I have three wishes for the 11th Sarawak state general election on May 7.
Firstly, that the DAP will be to defend the 12 State Assembly seats won five years ago in the 10th Sarawak state general elections – which have now been turned into 13 state assembly seats as a result of increase and redelineation of constituencies. This is to demonstrate that DAP’s support among the people of Sibu, Bintanggor, Sarikei, Kuching, Bintulu and Miri remains as solid and powerful as in the past decade.
Secondly, that DAP succeeds in its “political offensive” in the 11th Sarawak state general election to make a breakthrough to win seats in the Dayak-dominated areas like Tasik Biru, Mambong, Serian, Simanggang, Pakan, Mulu and Murum to demonstrate that it is not only in the urban areas, but also in the rural areas, Sarawakians support the DAP mission to create a more just, equal and more democratic society.
Both these objectives are not easy to accomplish.
The caretaker Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Adenan Satem has said that he is confident of winning at least 70 out of the 82 seats in the 11th Sarawak State Election on May 7.
Adenan is spearheading an election campaign employing a four-pronged strategy to demolish and slash the DAP numbers in the Sarawak State Assembly, viz:
1. The Adenan effect.
2. The Najib effect.
3. Politics of Money.
4. Politics of Fear and Intimidation.
I have described the worst-case scenario in Sarikei last night where the DAP could lose up to seven of the 12 State Assembly seats won by DAP five years ago.
But we must prove Adenan wrong on May 7, that instead of worst-case scenario emerging on Polling Day on May 7, the voters of Sarawak are capable of bringing forth the best-case scenario for the DAP.
What is the best-case scenario for DAP on May 7?
The 11th Sarawak state general election is not about who is going to be the Sarawak Chief Minister on May 7, and which political party is going to form the Sarawak state government for the next five years.
Both these issues have already been decided on Nomination Day, as Adenan Satem will be the Sarawak Chief Minister for the next five years and Sarawak BN will form the new Sarawak state government.
The issue to be decided is whether there is going to be a strong, effective and principled Opposition in the Sarawak state assembly to ensure that Adenan will deliver the election promises he has made to the people of Sarawak and that the disease of “Power Corrupts, Absolute Powers Corrupt Absolutely” will not afflict the Sarawak State Government in the next five years.
The best means to ensure that Adenan will not succumb to abuses and excesses of power is to deny him two-thirds State Assemby majority, which is not an easy target, as it will mean the Opposition collectively winning 28 out of the total of 82 seats in the Sarawak State Assembly.
DAP has fielded 31 candidates in the 11th Sarawak state general election – 14 Chinese, 16 Dayak (four Bidayuh, nine Iban and three Orang Ulu) and one Malay-Melanau – the largest number in the 38-year history of Sarawak DAP.
I will be elated if DAP can win 20 to 22 State Assembly seats, hoping that PKR can win six to eight state assembly seats, to make the total of 28 “magic figure” to deny Adenan two-thirds State Assembly majority.
The most important question, however, remains as to whether DAP can make a breakthrough on May 7 to demonstrate that Sarawakians outside the urban areas like Tasik Biru, Mambong, Serian, Simanggang, Pakan, Mulu and Murum are standing up with their brothers and sisters in Kuching, Sibu, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri to demand for political change and meaningful development.
These are my first two wishes for the 11th Sarawak state general election on May 7 – firstly, for DAP to defend the 13 State Assembly seats carved out of the 12 DAP constituencies won by DAP five years ago; and secondly, to make a breakthrough in the non-traditional DAP strongholds outside the urban areas, which is why I had spent the first five days of the Sarawak election campaign in Tasik Biru, Mambong, Serian, Simanggang and Pakan. I was in Mulu before Nomination Day and I will be visiting Kapit and Murum before Polling Day.
My third wish is dependent on the fulfilment of my first two wishes – that Sarawak DAP, together with Sarawakians all over the state, can embark on a Five-Year Grand Vision and Plan on Polling Day for Sarawak DAP, together with like-minded political forces in the state, to plan and prepare to capture power and the Sarawak State Government in the next Sarawak state general election in 2021!
I am now 75 years and this is my 50th year in Malaysian politics.
I do not know whether I will be around or whether I could actively campaign in the historic 12th Sarawak state general elections in 2021, but my third wish is dependent on the fulfilment of my first two wishes – that DAP is able to defend the 13 seats carved out of the 12 DAP Assembly constituencies won five years ago as well as able to make a breakthrough in the Dayak-dominated constituencies on May 7.
It is only then that my third wish for DAP to work for the capture of Sarawak State Government in the next five years like what we have done in Penang comes into play.
Will my three wishes come true?
(Speech at the DAP Sarawak state general election ceramah in Sibu on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 11 pm)