Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scenes: Sarikei State Election: Change of Guard

Sarikei State Election 2011
16 April 2011
St Anne's School's polling station (right)
View of Repok Road towards town


In the 10-day campaign leading to the Sarikei polling day on 16th April,  kopitiam (coffee shop) talk complemented noisy ceramah (speeches) around the town and residential areas. Chaotic display of banners, flags and posters dotted the landscape as both parties jostled for mind share for their manifestos.


 Sarikei State Election 2011
Datuk David Teng Lung Chi (incumbent; BN/SUPP)
16 April 2011
St Anne's School's polling station
Source: Lu Huong Chin
 

The BN/SUPP focused on how it can bring in investment to Sarikei. Pre-election project announcements were made: Sarikei to Bukit Huang ferry ramp, two specialists for the Sarikei hospital, a potential "community college", etc.

Pre-election project announcements may work in the rural areas but in the urban areas where people are more informed of the big picture, this may make Sarikeians raise more questions on the progress in the last five years.

Should Sarikei's progress be compared to the Sarikei of the 1970s or be compared to other towns in Malaysia in 2011? Denizens may also look at opposition held areas like Penang, Selangor and Kuching where development is ahead of other cities. Will voters buy this positioning on investment?


 Sarikei State Election 2011
Dr Wong Hua Seh (challenger; PR/DAP) and wife
16 April 2011
St Anne's School's polling station
Source: Lu Huong Chin
 
The PR/DAP opposition brought in big names for their ceramah: DAP Sarawak founder and home town boy (Chong Siew Chiang, father of Kuching MP, Chong Chieng Jen), Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng, etc. Their campaign focused the alleged corruption in Sarawak, the reasons why Sarawak is way behind in development and why denizens should vote for change. Will voters buy this manifesto?


 Sarikei State Election 2011
Dr Wong Hua Seh (winner) of PR/DAP
Sarikei Civic Center, 16 April 2011
Source: Lu Huong Chin


And now for the results of the 3 seats in 6th Division.


N39 Repok (Sarikei area)
Winner: PR/DAP


N40 Meradong (Bintangor area)
Winner: PR/DAP

N41 Pakan
Winner: BN/SPDP
 
Sarawak's 6th Division State Election 2011 - Results
Source: malaysiakini


With the PR opposition making inroads into Sarawak, it's unlikely that the General Elections (which must be held by 2013) will be announced this year by the ruling coalition because it may impact its slim 2/3 majority in parliament. Sarawak accounts for 31 of the 222 seats in parliament.

And now for the real work for both parties to improve on the issues that Sarikeians care about before the General Elections.

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