Sarawakians voted against independence from Malaysia, says Kit Siang

“This is something for Sabahans and Sarawakians to think about, that the call for secession is not something that is finding real support from the people.”

(FMT) – DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang says his party could have won more seats in yesterday’s Sarawak elections if not for split votes and a low voter turnout.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said DAP could have won five more seats — Pujut in Miri, Bukit Assek and Pelawan in Sibu, Tanjung Datu in Bintulu and Kota Sentosa in Kuching.

“We lost Tanjung Datu by 23 votes, Pelawan by 100 votes and Bukit Assek by 843 votes,” he told reporters here today.

“In 2018 (general election), the voter turnout was 71.7% but yesterday it was 60%. If not for the lower voter turnout and Covid-19, more people would have come out.

“If not for these two factors (and also) the unfair restrictions by the Election Commission, (for example) the ban on physical campaigning and ceramah, I think we would have done well.

“I congratulate Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Abang Johari Openg for the victory.”

Opposition parties took a thrashing in the Sarawak polls yesterday.

In 2016, DAP won seven seats while PKR won three. But official results yesterday showed that DAP won two of 24 seats it had contested, Padungan and Pending, while PKR lost in all 28 contested seats, a repeat of its disastrous outing at the Melaka elections. Amanah also lost in all the eight seats it had contested.

The poor performance of DAP and PKR followed reports of tense relations between the two parties, which could also be observed at the national level.

The heavy defeats of the Pakatan Harapan partners will no doubt once again bring Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership into question as the coalition’s chairman.

There have been calls for Anwar and other senior PH leaders to take a step back and give way to younger leaders to head the coalition.

However, Lim declined to comment when pressed on the matter. He only urged young people to come forward as potential candidates for the party in the future.

Meanwhile, the DAP stalwart said the Sarawak polls also had a lot of significance, particularly on the call for Sabah and Sarawak to be separated from the country.

He said parties that promoted calls for independence like Parti Kenyalang Sarawak suffered heavy defeat after their candidates lost deposits in the 64 seats they contested.

Likewise, Lim said Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak also lost in 12 seats while nine independent candidates lost their deposits.

“Even Parti Kenyalang chairman Voon Lee Shan who contested in Batu Lintang seat lost his deposit.

“This is something for Sabahans and Sarawakians to think about, that the call for secession is not something that is finding real support from the people.

“That is something for us to chew on because there are some people in Sabah calling for independence (from Malaysia),” he said.