DAP must not be afraid to lose in elections as we must learn from the crushing defeat in the Sarawak state elections yesterday so that we can become stronger to fight for justice, freedom and human empowerment for all Sarawakians and Malaysians another day.
The test of a political movement dedicated to the higher ideals of justice, freedom and human empowerment is the ability not to be crushed by a “crushing defeat”, but the ability to rise from a “crushing defeat” to be stronger and more committed to our cause to fight another day.
We can bemoan that if the voter turnout had been more than 70 percent and close to 76.3 per cent as in the 2013 Paliamentary elections and not just 68.1% yesterday, DAP Sarawak could have kept the 12 state assembly seats won five years ago.
In fact , on the same day that the Sarawak voters went to polls yesterday, a political analyst Bridget Welsh had predicted the Sarawak state general election outcome in her article, “A ‘fixed’ result – Sarawak’s electoral distortions” in Malaysiakini, explaining that the non-independent Election Commission (EC) had staked the system in the Barisan Nasional’s favour in how it had delineated and recently redrawn the state’s electoral boundaries – resulting in the DAP Sarawak losing five of the 12 state seats and the greatest victim of such “BN-created electoral constituencies in the state” is Alan Ling Sie Keong, DAP Sarawak State Secretary in a redelineated Piasau assembly seat.
It is because of such gerrymandering that Adenan could predict during the election campaign that the BN would win at least 70 of the 82 seats, which turns out finally to be 72.
Be that as it may, as we are committed to political change throughout the democratic process, we must be prepared to face victories and defeats through the ballot box.
The problem in life’s struggle is not falling down but the ability to stand up after a fall, however big the fall, and to continue the battle for justice, freedom and human empowerment.
Despite our disappointment and setbacks, DAP will not be deflected from our objective to elect a full slate of Chinese, Dayak and Malay state assembly representatives in the Sarawak State Assembly.
It has taken DAP Sarawak 18 long years to be elected into the Sarawak State Assembly and DAP Sarawak is prepared for the long haul together with like-minded Sarawakians to achieve the next target, to elect a new State Government in Sarawak which will give top priority to the needs and rights of the people of Sarawak instead of just to the cronies of the powers-that-be.
Finally, let me congratulate Adenan for his re-election and appointment as Sarawak Chief Minister for the next five years, and his promise of Adenan’s Team and Adenan’s Way instead of Najib’s Team and Najib’s Way.
(Media Conference Statement in Kuching on the results of the 11th Sarawak State General Elections on Sunday, 8th May 2016 at 12 noon)