Guan Eng: We lost to Adenan’s popularity


(MMO) – It was the popularity of Tan Sri Adenan Satem that saw voters rushing back to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fold, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said after his party’s crushing defeat at the 11th Sarawak polls yesterday.

The DAP secretary-general joined his father and party adviser Lim Kit Siang in congratulating Adenan on his big win and urged the chief minister to deliver on his promises to the hornbill state.

“DAP’s loss of five state seats out of the previous 12 seats was due to the personal popularity of Tan Sri Adenan.

“Tan Sri Adenan’s personal popularity overcame whatever unease at the barring of opposition leaders from Peninsular Malaysia into Sarawak and the extensive use of money politics,” Lim said in a statement.

He added that should Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak borrow from Adenan’s political playbook, this could land Pakatan Harapan in greater trouble when the 14th general election arrives in two years.

“The big challenge of Pakatan Harapan is whether Datuk Seri Najib dares to adopt the Tan Sri Adenan model by rejecting extremist and racist policies. Should Najib dare to do so, then Pakatan Harapan may face a fight for survival in the next general elections,” he said.

The Penang chief minister said Najib, who is also BN chairman, should be “thankful” that Adenan’s popularity helped the ruling coalition tighten its hold on Sarawak.

He noted that at the national level, the BN administration has been suffering a public backlash over cost of living issues, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the controversy over 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Lim also acknowledged that Pakatan Harapan had entered the Sarawak polls with a fractured front, which saw his party and PKR clashing in six of the 82 seats up for contest.

He said DAP will conduct a post-mortem after receiving a full report from its Sarawak chapter regarding the party’s seat losses as well as its apparent failure to make headway in the state’s rural interiors.

Despite these losses, however, Lim said DAP leaders must continue their work in the rural areas identified under the party’s “Impian Sarawak” programme.

“DAP will continue to work with our allies in Pakatan Harapan, PKR and Amanah. We need to address the disappointment of our supporters, not just as a political party, but also as Pakatan Harapan.

“There is a need to strengthen the internal mechanisms within Pakatan Harapan so that agreements made must be respected and upheld. Pakatan must work hard to restore public confidence of our ability to work together in concert against BN,” he said.

DAP suffered crippling losses yesterday during the 11th Sarawak polls, winning only seven of the 31 seats it contested, five fewer than the 12 it secured in the last state polls.

Its partner in Pakatan Harapan, PKR, went home with the same three seats it won in the previous polls while Amanah failed to secure a single seat.

BN, on the other hand, soared to an easy victory, taking 72 seats out of 82, more seats even than the 71 that made up the state legislative assembly five years ago.