By Liew Chin Tong

JOHOR BAHRU,Malaysia--As I have said earlier, the 12th Sarawak election is an uphill battle for DAP, especially in Sibu. I strongly hope that the people of Sibu will continue to back all four DAP candidates, ensuring their victory on 18 December as a step forward in preparation for the post-GPS era. This is a Herculean task but we will achieve it together.

I spent a month in Sibu during the 2010 Sibu parliamentary by-election and during the 2011 state election, respectively. Led by the late Sdr Wong Ho Leng, the people of Sibu created a miracle together. I was also supposed to oversee the 2016 Sarawak election campaign in Sibu but upon arrival, I found out that I was banned from entering the state, and was forced to take the next return flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Sibu DAP went through the highs of the 2010 by-election, 2011 state election and 2013 general election. Having survived the setback of the 2016 state election defeat, and refusing to surrender, we reached the highest high by winning federal power in 2018.

In the early years after Sarawak DAP was founded in 1978, we first won the Sibu and Kuching parliamentary seats in 1982. Sarawak DAP made another major breakthrough in the 1996 state election, winning our earliest state seats here in Sibu, a special and meaningful place for DAP.

The democratic journey is a marathon. So is DAP’s journey in both the Malaysian and Sarawakian political spheres, Sibu included. And it is through this long journey that DAP has proven its worth as a principled and resilient party that is here to stay.

I am sure Sibu voters can tell that many of the parties trying to woo Sibu voters this time around are just set up for this election only. After this Saturday, they will make some noise for a short while, and then they will disappear.

I call on all voters to not split their votes among the opposition. Just concentrate your votes on DAP, the real voice of the people. Since the 2010 by-election, the people of Sibu have proven again and again they are for candidates with integrity.

Ignore candidates backed by large corporations and businesses who are here just to split the opposition’s votes. Instead vote for DAP candidates who are supported by hundreds of thousands of ordinary folks, and have a real chance to emerge victorious.

Sarawak has been governed by the same coalition since the formation of Malaysia in 1963, which inevitably leads to collusion between government and big businesses.

Sarawak with its rich resources and vast talent pool is now forced to see its younger generation leave for the Peninsula or overseas for better job opportunities - since reduced employment opportunities, low wages and non-conducive business environment have become a norm.

When top government officials and politicians live lavishly, ordinary Sarawakians have to suffer, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Why must ordinary Sarawakians suffer when the region is rich with natural resources?

To turn the situation around, Sarawakians will need representatives from the DAP who are not bound by any favour from large corporations or tycoons when formulating policies. DAP will work for the best interest of ordinary Sarawakians.

GPS is just a new name for Sarawak Barisan Nasional. It is a party of the past. The impudent confidence displayed by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Abang Openg when boasting a clean sweep of all 82 seats did not stem from their good track record but from abusing both the system and incumbent’s advantage and its successful manoeuvre to avoid UNDI-18 in this state election.

This will be the beginning of the end for GPS. I urge Sibu voters to return DAP’s candidates to the state assembly who will continue to serve the best interest of Sarawakians and lead the way for the new dawn in Sarawak politics.