Saturday, December 3, 2022

An endorsement to Adenan’s leadership

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: Sarawakians handed Tan Sri Adenan Satem a landslide victory in a ringing endorsement of his two years in office as Chief Minister and returning Barisan Nasional to power for an 11th straight term.

The BN sweep of 72 seats was all the sweeter because it wrested seven Chinese seats including Batu Kawah, the most keenly watched contest in the election with SUPP president Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian coming out the victor.

It was a defining moment for the 72-year-old Adenan in four decades of politics.

Leading BN for the first time in a state election, he had asked voters to give him five more years to realise his vision for the state in what he has said will be his last term with Chinese representation in his Cabinet .

And the Chinese responded by returning BN in Batu Kawah, Piasau, Dudong, Bawang Assan, Repok, Meradong and the new seat of Batu Kitang.

Soon after the final outcome was known, Adenan took his oath again as Chief Minister before Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at his official residence, Astana.

Present was Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

BN’s anticipated win came on the back of a clean sweep by PBB and PRS with 40 and 11 seats respectively. SUPP returned seven, SPDP three and direct candidates 11, surpassing its own forecast of 70.

The coalition won two seats, Bukit Sari and Bukit Kota, unopposed on nomination day.

Pakatan Harapan was stunned with DAP the biggest casualty, contesting in 31 constituencies and losing in all but seven, down from the 12 won in 2011. The party only retained Kota Sentosa, Padungan, Pending, Pelawan, Bukit Assek, Tanjung Batu and Pujut.

PKR stood in 40 constituencies but was only able to retain the same three seats – Ba’Kelalan, Krian and Batu Lintang.

Adenan defended Tanjung Datu with 6,360 votes for a 5,892 majority over sole rival Jazolkipli Numan (PKR) who polled 468 votes and lost his deposit. Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Jemut Masing retained the Baleh seat defeating Agop Linsong by 4,793 votes.

In a do-or-die situation, a reformed SUPP celebrated with seven seats out of 13 it contested, wresting back Batu Kawah, Repok, Meradong and Piasau from DAP.

SUPP also took the new urban seat of Batu Kitang, mixed seat Senadin and Dayak constituency Simanggang. In Batu Kawah, Dr Sim won convincingly, beating DAP incumbent Christina Chiew 6,414 votes to 4,329 in a three-way affair. Independent Liu Thian Leong just managed 1,109 votes and lost his deposit.

The Piasau win was especially precious. SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting retook the seat from his DAP counterpart Alan Ling Sie Kong who was dubbed “giant-killer” in 2011 for defeating then SUPP president Tan Sri George Chan.

Ting secured a majority of 2,112 votes, in contrast to Ling’s 1,590 against Chan.

Adenan’s strategy of fielding direct candidates was a right move as they won in 11 of 13 seats they contested.

The seats included Bawang Assan which was retained by Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, who at 73 is the oldest contender in the election. He more than doubled his majority from the last time in a five-cornered fight that included DAP new face Chiew Sung Ngie.

Pakatan’s third partner Amanah, PAS, Star, PBDSB and the 36 independents all failed in their bids with many of them losing their deposit. – Bernama

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