KUCHING, Dec 19 (Sin Chew Daily) — A sweet victory for Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who has led Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to score a landslide win in the state polls in his capacity as the Sarawak Chief Minister and GPS president.
Winning 76 out of 82 seats, the result was even better than the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s 72 seats back in 2016.
The stunning victory will help Abang Johari for the next five years as Chief Minister. The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) under him will be even stronger.
GPS enjoyed a plus point due to the strict standard operating procedures implemented during the state polls.
No physical campaign was allowed in cities and towns except for rural areas where GPS is strongest.
The low turnout rate was not in favor for the opposition, but the key factor that has led to the humiliating defeat of the opposition was its failure to honor promises as the ruling government for 22 months.
The low turnout rate and poll results have reflected the voters’ disappointment with Pakatan Harapan.
DAP which won six seats in the last election only managed two seats this time, in Padungan and Pending. The majority votes in Pending has been reduced from 5,000 votes to only 500.
DAP lost Pelawan by a slim margin of 100 votes as well as its stronghold Bukit Assek to Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).
Judging from its votes, the support for DAP remained but the votes were split among Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) and Progressive Democratic Party.
DAP would need to conduct a post-mortem on its defeat to reverse the public perception. The same is also expected for Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Parti Amanah Negara which lost the election.
Contesting a total of 70 seats, PSB only secured four seats but overtook DAP in the number of seats won.
PSB is likely to be a strong opponent against GPS in future. The road ahead for PSB is still full of challenges.
In a way, PSB has broken the magic curse of “vote for the party only”.
Three PSB candidates – president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, Baru Bian and See Chee How won the seats in multi-cornered fights with lower majority votes.
Their track record in servicing the state constituencies paid off even though they are in the opposition.
PBK and Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak (Aspirasi) which championed Sarawak independence, failed to win even a single seat.
Priscilla Lau, who is contesting in Bukit Assek under PBK, secured 2,526 votes while Tiew Yen Houng polled 3,146 votes in Pelawan.
his shows that some voters were still hoping for Sarawak independence one day.
SUPP delivered its best performance in this state election by winning 13 out of 18 seats it contested under GPS. It only won seven seats in the last state election.
These seats were nevertheless won with slim majority.
SUPP would have to deliver over the next five years to convince the voters with its services.
For the next state election, it will be even more competitive with young people above the age of 18 eligible to vote.