Archive for May 18th, 2010

Sea change in Sibu

By Bridget Welsh

The moment I sensed a sea change in the Sibu by-election campaign was during the Friday ceramah, two days before polling. The event reminded me of a similar mood on the eve of the Sarawak state polls in Kuching. The momentum was clearly moving in the opposition’s favour.

The votes are now counted and the opposition managed to pull off an extremely close victory of 1% majority in the final tally. Coming after the defeat in Hulu Selangor and without expectations, this victory was especially sweet for Pakatan Rakyat and bitter for BN, particularly those with personal stakes in the contest, namely Prime Minister Najib Razak and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The blame game has begun within the BN camp as the shock has yet to subside. The reasons for this close victory are multiple and cannot be boiled down to specific individuals or communities. This piece focuses on the factors that were decisive in the campaign for both sides.

My final piece on Sibu tomorrow will showcase an analysis of the results and flesh out the political implications of these results.

What went right for Pakatan
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Sibuans on why they created the Sibuan Miracle

Letter from Gabriel
Dear Kit,

After the recent election in my hometown, Sibu, a lot of my former schoolmates have been storming the internet and started voicing their grievances online, especially in social network portal like Facebook. Just a while a go, one of my ex-classmates showed me a link where people post feedback to SUPP Robert Lau’s status and one of the feedback is as follows and myself being a local Sibu, do totally agree with this Adam’s point of views :

Adam Tang
Let’s go down to the bottom. State down at least 3 to 7 reason why you vote or not vote Mr. Robert. Let Mr. Robert analyze himself. Fair?

I didn’t vote Mr. Robert Lau because

  1. Perkasa said our grandmother came to Malaysia just to sell their body last time. (Those who voted Wong Ho Leong are those who are willing to sacrifice Sibu to tell BN from the other side that if BN continue mess with Perkasa, we will vote PR again. Respect please for the people who vote DAP).

  2. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP/PR victory in Sibu sparks new hopes for a PR Federal Government in next general election

The Sibu by-election result has triple far-reaching implications for Sibu, Sarawak and Malaysia.

Most important of all, the DAP/PR victory in the Sibu parliamentary by-election on Sunday sparks new hopes for a Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government in the next 13th General Election in Malaysia.

In one fell swoop, the Sibu Miracle achieved triple national impacts: viz:

  • Steadied parliamentary democracy and strengthened Pakatan Rakyat’s parliamentary position to ensure that the Barisan Nasional does not steal back its previous unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority;

  • Sent a clear and unmistakable signal that Sarawak and Sabah are no more Barisan Nasional “fixed deposit” states which had saved the Barisan Nasional federal power in the 308 political tsunami of the 2008 general election and Umno and Putrajaya cannot continue to take the people of Sarawak and Sabah for granted in disregarding their legitimate grievances and discontents.

  • Demonstrated growing maturity and effectiveness of the Pakatan Rakyat political alliance. The Sibu by-election is the first foray of Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak comprising PKR,PAS, DAP and SNAP. The campaigning by all Pakatan Rakyat leaders including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Azizah Ismail, Azmin Ali, Saifuddin Nasution, Zuraida Kamaruddin, Fuziah Salleh, Nurul Izzah, Zaid Ibrahim (PKR) and Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, Read the rest of this entry »


Call for clear Cabinet position tomorrow: whether Najib’s promise of RM5 flood mitigation project for Rejang Park in Sibu made on eve of Sibu by-election will be honoured or not

The Cabinet meeting tomorrow should come out with a clear position – whether the RM5 million flood mitigation project promised to the voters of Rejang Park in Sibu on the eve of the Sibu by-election polling on Saturday night will be honoured or not.

This is the Sunday Star report PM woos ‘black area’ folk’ – Najib elicits cheers from voters in Rejang Park”:

Sibu: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak elicited cheers from residents Rejang Park when he announced an allocation of RM5 mil to solve its perennial drainage problem.

The poor drainage and sewerage system in the housing estate are among the reasons why it is a “black area” for Barisan Nasional in past general elections.

This is one example of Najib’s infamous “I give you what you want, you give me what I want” style of campaigning.

Yesterday, however, Najib said he is rethinking his RM5 million campaign promise to Rejang Park, adding that he has yet to decide if he will approve the RM5 million flood mitigation project promised to Sibu voters if Barisan Nasional (BN) won yesterday’s by-election.
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Malaysia’s Ruling Coalition Loses a Sarawak Race

Asia Sentinel
Chinese voters refuse blandishments of school and development money, go for the opposition

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia campaign, designed to bring the country’s three main ethnic groups back together and abate racial tension, suffered a setback Sunday when Chinese voters in the Sarawak town of Sibu deserted the national ruling coalition to narrowly elect a candidate to Parliament from the opposition Democratic Action Party.

Najib had made three trips to the town of Sibu, some 50 km up the Rajang River from the coast, and offered a cornucopia of goodies including RM18 million in financial assistance to 65 Chinese schools in what was called the most intensive campaign in the district’s history as the Barisan sought to win back the seat. That included RM10 million for Chinese primary schools, RM5 million for Chinese independent secondary schools and RM3 million for Christian missionary schools. Government workers repaved roads in an attempt to woo voters.

Najib promoted his 1Malaysia slogan as being “the only spirit and philosophy that can hold this country together.” He added that, “There is no reason why Muslims and Christians cannot work together under the spirit of 1Malaysia.” One blogger, however, wrote that Najib should just have abandoned the Chinese voters in Sibu and spent the education and development funds on poor rural voters, who are mostly other ethnic groups than the majority Chinese.
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Sibu the “Sifu”

Sixteenth of May a date to remember
In Sarawak a history was created
The people awaken, tis the signal
In her fortress BN was defeated

It is historical, this month of May
A tragedy in nineteen sixty nine
Never should it be repeated, we pray
And that’s your wish and mine.

The youths had a grand celebration
And the teachers day too did follow
Whilst Pakatan was in jubilation
Barisan Nasional plunged in sorrow.

It was the bye-election in Sibu
The spirit that we shall nurture
Little Sibu became the “SIFU”
Giving hope to Malaysia’s future. Read the rest of this entry »