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Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the seat allocation for the Sarawak 2016 state elections on the 26th of April 2016

I know that many opposition supporters are disappointed with DAP and PKR for not being able to avoid clashing in 6 out of 82 state seats in the upcoming Sarawak state elections. This disappointment and frustration is understandable. I too wish that it could have been avoided. But in order to explain to our supporters why this situation came about, I feel that it is necessary to provide a historical as well as a more recent context.

Let’s go back to just after the 2011 Sarawak state elections when PKR was accused of being too greedy when it contested in 49 out of the then 71 state seats at stake. When Sarawak PKR state chairman, Baru Bian, was asked about PKR’s relatively poor performance in those elections and the decision to contest in 49 seats, he had this to say[1]:

Baru admits that this strategy came with a heavy cost. The party was severely stretched because the rural campaign was resource-intensive. “The burden was more on us (to deliver) while DAP won more seats because their resources could be concentrated (in a few cities). But this is okay because we are all part of Pakatan,” he said.

In a subsequent interview in 2011, Baru Bian said the following[2]:

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said the party will focus only on a few winnable seats in the coming parliamentary election, rather than contest all the remaining seats in the state that the other Pakatan member parties won’t take on. He was responding to criticism that the multi-racial party had been “too greedy” by contesting as many as 49 seats in the recent state election, in which it won only three seats. 

“In (the next) parliamentary election, we will use a different method,” Baru (left) said in an interview with selected media at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya this morning. “Because of restrictions in resources, in particular financial resources, we will focus on certain areas (which are winnable), based on the state election results.” He also said PKR hoped PAS dan DAP would “share the responsibility” of contesting the remaining seats “If they are prepared to be seen as multiracial – you all know reports said that DAP is a Chinese chauvinist party – it will be a good time now (for them) to take on the remaining Dayak and Melanau areas. “I do hope they will bear this responsibility.”

In the aftermath of the 2011 state elections, DAP was responsive to the call to shoulder a greater burden of contesting in the rural areas. In fact, in the 2013 general elections, DAP fielded Dayak candidates in 5 rural parliament seats – Mas Gading, Serian, Mukah, Kapit and Lawas – and also a Dayak candidate in the semi-rural parliament seat of Bintulu. (In comparison, DAP fielded candidates in 5 urban parliament seats in 2013)

The willingness of PKR to relinquish some of the rural seats was repeated by Azmin Ali in 2013.[3]

Sekarang DAP sudah mula masuk ke kawasan pedalaman dan membina kekuatan. Kita sedia berunding kerana akhirnya yang menang ialah PR. Kalau DAP dan PAS ada kekuatan, KEADILAN akan sedia melepaskan kerusi terbabit. Kami pun tak mampu nak pegang terlalu banyak kerusi kerana ia memakan kos yang tinggi.

DAP’s commitment to going into the rural areas in Sarawak was demonstrated by the more than 50 projects done under the Impian Sarawak banner since 2013[4]. From providing water supply to rebuilding broken jetties, from upgrading roads to medical and education camps, DAP’s track record in the rural areas is there for all to see. In fact, you can buy the Impian Sabah and Sarawak coffee table book for a full list and photos of these projects![5]

Of course, whether or not these projects will enable the opposition, specifically the DAP, to win any of these rural seats is still not known. But to answer the question of whether DAP or PKR is the better party to contest in some of the rural seats claimed by both parties, a more objective measure needed to be used. Which is why DAP and PKR commissioned a survey to evaluate the popularity of both parties in six seats claimed by both parties.

The results are summarized in Table 1 below (and provided in Appendix 1 below).

DAP had significantly higher favourability ratings compared to PKR in 5 out of the 6 seats surveyed – N2 Tasik Biru, N13 Batu Kitang, N23 Bukit Semuja, N32 Simanggang and N75 Senadin. DAP and PKR were about even in the remaining seat of N19 Mambong.

If going purely by these survey results, which both parties had agreed to abide by, DAP would have contested in 5 out of these 6 seats. But DAP choose to give up N13 Batu Kitang, arguably the most winnable seat out of these six seats, for the right to contest in rural and less winnable seats in other parts of Sarawak. The explanation of the negotiation process on the part of the DAP has been done by Anthony Loke, DAP National Organizing Secretary. What I would like to highlight here are the survey results which are not widely known yet.

To those who accuse the DAP of being greedy and for not wanting to contest in unwinnable seats, let me offer two counter examples. There are 8 state seats in the mostly Iban majority areas of Sri Aman, Betong and Lubok Antu (Figure 1 below). After the conclusion of the seat negotiation (or what DAP thought was the final negotiation) on the 7th of April, 2016, DAP asked to contest in one of these eight state seats – N32 Simanggang. DAP had conceded the state seat of N36 Layar to PKR even though there was a potential candidate who had been stationed in this seat and working the ground for the past one year. DAP’s candidate for N32 Simanggang, Leon Donald, lives in the Sri Aman area, contested in this seat in 2011 and had been working the ground for the past 5 years. The survey results also showed the DAP candidate being more popular and well known compared to the PKR candidate. Is the DAP greedy for wanting to contest in only one out of eight state seats in this area? And where the survey result had shown DAP being the more favoured party with the stronger candidate compared to PKR? I think not…

Figure 1: Eight state seats in the Sri Aman, Betong and Lubok Antu areas, PKR contesting in all eight seats, DAP is contesting only in N32 Simanggang

At the same time, DAP is contesting in all three state seats in the parliamentary seat of Kapit – N61 Pelagus, N62 Katibas and N63 Bukit Goram. These seats are in areas with far flung longhouses, many of which can only be accessible via longboat. The BN candidate won 78% of the popular vote in this seat in the 2013 general elections. While the Pelagus state seat was won by a then independent candidate – George Lagong – in 2011 who later joined the Sarawak Worker’s Party (SWP), this seat, along with Bukit Goram (a new state seat), are uphill tasks for DAP, without the backing of local influential leader and former BN state assemblyman, Sng Chee Wah and his son, Larry Sng.

Figure 2: DAP contesting in all three state seats in Kapit – N61 Pelagus, N62 Katibas and N63 Bukit Goram

I do believe that Pakatan Harapan will be able to find a way to emerge from this disagreement between DAP and PKR after the Sarawak state elections. But in the meantime, even as we are focused on fighting the BN in the other 74 state seats, it is important to set the record straight on the background behind these seat disagreements.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

Appendix 1: Party Favourability in 6 state seats where surveys were conducted

N2 Tasik Biru

N13 Batu Kitang

N19 Mambong

N23 Bukit Semuja

N32 Simanggang

N75 Senadin

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Media Statement by Teresa Kok, DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yesterday Tourism and Culture Minister Dato Nazri Aziz said that he supported Sarawak chief minister Tan Sri Adenan’s decision in banning DAP leaders and members from entering Sarawak.

( idak-mahu-politik-perkauman-dap-semenanjung/)

It is not a surprise that Nazri or any other BN Minister or leader will express support for Adenan, a fellow BN leader.

However, Nazri’s reason for supporting Adenan’s blanket ban on DAP leaders is totally wrong and unacceptable.

Nazri has said that DAP is chauvinistic and racist and will play up racial issues that will threaten racial harmony. This must be the worst excuse for supporting a decision that is a clear abuse of the state’s immigration powers.

How has DAP become chauvinistic when it pursues relentlessly and aggressively the 1MDB issues? Is DAP racist when it brought in electricity and water for the native community in Sabah and Sarawak? Is DAP racist when it rebuilt houses for the Malay flood victims in Kelantan?

I challenge Nazri to publish examples and evidence of how DAP is chauvinistic and racist as alleged.

It is futile for any BN leader to defend Adenan’s abuse of the immigration power as it is so plain and clear that the blanket ban is only to serve one purpose- to stop DAP leaders from campaigning in Sarawak.

Last month, Nazri had challenged former deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin and former Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukriz to contest as independents in the next general election. He said they could do so in their present constituencies or against him in his constituency if they thought they were influential.

I call on Nazri to advice or even throw a challenge to Adenan– fight the opposition fair and square if you think you are popular and influential.

Nazri should also tell Adenan that, unless he lifts the unfair, undemocratic ban, he will go down in history as being worse than former Sarawak chief minister Tun Taib Mahmud in abusing the state’s immigration powers.

Teresa Kok



PETALING JAYA: The Skohns Canteen has done it again.

After their first controversial poster of “Good Food, Below Market Price”, the operators have put up another poster, this time on feng shui.

The second poster read: “30 per cent off, Good Food, Possibly Amazing Feng Shui”.

Both these posters on the restaurant’s Facebook were obviously referring to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s purchase of a bungalow in Jalan Pinhorn, Penang.

Lim is alleged to have bought the property at below the market value last year. He was renting the house before that. Continue Reading »

This evening I joined LKS, LGE, Tony Pua, Lim Lip Eng and others to have dinner at SKOHNS Canteen at The Place, Damansara Perdana, PJ.

SKOHNS Canteen has shown its creative publicity by putting LGE’s photo on its FB poster advertisement with the wordings “Good Food” and “Below Market Price” on it. My DAP colleague Medaline Chang has made a polite request to the cafe owner to remove the advertisement as the allegations by BN are unfounded and because it is currently being used as a distraction by BN in light of all the scandals plaguing the ruling government. Medaline expressed the worry that the ad will contribute to the negative publicity surrounding the Penang CM. Her request sparked off disagreement by some netizens.

It took me a quite while to locate the restaurant. I was surprised to know that this is a western food restaurant. The restaurant owner Iskandar and his wife were around when we arrived. It is a halal restaurant, so no liquor and wine served.

I tried its lamb shrank and sausage meat. The food portion was big and tasted nice. And the price was reasonable as advertised. Ha ha.

Continue Reading »

PETALING JAYA: Stung by criticism over her earlier remark that Lim Guan Eng had obtained his bungalow from businesswoman Phang Li Koon at below market price due to “bad feng shui”, DAP’s Teresa Kok has claimed that she was misquoted by the media on the issue.

In claiming that she was misquoted during her speech at the Citizens’ Congress yesterday, Kok said: “Ms Phang was willing to sell the house to (Penang Chief Minister) Lim because ever since he moved in, there had been a lot of protests, controversies and even a mock funeral procession against Lim.

“The protesters in Penang like to hold protests outside Lim’s house, unlike in Selangor where protesters protest outside the state government building.”

Kok was earlier quoted as saying that Lim obtained the Jalan Pinhorn property at below market value due to “bad feng shui”. Continue Reading »

Today I attended the People’s Congress or Kongres Rakyat at the Shah Alam Convention Centre. I was one of the 19 speakers . The others included Tun Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin, Dato’ Seri Mukhriz, Lim Kit Siang, Mat Sabu, Zaid Ibrahim, Dato Ambiga and others.

The hall with a seating capacity of about 1,500 chairs was packed with invited people.

My speech has been misquoted by some media, especially on the part of “Feng shui”. I hereby put my speech on my FB: —

In my speech, I said that since end of last year till today, many ordinary folks whom I met told me that they were disappointed with things that were happening in the country and the bad economy. They all asked me whether there is hope in Malaysia. I can’t say much to them.

However, after the Citizen’s Declaration was launched on 4th March this year, many people saw this as light coming into the darkness. The launch of the declaration has drawn attention inside and outside the country, and it has been widely reported in international media.

After the launch of Citizen’s Declaration, we saw that some of the Umno leaders and elected representatives expressed their support to Najib to continue as the Prime Minister. It has drawn a lot of interest and attention of the people.

However, on 17 March, after the UMNO MP of Tasek Gelugor Shabudin delivered the speech on Lim Guan Eng’s house in the parliament, a speech which was based on the old fictitious story that has been spread in the social media, then we saw that the focus of the media has been changed to LGE’s bungalow. The issue has become the biggest news in printed and electronic.and TV news, and has drowned the news of Citizen’s Declaration.
I then said that the company, KLIDH hadt won the bid in theTaman Manggis land by open tender. The open tender committee was composed of civil servants and chaired by the state secretary of Penang.

The original house owner Ms Phang has no shares in KLIDH, her company and KLIDH are two separate companies. According to the statutory declaration of Ms Phang, she was willing to sell the house to LGE because there had been a lot of protests and controversies, and even funeral processions against LGE outside the house ever since LGE moved into the house, because the protestors in Penang like to hold protest outside the CM’s house and unlike in Selangor where protestors did protest outside the state government building of Selangor.

As for Ms Phang, it could be a bad Feng shui. That’s why she wanted to sell it to LGE. The house price is a personal matter between two of them. I believe that as good friends, we normally don’t sell property at a higher price to a friend. It is like if I want to sell my house to Dato Zaid Ibrahim or Mat Sabu, I won’t sell it with two or three million ringgit profit because they are my friends.
The reason this issue has been highlighted by the media for the last ten days is to divert attention from the Save Malaysia campaign.

I went on to say that we all must acknowledge that Malaysia is facing a big problem. When crisis happens, all parties should work together to save the nation from the mess. I cited Tunesia as an example where the party Ennada led by Rached Al-Garnouchi worked with the party that won elections to stabilise Tunesia.

Lastly, I urged everyone who attended the forum to play a role to propagate this declaration, and to ask their friends and relatives to endorse the declaration, so that we can achieve one million signatures as aspired by Tun Mahathir.

Today I attended the People’s Congress or Kongres Rakyat at the Shah Alam Convention Centre. I was one of the 19 speakers . The others included Tun Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin, Dato’ Seri Mukhriz, Lim Kit Siang, Mat Sabu, Zaid Ibrahim, Dato Ambiga and others.

The hall with a seating capacity of about 1,500 chairs was packed with invited people.

My speech has been misquoted by some media, especially on the part of “Feng shui”. I hereby put my speech on my FB: — Continue Reading »

For those who don’t know how to differentiate the case between Lim Guan Eng’s house and Khir Toyo’s house, the chart tells you the difference.

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