It makes sense for Democratic Action Party (DAP) to patch up its differences with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) so to present a united political force to face the Sarawak Barisan Nasional in the upcoming state election.
They must learn to trust each other and try to accommodate different views, and not try to bulldoze your way to get what you want at the expense of the others. Or outdo one another.
With the election set for April 30, we have not seen them settling their differences over seat allocation. In discussions over allocation of seats, they must know where their capacity lies and not try to grab as many seats a possible when they know that they do not have the slightest chance of winning.
I see this is what is happening in PKR and DAP when listing out names of seats they are intending to contest. On the other hand, I see the tendency of the DAP grabbing seats where they are more Chinese voters and which are easily accessible by roads, leaving PKR the most difficult and inaccessible seats to vie. Worst, PKR is forced to field candidates in seats where PBB is unshakeable.
The sooner PKR and DAP settle their differences over seat allocation, the better it is for them to face the election.
People want to see PKR and DAP united as a team because they want to see a viable alternative to the Barisan, and one can never know that a PKR, DAP as well as Parti Amanah Negara combination can have enough seats to form the next state government. Do not chuckle. Everything and anything is possible in politics.
PKR, DAP and Amanah must be seen and presented themselves as a united political force and a viable alternative to the Barisan. When the voters see the opposition is a viable alternative to Barisan, they may support the opposition candidates.
So far the voters have yet to see evidence that the PKR, DAP and Amanah can work as political team for the coming election. With the election proposed to be held on April 30, they have yet to tell the voters what their plans for Sarawak are and what are they going to do should they win enough seats to form the next state government.
Are they going to have a separate election manifesto or are they going to have a joint manifesto? Being in the opposition, it is reasonable to expect of them to present their manifesto well in advance to allow the people to study and digest their plans.
Perhaps, PKR and DAP should study the results of the 2011 state election and why they won 15 seats and why they need to work together, again, for this election.
According to analysts, there was a general increase in the number of votes garnered by PKR, DAP and PAS in the 2011 election. The most glaring increase was in the semi-urban seats where DAP was contesting.
The increase in the number of votes was translated into victories for the DAP in semi-urban seats where non-Chinese voters were substantial. It is safe to assume that the non-Chinese voters, therefore, were the “king makers” – favouring the opposition.
We can assume that PKR and PAS have influences among the non-Chinese to support the DAP in those areas. For that, DAP should be grateful as its victories in the semi-urban seats were not without the support of its two friends. If DAP thinks that it does not need PKR’s support, then its hope of retaining those seats may look slim.
DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng in analysing the 2011 election results said in some semi-urban seats with significant number of non-Chinese voters, DAP managed to secure encouraging percentage of the votes among the non-Chinese.
Some seats like Kidurong, where non-Chinese formed 48% of the total number of voters, DAP garnered 70% of the popular votes among the non-Chinese. In Meradong, the DAP secured 46% of the popular votes among the non-Chinese who formed 43% of the total number of voters in the constituency.
In Kota Sentosa, DAP shared 34.8% of the non-Chinese votes, Batu Kawah (24.8%), Repok (29.7%), Dudong (28.3%), Piasau (39.3%) and Pujut (34.5%).
These are the semi-urban seats which the party captured from the Barisan in the 2011 election, without doubt, with a strong support from PKR and PAS.
These are the seats where both DAP and Barisan had equal chances of winning, but then the non-Chinese, assumed to be supporters of PKR and PAS, decided the outcome in favour of the opposition.
DAP, therefore, should not be too arrogant and proud and thinks that it can retain these seats without the help of PKR and now Amanah, in place of PAS.
Seats like Batu Kawah, Kota Sentosa, Meradong, Pujut and Piasau, could go back to the Barisan without of the support of PKR in the coming election. With Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s popularity with the people is running high and can possibly entice pro-opposition supporters to vote for the Barisan, DAP has every reason to need the support of PKR and Amanah.