KUCHING: Sarawak local based parties must come together to avoid fighting each other and splitting votes in the upcoming elections.
Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) President Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the present practice of fragmenting support for different parties must stop; and they must consolidate their support for one party.
“Thus, in the past few months, the local based five parties have negotiated on one single candidate to represent each constituency in the next elections,” he said.
The Bawang Assan assemblyman was referring to PSB, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK), Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (SEDAR), Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi).
DAP and PKR, he said, were West Malaysian based parties while only the local based parties in Sarawak can hold the key to the future of the people of Sarawak. However, this also requires political courage and a common willingness to change.
Speaking at the PSB 3rd Triennial Delegates Conferences held here today, Wong said the Chinese and Dayak communities in Sarawak have a history of disunity and factional struggles based on the past experiences and as manifested in the past election results.
“This accounts for many different political parties trying to represent them. They compete against one another for their support within the same communities. Therefore, the Chinese and Dayaks dilemma could be defined as the inability of the communities to move in a united and cohesive manner to overcome issues and problems they commonly face,” he said.
“They are not able to translate their collective unhappiness and frustration into constructive actions collectively. This was shown clearly in the voting pattern in the recently concluded state election. Votes cast were split many ways among the opposition parties to the advantage of the governing party GPS,” he added.
However, Wong said PSB would not lose heart despite the unsatisfactory outcome of the election. In fact, the party was humbled by the second placing of the election results garnering 18.59 per cent of the votes cast which had made PSB a force to be reckoned with.
He said that 18.69 per cent, also meant 139,515 votes with four seats against GPS 457,253 votes in return for 76 seats.
“By right, based on the number of voters’ proportions, our party PSB could have a share of some 20 seats. Hence, there is an urgent need to correct this imbalance to bring about effective voters’ representation.
“But we accepted people’s decision. People of Sarawak may still have preferred continuity particularly during this difficult COVID -19 pandemic,” he said.
In spite of the setbacks, he said, PSB still believe in their mission and pledges as embedded in their manifesto, such as people’s wish for a better life, better education, more stable jobs, more income, more reliable social security, better medical and health care, better infrastructure facilities, better internet coverage, improved housing conditions and a more conducive living environment.
Among those who present were Selangau MP Baru Bian, who is also Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Baru Bian, Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa, PSB secretary general George Lo as well as PBK President Voon Lee San, SEDAR President Datuk Othman Abdillah, PBDS President Bobby William, Aspirasi President Lina Soo also present at the delegates conference.