Chinese voted against their Sibu ‘bosses’
DAP managed to secure the bulk of the Chinese votes during the Sibu by-election, despite most of the voters being employed by associates of the Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp).
Speaking at a forum in Penang last night, DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong said his party faced an uphill task in convincing voters because half the state was controlled by SUPP-linked taiko (big bosses).
“The first hurdle was to get the people to vote against their bosses,” said Liew, while presenting his analysis of DAP’s various strategies employed in the run up to the May 16 polls.
An estimated 67 percent of Sibu Chinese voters threw their support behind DAP’s Wong Ho Leng, who edged Supp’s Robert Lau Hui Yew by a 398 vote majority. The Chinese make up 63 percent of the Sibu electorate.
Another speaker at the forum, Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, later concurred with Liew, saying that 50 percent of Sibu’s economy is controlled by timber tycoons aligned to Supp and Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.
“But our win in Sibu has caused panic in BN, causing its leaders to talk nonsense,” said Chong.
“A day after the Sibu polls, Taib said that if a cock crows once, it does not mean that the dawn is near. But what Taib fails to understand is that when one cock crows, many others would follow,” said Chong.
He was alluding to the fact that the revolt against BN by the Chinese voters will spill over to other communities, such as the Iban and Melanau communities who strongly backed BN in the Sibu polls.
Santa Claus and crocodiles
Other speakers poured scorn over Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s lightning visit at the Tua Pek Kong temple procession and the use of federal funding to entice voters, particularly his infamous “vote-buying speech” at Rejang Park.
“Even in the face of extortion, million-ringgit offers in the form of development and allocation for schools, churches and organisations, none of these could sway the hearts of the voters,” said state DAP chairperson Chow Kon Yeow.
Meanwhile, Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng described the Sibu victory as a “mid-term review” for DAP and Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
“We passed with flying colors,” she declared to the thunderous applause of the 1,000-strong crowd who filled the Penang Chinese Town Hall.
Final speaker for the night, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng criticised Najib for behaving like “Santa Claus” during the Sibu campaign, which couldn’t save the BN “crocodiles” from drowning.
“Vote Pakatan (in the next elections) and we can help you catch and get rid of all these crocodiles,” he thundered.