Despatch from Sarawak: Still an uphill battle in rural areas


This update comes from political observer JJ in Kuching:

Judging by the crowds attending the ceremahs of the BN and PR in urban areas where the ethnic Chinese are found in larger numbers, it will appear that the PR candidates will stand to win quite easily.

The same cannot be said of rural areas in Sarawak with the exception of perhaps two or three parliamentary seats where the PR candidates have been working with the people for a number of years fighting for their causes. Most rural folks are inclined to vote for the BN due to several reasons amongst them the fear and worry that the little aid and handouts that receive from time to time will cease should their BN representative lose. These handouts which to many urbanites may see as pittance is at least something for them.

Where the opposition have failed is to educate these folks that it is the duty of whoever is in power to ensure the well being and welfare of all Malaysians irrespective of whether they live in the rural areas or urban areas.

Speaking to someone earlier today in the Melanau heartland, I found they don’t even know who the Pas candidate is, not even his name. Given that the Pas candidate is up against another Muslim candidate from the BN and is their incumbent MP, Christians in the area will go for the BN as they fear Pas and their Islamic ideology, which in recent times unknown to them have changed to adapt to a more multi cultural society. These folks only have the TV news to watch and listen.

Civil servants generally are fearful of not voting for the BN as they believe their votes can be traced and therefore they might be ‘punished’. Some of course say it is better to vote for the devil you know rather than the one you don’t.

Overall it is expected that 7-11 parliamentary seats in Sarawak may fall to PR, which will be a tremendous increase compared to the 2008 general election, when only one seat (Kuching) was won out of the 31 from Sarawak.

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Thanks Anil. This is the first of many of your postings which gives us a picture of the rural areas. The problem with out opposition is that they like to syok sendiri in urban areas. Do you know how many ceramahs have already been held in Sutera Mall JB? Or in Esplanade and Han Chiang? Why don’t the top ppl like LGE, LKS etc go to the rural areas like the one you mentioned and convince and reassure the ppl there that a new govt would look after their interests better. Why do they keep harping on corruption, good governance… Read more »

SL Wong (@wong8898)

We must put our country in the first place before anything else. There is no more fear, worry, shame or others that can save our country from enemy. …

… decide the future & destiny of our children, ppl & country.

We really need a clean & good government for change. Your vote is very important that can decide the fate of our children & ppl for a better tomorrow & a brand new Malaysia. We must have guts to do it. Go for it, selamatkan Malaysia.

UBAH !! Pakatan Harapan Rakyat.