to be contested by DAP Sabah,” he said.

DAP won 12 out of the 15 seats it contested in the 10th Sarawak state election held on Saturday. The win has doubled the number of its representatives in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.

“Sabah DAP, its coalition partners and supporters can help change the political landscape of Malaysia if we can win and contribute a sizeable number of MP seats to Pakatan Rakyat in the coming 13th general election,” Bosi said.

He noted that the Sarawak election results showed that DAP is making headway among the educated urban voters.


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