4 Challenges For Sarawak DAP In The 2015 State General Elections (en/cn)

Speech By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng During The Sarawak DAP State Ordinary Convention In Kuching On 9.6.2013.

4 Challenges For Sarawak DAP In The 2015 State General Elections

1. First of all, I would like to congratulate Saudara Wong Ho Leng and acknowledge his leadership in once again breaking new ground for DAP in Sarawak in the recently concluded 13th General Elections.

2. DAP Sarawak followed up its historic 2011 Sarawak State elections performance, where we won 12 out of the 15 Pakatan state seats, by winning 5 out of the 6 Pakatan parliamentary seats in the 13th GE.

3. A most remarkable victory was achieved in the Sibu parliamentary constituency, where our Saudara Oscar Ling, achieved the seemingly impossible by increasing our winning majority from 398 in the 2010 by-election to 2,841! Not only did he increase our winning majority more than 7 fold, he did this against Lau Lee Ming, a Temenggong, no less, and also a family member of the powerful KTS group in Sibu.

4. Under Saudara Wong Ho Leng’s leadership, DAP also managed a clean sweep in the Sibu area by winning Sarikei by 505 (Saudara Wong Ling Biu) and also Lanang by 8,630 votes (Saudari Alice Lau).

5. In Kuching, Saudara Chong Chien Jen successfully increased his majority in Bandar Kuching from 9,952 in 2008 to 19,642 in 2013. Under his leadership in Kuching, we also managed to capture the Stampin seat with an 18,670 vote majority. This was a seat which we had lost by 3,070 votes in 2008. Our candidate in Stampin, Julian Tan, who is also a new comer, defeated a SUPP heavy weight and Deputy Minister, Yong Khoon Seng.

6. We also broke new ground in many non-Chinese and non-urban areas. For the first time in DAP’s history, we fielded 6 non-Chinese candidates in 6 non-Chinese majority districts. In fact, DAP fielded more non-Chinese candidates compared to Chinese candidates (6 versus 5) in GE13! And in 4 out of these 6 parliament seats, we managed to reduce BN’s support even though we did not managed to win these seats.

7. Mordi Brimol in Mas Gading, Edward Luak in Serian, Hai bin Merawin @ Bonaventure in Mukah, Ramli Anak Malak in Kapit, Dr. John Brian in Bintulu and Dr Bob Baru in Lawas should also commended for putting up an excellent showing despite being outspent by at least 10 to 1 by their opponents.

8. Dr. John Brian, for example, together with deputy chairman, Saudara Chew Chin Sing, managed to decrease BN’s support by 15%, from 73% in 2008 to 58% in 2013.

9. I am confident that as we continue to work hard and penetrate into the semi-urban and rural areas in Sarawak, our performance can only improve especially in the next Sarawak state elections that are due in 2016.

10. DAP Sarawak now has 5 parliament and 12 state seats, a far cry from the 1 parliament and 1 state seat after the 2004 General Election.

11. To fully appreciate where we are today, we need to acknowledge the blood, sweat and tears that were spilled by those who had worked tirelessly on the ground without enjoying the fruits of their labour for many, many years. This includes Saudara Chong Siew Chiang, the founder of DAP in Sarawak, who first competed in the 1979 Sarawak state elections. He and other senior leaders of DAP Sarawak had to struggle through 4 state elections in 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1991 of not winning a single state seat.

12. It was only in the 1996 Sarawak state elections when the party made a breakthrough by winning 3 state seats, including Saudara Wong Ho Leng’s 226 vote victory in Bukit Assek. This was followed by the setback in 2001 where we only won one state seat. Another minor breakthrough was achieved when DAP in Sarawak won a then record 6 state seats in the 2006 general elections. And of course, we all know how DAP doubled its state seats on April 16, 2011 to a record 12 state seats.

13. Without the hard work and sacrifice of the party’s founding leaders in Sarawak, DAP would not be where it is today. Their struggles through the difficult times is a stark reminder that we can never be complacent and to take for granted our current position of strength especially in the urban areas. If we fall away from our principles, if we betray the trust of our voters, we can easily end up in the position which SUPP, MCA and GERAKAN find themselves in today.

Sarawak Problems Are Malaysian Problems – Where Is ‘1 Malaysia, 1 Price’?
14. While we must never forget our history and our roots, our challenges lay in the future. I foresee 4 important challenges for DAP moving forward in the state of Sarawak.

15. Firstly, DAP in Sarawak must rise up to the challenge of enhancing the party’s stature as a national party. This means that issues of concern to Sarawak must be seen as national issues and that national issues must also be seen and interpreted through a Sarawakian perspective. Sarawak problems are Malaysian problems.

16. We have already seen how allegations of massive corruption against the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud, affects not just the good name of the state of Sarawak and its people, but it also tarnishes the reputation of the country as a whole. We have also seen how cases involving palm oil plantations in Sarawak not obtaining Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification can affect the reputation of the entire industry in the country.

17. When is the “One Malaysia, One Price” going to be effected? When is poverty going to be eradicated and Native Customary Land of native Ibans going to be respected. No longer is it acceptable to have the landless and poorest in one of the richest and largest state in Malaysia.

18. While fully accepting the co-equal status of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, we can no longer accept the false dichotomy between what happens in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia do not affect one another. The notion that ‘whatever happens in Sarawak stays in Sarawak’ is clearly a false notion that has been propagated by the BN in order to scare Sarawakians into continuing to support the BN and the Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud.

Polls Reform Of ‘One-Man, One Vote, One-Value’ Shall Not Reduce The Number Or Proportion Of Parliamentary Seats In Sabah And Sarawak But Serves To Reduce Unfair Disparities That Devalues Democracy Within Both States.
19. Secondly, we must continue to fight for electoral reform in the country and especially in Sabah and Sarawak. Tens of thousands of Sarawakians who are working in Peninsular Malaysia, but do not have the time nor the resources to go back home to Sarawak to vote have been effectively disenfranchised. Sarawakians who are living and working in Peninsular Malaysia, must be permitted to cast a postal ballot just like how Malaysians overseas who are already registered cast their votes as postal voters. Without this change, the turnout rate in Sarawak, which was 76% in GE2013, cannot be on par with turnout in Peninsular Malaysia, which was 86.5% in GE2013.

20. We must also fight for the ‘one-man, one-vote, one-value principle’ in the upcoming re-delineation exercise so that the unfair advantages enjoyed by the BN can be somewhat reduced. The last re-delineation exercise in Sarawak was completed in 2005. Eight years on, in 2013, it is possible that the Election Commission (SPR / EC) may want to conduct this exercise for Sarawak as well. If the Sarawak review occurs this year, then we must push for the size of the disparity between voters per seat to be significantly reduced.

21. Here I would like to stress that the present proportion of parliamentary seats allocated to Sabah and Sarawak shall not change, out of respect for the traditional rights of both states granted when they joined Malaya in 1963 to form the Federation of Malaysia. In other words, what we are seeking for is neither reducing the number of parliamentary seats nor reducing the proportion of parliamentary seats in a future enlarged Malaysian Parliament.

22. Regardless of the number of parliament and state seats which may or may not be added, the obvious examples of unequal distribution of voters in seats WITHIN Sarawak is already a great cause of concern and a violation of the ‘one-man, one-vote, one-value’ principle. For example, we can no longer sustain having Stampin with 84000 voters on the one hand and Igan with a mere 17,815 voters (ratio of 4.75: 1). The same applies to the state seats as well where the largest seat, Pending, has more than 30,000 voters while the smallest, Ba’kelalan, has only slightly more than 7,000 voters, a ratio of 4.3 to 1.

23. The focus here should be to reduce the size of these disparities. DAP appreciates that geography can be equally important as demography in a state as large as Sarawak. Accordingly DAP is proposing a special consideration of a maximum voter disparity between constituencies in both states of 100%, instead of the baseline 15% disparity that was in the original Merdeka Constitution of 1957 for Peninsular Malaysia.

Kick-off For The 2015 Sarawak General Elections
24. Thirdly, we must kick off the next new phase by preparing for the coming state General Elections expected in 2015. Even though there is 2 years more to go, we have to strengthen our machinery into rural areas in a non-threatening and more persuasive manner. The important issues will again revolve around BN’s mercenary rule where resources are reserved for the few and when will Tan Sri Taib Mahmud retire as promised in the 2011 state general elections. The new Sarawak DAP Committee will be required to submit their election plans and preparation to the CEC.

25. DAP Sarawak has already announced that it will plan to work the ground in an additional 23 non-Chinese majority seats in preparation for the next state general elections. We will be asking all DAP ADUNs and MP, especially the 128 non-Sarawak MPs and ADUNs, to actively assist in the rural areas to break down and dismantle Taib Mahmud’s and BN’s rural domination.

PR’s Ideals, Principles And People-Centric Policies Can Bring A Better Future.
26. Fourthly, we must focus of ideals, principles and people-centric policies to counter corruption, privileged interests and cronyism. Our challenge is to show rural Sarawak that our policies will make a positive difference in their lives. Rural Sarawak must be fully aware of the benefits of DAP’s proposed RM1 billion Dayak Endowment Fund. Many do not know how change matters and can make a better future for their children.

27. Whilst the 2013 general elections is an urban tsunami covering all races whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban, including Sarawak, we have to instill courage, Malaysian goodwill and hope to dispel the hatred, fear and even violence perpetuated by BN. For Sarawakians, the question is even more pressing to ensure that Sarawakians receive a fair share of their natural resources such as increasing the oil and royalty from the present miserly 5% given by BN’s Petronas to 20%.

28. If DAP in Sarawak and in the rest of Malaysia can rise up to embrace these 4 challenges, I am confident that Sarawak will play a key role in ensuring that Pakatan wins a simple majority in the next general elections, in GE14. The key to opening the GE14 door is for Pakatan to break new ground in the 2015 Sarawak state elections as a precursor to Pakatan winning power in Putrajaya.

29. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin is going on a rampage to punish those who support PR, especially the Chinese community. This makes a mockery of democracy as people should not be punished for making a free choice. If PR can treat everyone fairly in the states we rule, why can’t BN behave like a Malaysian, and not like a bad bully that continues to discriminate and take political revenge?

30. The only alternative to have a bright future for Sarawak and Malaysia is to change the BN government. Let us prove that the power of the people is more powerful than those people in power. Have a good State Ordinary Convention and good luck to those elected leaders. You have a lot of work to do. Thank you.

—–Mandarin Version —-

民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2013年6月9日在砂拉越行动党常年代表大会上发表演讲:

砂拉越行动党于2015年州选中的四项挑战

首先我要感谢黄和联的领导,让砂拉越行动党在第13届大选中取得突破。

砂拉越行动党在2011年历史性赢得15个民联州议席中的其中12个州议席,也在第13届大选中赢得6个民联国会议席中的5个议席。

最显著的胜利是诗巫国会议员林财耀,在本届大选中,将行动党多数票从2010年补选的398张,增加至2010年2841张!他不只将我们的多数票增加了7倍,也打败了人联党候选人刘利民,他是一名天猛公,也是诗巫最强大KTS集团的家族成员。

在黄和联的领导下,行动党也横扫诗巫一带的议席,黄灵彪以505张多数票赢得泗里街,刘强燕以8630张多数票赢得南兰国会议席。

在古晋国会选区,张健仁成功把多数票从2008年9952张增加至2013年19642张,在他的领导下,我们也成功赢下实旦宾,我们的新人陈国彬成功击败人联党重量级候选人兼副部长杨昆贤。

我们也开拓了许多非华裔及非城区的选区,行动党历史上第一次在六个非华裔大多数选区,派出六名非华裔候选人。事实上,行动党在第13届大选派出更多非华裔候选人(6名,华裔候选人五名), 在其中四个国会选区,虽然我们没有赢得议席,但是,我们成功削弱了国阵的多数票。

我们也要表扬玛士加汀的莫迪比末、西连的爱德华、沐胶的海美拉维、加帛的蓝里玛拉卡、民都鲁的约翰布莱恩、老越的巴鲁,尽管对手比他们花费至少10倍,他们还是取得不俗的成绩。

例如,约翰布莱恩与副主席周政新成功地削减了15%国阵多数票,从2008年73%,减至2013年58%.
我有信心,凭着我们继续努力渗透砂拉越半城区及乡区,我们将在2016年前的砂州选举取得更好的表现。
砂州行动党目前已有5国及12州,比2004年大选只赢得1国1州真是天壤之别。

我们能有今天的成就,必须归功于那些默默耕耘、付出血汗、泪水的党员们,包括砂州行动党创始人张守江同志,他于1979年在砂州选举竞选。他与其他砂州元老在1979、1983、1987及1991四届州选举中连连战败、一个议席也没有赢下。

直到1996年砂州选举,行动党终于取得突破赢得三个州议席,包括黄和联在武吉亚瑟以226多数票胜出。后来,到了2001年我们又倒退只剩一个州议席。另一个小小的突破是砂州行动党在2006年历史性赢下6个州议席。当然,我们也知道,砂州行动党如何在2011年4月16日增加双倍议席至12个议席。

没有这一群砂州行动党创始元老的辛勤及牺牲, 我们不会有今天。他们所经历的困难时期,时时刻刻提醒我们千万不能自满,认为我们目前在城区的强处是理所当然的。如果我们不坚守原则、背信选民,我们很容易沦为今天的人联党、马华及民政党。

砂拉越的问题就是马来西亚人的问题:一个马来西亚、一个价值在哪里?

我们除了饮水思源,也不能忽视未来的挑战。我看到砂州行动党前进的四项挑战:
第一,砂州行动党必须强化行动党做为全国性政党的宗旨。这意味着砂拉越的课题就是全国课题,而全国课题必须通过砂拉越人的观点诠释出去。砂拉越的问题就是马来西亚人的问题。

我们已经看到砂州首长丹斯里泰益玛目的严重贪腐,这不只将影响砂拉越及其人民的良好名誉,也毁坏马来西亚的国际声誉。我们也看到砂州那些没有获得《RSPO可持续棕榈油生产原则和标准》的棕油业者如何影响我国整个行业的声誉。

“一个马来西亚、一个价值”什么时候才能有效?什么时候才能除贫?什么时候伊班人的传统习俗地才会受到尊重?我们再也不能接受在我国最大、最富有的州属内,还有无土地、最贫穷的群体。

在我们接受沙巴、砂拉越及马来半岛地位平等的基础上,我们不能接受“砂、沙及西马所发生的事互不相干”这种错误的二分法。那种“砂州发生的事只限于砂州”就明显的概念错误,是国阵用来恐吓砂州人民的伪宣传,好像本地人继续支持国阵及砂州首长泰益玛目。

“一人、一票、一价”的选举改革,并不是要减少沙、砂两州的议席数量或比例,而是要真正减少两州不公平、让民主贬值的悬殊情况。

第二,我们要继续为国内,特别是砂、沙两州的选举改革而斗争。数以万计的砂州人民在西马工作,他们没有时间也没有资源回砂州投票,其投票的公民权利被剥夺。在西马工作、居住的砂州人民必须被允许像海外国人那样,可以登记成为邮寄选民。否则,砂州在第13届大选的投票率76%,永远无法像西马的投票率86.5%那样高。

我们也要在来临的选区重新划分中争取实现“一人、一票、一价”原则,以削弱国阵所享受的不公平好处。砂州上一次划分选区是在2005年。八年过去了,2013年,选委会也可能要在砂州进行选区重新划分。如果砂州今年进行选区重新划分,我们必须推动拉近各议席之间的选民人数差距。

我要强调,沙、砂现有的国会议席比例不应该改变,这是尊重两州在1963年加入马来亚时的传统权利。换句话说,我们不是要减少国会议席,也不是要减少在未来国会扩大后、国会议席的比例。
22. 不管国会议席及州议席数是否增加,我们关注砂州各议席选民人数严重不公平分布的问题,这严重违反“一人、一票、一价”原则。例如,我们不能接受实旦宾的选民达8万4000人,而伊干的选民人数只有1万7815人(4.75比1)。同样的,在最大的州议席朋岭有3万多名选民,而峇加拉兰区只有7000名选民,比例为4.3比1。

我们要把焦点放在缩小这些选民人数的差距。我们认同在砂拉越这样大的州属,其地理考量与人口考量同样受到重视。因此,我们提议特别考量,这两个州属最大和最小的议席之间,选民人数差距最高不可以超出一倍,而不是西马1957年联邦宪法15%差距。

2015年砂州选举开始备战

第三,我们要开始为2015年的州选开始备战。虽然还有两年的时间,我们必须强化我们进行乡区的机器,采用非威胁及更具说服力的方式。我们依然会把课题锁定在国阵的统治规则既资源只为少数人所用,以及丹斯里泰益玛目什么时候兑现在2011年州选区的退位承诺?新的砂州州委将被要求呈交他们的备战计划给中委。

砂州行动党也已经宣布将在23个非华裔选区进行基层工作,准备下届大选。我们将要求全体行动党国州议员,特别是是128个非砂州国州议员,活跃地协助砂州进入乡区,打破及瓦解泰益玛目及国阵对乡区的垄断。

民联的理想、原则及以民为本的政策可以带来更好的未来。

第四,我们必须要注重在理想、原则及以民为本的政策,以反击贪污、特权及朋党。我们的挑战是如何让乡区人民相信,我们的政策将为他们的生活带来积极的改变。砂州乡区人民必须认识到行动党提议的10亿令吉达雅人基金。很多人不知道,改变可以为他们的孩子带来更好的未来。

2013年大选是涵盖马来人、华人、印度人、卡达山人或伊班人各族人民的城区海啸,包括砂拉越。我们要灌输勇气、亲善和希望,来应对国阵所鼓吹的仇恨、恐惧及暴力。对砂州而言,更迫切的问题是如何确保砂州人民获取他们在天然资源的公平分额,例如我们要将国阵国油所给的5%石油税,增加至20%。
如果砂州行动党和全马人民可以解决上述四项挑战,我相信,在第14届大选我们可以依赖砂州,赢得简单多数议席。而民联若要赢得第14届大选,我们必须在2015年砂州选举中有所突破,引领民联进军布城。

副首相丹斯里慕尤丁正对民联支持者,特别是华社进行秋后算账。这让我国的民主沦为笑柄,人民不应该因为选择自由而受惩罚。如果民联可以在我们执政的州属公平对待人民,为什么国阵领袖不能做个像样的马来西亚人,反而像恶霸那样,四处歧视进行政治报复?

唯有改朝换代,砂州及马来西亚才能更好的未来。让我们证明,人民的力量比掌权者的权力更强大。

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