No kingmaker role for Sarawak DAP, says analyst

Chong Chieng Jen believes DAP can play the kingmaker role by winning 15 to 20 seats in the upcoming Sarawak election.

KUCHING: A political analyst has predicted a dismal showing for Sarawak DAP in the next election and said it was deluding itself if it believed it could play kingmaker for the state.

Commenting on a recent statement by Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Jayum Jawan of Universiti Putra Malaysia said it was unlikely the party could win all of the Chinese-majority seats in the state.

In a speech in Kuching last Sunday, Chong said a party would not have to win 50% of the 82 seats in the state legislative assembly to become kingmaker in forming the new government.

“Because there are many different blocks of power in the state, it is difficult for any single party or single coalition to form a new government after the election,” he said.

“So, I believe DAP can play the kingmaker role by winning 15 to 20 seats in the next state polls.”

Jayum Jawan.

Noting that there are 16 Chinese-majority constituencies in Sarawak, Jayum claimed that the most DAP could win would be “about 10 seats”.

He also alleged that DAP did not perform well when it was part of the federal government. “So it can’t expect Chinese voters to give it their support unconditionally this time around.”

He predicted good showings by parties in the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), saying PBB, the group’s backbone, could win most Melanau seats without much problem.

He said PBB could even win Dayak seats if it were to contest in those constituencies, and Parti Rakyat Sarawak was expected to win about 70% of the seats it would vie for.

“Although DAP is most likely to win the urban Chinese-majority seats, SUPP will get some as well,” he told FMT.

“SUPP president Sim Kui Hian has been working hard to gain stronger support from the Chinese community and his efforts have started to bear fruit.

“Therefore, DAP will not play the kingmaker role even if it wins 20 seats.”