The battle for Bawang Assan in the 11th Sarawak state general election is very significant, for it was not one of the 12 State Assembly seats won by the DAP in the 2011 Sarawak general election five years ago.
If DAP can win in Bawang Assan on May 7, then it will be one powerful evidence that Sarawak is ready for DAP Sarawak Plan to capture Sarawak state government with like-minded political forces in the next Sarawak state general election in 2021.
The political journey of Sarawak DAP for a more just, equal and democratic society had not been an easy one. It had been an arduous struggle since the establishment of Sarawak DAP 38 years ago in 1978.
This is the ninth Sarawak state general elections contested by Sarawak DAP since 1978.
For 18 long years, DAP Sarawak struggled in five Sarawak state general elections to “break the egg” of zero representation in the Sarawak State Assembly and to make the breakthrough in the Sarawak state elections.
DAP succeeded in getting the confidence of Sarawak voters since the 1982 Parliamentary elections, winning both Sibu and Kuching parliamentary seats, but our efforts to get DAP representatives elected into the Sarawak state assembly eluded us for 18 long years through four state general elections.
In the third Sarawak state general election in 1979, DAP contested in 11 seats but did not win a single seat. In the 1983 Sarawak state general election, we fielded seven candidates but again ended up with zero seat. In the 1987 state election, we fielded 11 candidates, but was again rewarded with zero result. In the 1991 state general election (DAP’s fourth state election effort), we were even more ambitious and fielded 18 candidates, but ended up empty-handed.
It was only in the fifth Sarawak state general election campaign after 18 long years in the 1996 general election, when we fielded six candidates, that we succeeded in achieving a breakthrough with “three Wongs” from DAP elected into the Sarawak state assembly for the first time – Wong Ho Leng (Bukit Assek), Wong Sing Nan (Pelawan) and Wong Sing Ai (Kidurong).
In the 2001 Sarawak state general election, DAP Sarawak fielded 13 candidates, but we were nearly totally demolished, slashed to only one DAP State Assemblyman – Chiew Chin Sin of Kidurong seat.
It was only in the ninth Sarawak general election in 2006 (DAP’s seventh participation in Sarawak state election) that DAP created the second historic breakthrough of winning six DAP Assembly representatives, preceding and causing the “political tsunami” in the 2008 Parliamentary general elections which saw Barisan Nasional ousted as the state government in five states – Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Penang – and UMNO/BN losing two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time in Malaysian electoral history.
In the 10th Sarawak state election in 2011, Sarawakians continued to “write history, create miracle” with the DAP State Assembly representation doubled to 12, and which saw Miri joining Sibu, Kuching, Sarikei, Bintangor and Bintulu to demand for political change and meaningful development
Now, in the 11th Sarawak state general election on May 7, 2016, can Sarawak DAP and Sarawakians continue to “write history, create miracle” with the double objective to defend the 12 DAP Assembly seats won five years ago as well as to achieve a new breakthrough by winning a few of the Dayak-dominated seats in the 31 constituencies contested by the DAP.
If these two objectives could be achieved, and DAP also win Bawang Assan state assembly seat, then Sarawak will be on the threshhold of a new political history – as Sarawak DAP will be empowered to work with like-minded Sarawakian political forces and justice-loving Sarawakians for a Five Year Political Plan to capture and form the Sarawak State Government in the 2012 General Election – putting into practice in Sarawak the concept of two-party or two-coalition politics.
Is it possible for Sarawak DAP and like-minded political forces to aim for Sarawak State Government in the next Sarawak state election in 2021?
The answer is why not – if Penang and Selangor can continue to be governed by Pakatan Harapan state governments, and not by UMNO/BN governments.
The real answer lies on the outcome of the May 7 Polling Day!
(Speech at the DAP Sarawak state election ceramah in Bawang Assan constituency on Sunday, 1st May 2016 at 7.30 pm)