Can BN retain Sarawak?


Calm and collected


Ongoing conflict between SUPP and UPP has become a tool for the opposition to draw support in the urban areas and this call for an urgent resolution. It is believed that Miri, Sibu and Sarikei seats is possible to be wrested back if consensus for the sparing parties can be reached in due time.


Meanwhile, the rural parliamentary seats may seem to pose their own sets of challenges to the BN, however it was more due to the choice of candidates. BN would be able to dominate the rural seats as the majority of the people there are hopeful of the party bringing in development.


1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M)


BR1M is no longer a part of the political tactics but it is now “THE GAME” to win the polls. It clearly has proven when the opposition incorporated BR1M in their manifesto. Whatever reason it maybe, “little deed goes a long way”, truly it has become a powerful tool in winning the hearts of the Sarawak people. Sarawak voter are more inclined towards intrinsic values like issues related to lives, children, and government support. Therefore, any monetary aid and development programs that has been formulated for Sarawak clearly hit the note.


Saturation Point in Chinese-Majority Seats


The opposition has reached a saturation point in Chinese-majority seats in Sarawak, with six parliamentary seats in GE13, namely Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Lanang, Sibu and Miri. At a glance it may look like a substantial sweep but in reality, there are Iban and Malay majority seats yet to be taken. For an example; Selangau Parliamentary seat will be shaky if the incumbent (Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun) is not re-nominated for the seat.


The Spread


The geographical spread of 5,000 villages in a state of the size of the whole peninsula, but with a population of only 2.6 million people make Sarawak a unique battle ground. The battle ground becomes more complicated when it intertwines with other locally complex issues, which touch on cultural, racial and religious beliefs of more than 40 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups. Unique and complicated enough to drag Malaysian into a mind blogging mental game when comes to Sarawak political scenario.


The Gap


2.6 million people are spread across Sarawak where some are struggling to put food on the table. Why should they even bother or relate with crisis when they are clearly deprived from keeping abreast with the country’s real time information. Unlike in Peninsula, the rural are not connected. Travelling outside their village has become something hard to swallow.


BN has the upper hand to win the upcoming GE, defeating their direct enemy, PH, as they have financial strength. With connectivity and communication being among the core issue for a big state like Sarawak, to reach the community in the interior will take time and lots of money.


So, unless you have big financial supporters, it is quite hard to reach them. In this sense, that is why the favor is in BN because they can fork out money for big, dramatic campaigns. Maybe, that is also why they decided not to upgrade on infrastructures so that they can still keep hold of these people.