DAP’s share of the non-Chinese support in the 2011 Sarawak state election

Published on April 26, 2011,

Press Conference Statement by DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng on the DAP’s share of the non-Chinese support in the 2011 Sarawak state election in DAP National HQ on 26 April 2011:

The 2011 Sarawak State election was a historic election in that it was the first time in more than 20 years in which the opposition managed to achieve a double digit representation in the state assembly by winning 15 out of 71 seats (or 21% of total seats), not including the one independent who won the seat of Pelagus.

The DAP emerged as the biggest winner by winning 12 out of the 15 seats which it contested in.

While the DAP could not have achieved this win without the overwhelming support of the urban voters, it would be a mistake to say that DAP’s support was only present among the Chinese voters. In many of the seats in which DAP contested in which had a significant percentage of non-Chinese voters, the DAP managed to win at least 30% of the vote among the non-Chinese voters. In some of these seats, the DAP far exceeded the 30% mark among the non-Chinese voters.

Our preliminary analysis shows that in the 48% non-Chinese seat of Kidurong in Bintulu, where the DAP won nearly 70% of the popular vote, the level of non-Chinese support for the DAP exceeded 60%, at approximately 63%. In the state seat of Meradong, located an hour away from Sibu, a 43% non-Chinese seat, the level of non-Chinese support for the DAP was estimated at 46%.

In the seats of Kota Sentosa (23% non-Chinese), Repok (22% non Chinese), Piasau (35% non Chinese) and Pujut (30% non Chinese), the DAP managed to win an estimated 35%, 30%, 39% and 35% of the non-Chinese vote respectively.

Indeed, the higher than 30% support which the DAP achieved in these seats among the non-Chinese voters is higher than the level of support which MCA and GERAKAN received among the Chinese voters in many parts of Peninsular Malaysia in the 2008 general election. In other words, the DAP has more credibility in the eyes of many non-Chinese voters in Sarawak when compared to the credibility of MCA and GERAKAN in the eyes of Chinese voters in Peninsular Malaysia.

While there were some areas such as Batu Kawa (41% non Chinese), Dudong (47% non Chinese) and Bawang Assan (38% non Chinese) where the estimated non-Chinese support for the DAP did not reach the 30% (25% for Batu Kawa, 28% for Dudong, 20% for Bawang Assan), it has to be recognized that the DAP candidates in these areas, all of whom were first time candidates with very little financial resources compared to their BN counterparts, were facing uphill challenges right from the start in terms of fighting against the influence of money politics and vote buying.

The DAP acknowledges that it still faces many challenges in terms of reaching out to the non-Chinese voters especially those who live in the out-of-town areas. But the party is confident that the service record of our new state representatives will convince these voters that DAP is a party which strives to represent interest of all voters in Sarawak regardless of race, religion or language. The fact that our incumbent representatives in the state seats of Kidurong and Meradong won a significant proportion of the non-Chinese votes in their seats is a testament to the ability of the DAP to broaden its support base once the service record of the party has been established and is evident for all voters to see.

The DAP candidates in the three constituencies of Bawang Assan, Simanggang and Bukit Kota, the last two of which are non-Chinese majority seats, will continue to service the voters in these areas as a concrete demonstration of DAP’s sincerity and commitment to serve the interest of the raykat, especially those who are marginalized and whose voices are often not heard.

Moving on, the DAP also acknowledges that it needs to reach out and recruit more non-Chinese leaders and members as part of the party’s larger strategy to reach out to the non-Chinese voters in Sarawak. The success of Leon Donald, the party’s Sri Aman division chief, in reducing the % of the popular vote won by the BN by 17% from 83% in 2006 to 66% in 2011 is a concrete example of the DAP’s commitment to recruit and support non-Chinese leaders who can serve, compete for and represent the interests of the marginalized communities outside the traditional areas of support for the DAP in the town areas. It is hoped that the latest proposal by Saudara Lim Kit Siang to merge with SNAP can be seen in this light and that this move will strengthen not just the DAP but also Pakatan as a whole by demonstration the multi-ethnic appeal of the Pakatan Raykat coalition.

It is disingenuous for the BN to say that it was only the Chinese who were responsible for casting a vote against the BN in Sarawak. This view ignores the fact that the level of BN support fell by more than 10% in 22 Dayak and Orang Ulu majority seats and in 8 Malay Melanau majority seats.

Pakatan will be better prepared to contest and fight for the votes of all Sarawakian voters in the upcoming general election as well as the next Sarawak state election. The DAP will play its role as a key member of the Pakatan coalition in Sarawak to sent a stronger message that the voters no longer accept the corrupt rule of the BN in Sarawak led by Taib Mahmud, the longest serving Chief Minister in Malaysia’s history.

Table 1: DAP Chinese and non Chinese support in 11 seats with more than 20% non-Chinese voters (estimates)

^Electoral Roll and Saluran Election Results not received yet
*Electoral Roll not received yet

民主行动党秘书长林冠英于2011年4月26日在行动党总部针对砂州非华裔选民在州选中的支持度发表声明:

2011年砂州选举是一个历史性的选举,这是过去20多年来第一次反对党赢得双位数州议席,在71个州议席中赢得15个(或总议席的21%),这还不包括在柏拉固胜出的独立人士。

民主行动党竞选15个议席,赢得12个议席,成为最大赢家。

但是,若不是乡区选民的支持,行动党不可能取得这项胜利,所以说行动党的支持度仅仅来自华裔选民是不对的。行动党竞选的许多议席中,非华裔选民都占了重要的比率,行动党成功地获得至少30%的非华裔选票。在一些议席,行动党所获提非华裔选票甚至超过30%。

我们的初步分析显示,在民都鲁非华裔选民占48%的基杜隆,行动党几乎获得70%的选票,非华裔选民的支持率超过60%, 接近63%。在距离诗巫一个小时的马拉端州议席,拥有43%的非华裔选民,行动党获得了46%的非选裔支持率。

在哥打圣陶沙(23%非华裔)、卢勃(22%非华裔)、卑尔骚(35%非华裔)、埔奕(30%非华裔),行动党也分别赢得35%、30%、39%、35%的非华裔选票。

的确,行动党在上述选区的非华裔选民中能够获得30%的支持度,甚至高过2008年全国大选时,马华和民政在马来半岛所获得的华裔选票。换句话说,比起马华和民政党在马来半岛华裔选民眼中的可信赖程度,行动党在砂州许多非华裔选民眼中更可信赖。

虽然一些选区如石角(41%非华裔)、都隆(47%非华裔)、巴旺阿山(38%非华裔),估计非华裔选民支持度没有超过30%(石角25%、都隆 28%、巴旺阿山20%),但是我们必须知道这些选区的候选人,都是第一次竞选,财力不比国阵、一开始便是面对金钱政治影响及买票影响高度挑战。

行动党也认识到,在接触许多非华裔选民、特别是住在远离市区的选民,我们面对许多挑战。但是,行动党有信心,我们新晋州议员的服务表现将可以说服这 些选民,让他们相信行动党是一个不分种族、不分宗教与语言,为全砂人民利益而斗争的政党。事实上,我们原任基杜隆和马拉端州议员在各自选区赢得相当高的非 华裔支持,证明若我们有良好的服务表现,而选民又看得到,行动党便有能力扩大我们的基本支持盘。

行动党所竞选的巴旺阿山、成邦江及武吉哥打,后两个是非华裔选民占多数的选区,我们会继续在这些选区服务,以展现行动党为民服务的诚意及决心,特别是那些被边缘化及声音没有被听到的社群。

再往前看,行动党知道我们需要接触并招来更多非华裔领袖及党员,成为行动党接触砂州更多非华裔选民的更大策略。行动党斯里阿曼主席里昂成功将国阵的 多数票从2006年83% 削弱到2011年的66%,证明行动党立志招徕并支持那些能够服务、竞争及代表行动党传统市区外遭边缘化少数社群的非华裔领袖。因此,希望林吉祥同志最近 所提的与国民党合并的建议可以实现,这不只能够加强行动党,也能巩固整个民联,以证明民联是个多元种族路线的联盟。

国阵说只有华裔需要为反对国阵负起责任的讲法是不老实的。这种讲法完全忽略一个事实,那就是国阵在22个达雅及乌鲁人占多数选区、及8个马来人及马兰诺人占多数选区的支持度下降了10%。

民联将会做好更充份的准备,在来届全国大选以及下一次的砂州选举争取更多的选票。行动党将在砂州继续扮演民联主要成员的角色,以传达一个重要的讯息,那就是选民不再接受砂州国阵及马来西亚历史上在位最久的首长- 泰益玛目所领导的贪污施政。

林冠英

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