SUBANG JAYA: It was Prime Minister Najib Razak’s team, and not Adenan Satem’s, that really won the Sarawak election for Barisan Nasional, says academician James Chin.
“Barisan was very effective in rural areas.
“It was Team Najib and the federal Cabinet, not Adenan, who did the work,” Chin said at a public lecture at Sunway University today.
“The prime minister and senior Cabinet members were crucial in some areas, such as Tasik Biru.”
In Tasik Biru, BN’s Henry Harry Jinep beat DAP’s Mordi Bimol with a 1,288 majority after securing 6,922 votes in the May 7 state election.
Chin said the government had a great advantage in terms of their machinery and helicopters, which allowed them to visit five longhouses in a day.
The Opposition candidates, on the other hand, he explained, could only travel by boat and only visit two longhouses at most in a day.
On-the-spot grants, he opined, were also very effective in swaying the fence-sitters.
“Infrastructure and money equals votes.”
In the lecture, titled “The 2016 Sarawak Elections: Team Adenan and Other Stories”, Chin also said that the Sarawak chief minister won because he had addressed the key issues raised by the Opposition.
“Adenan took away key issues from the Opposition, such as ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’, ‘Keep Umno Out.’
“He also has a populist image of the classic Sarawak gentleman, who is both liberal and multiracial.
“The ‘Give Team Adenan A Chance’ movement had an emotional engagement.”
Some foreign observers noted that it was the “Adenan Factor” that led BN to the landslide victory in the May 7 election.