First of all, I would like to thank all of you for having shown overwhelming interest in articles I have written on the Sarawak State Election. I am certainly encouraged by your response and will certainly continue to write good quality articles based on quantitative analysis of data.
[FOR RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF SARAWAK STATE ELECTION 2016 PLEASE CLICK HERE]
Results of the Sarawak State Election 2011 held yesterday showed that Barisan Nasional has managed to capture more than 2 / 3 of the DUN seats, when it won 55 seats compared with Pakatan Rakyat’s 15 seats. Details are as follows:
The above table shows that Barisan Nasional won 55 seats against 15 won by Pakatan Rakyat, while an independent candidatewon a seat. These results confirm our preelection prediction which we published earlier.
Compared with the 2006 Sarawak state elections, BN had lost eight seats while DAP increased its seats to 12, and PKR 3 seats.
The improved performance of DAP was as expected due to overwhelming support from Chinese voters for the party’s candidates. For PKR, it has failed to achieve victory that they anticipated. In fact, the three seats they won were not because of the party’s popularity. For example, their victory in Padungan is riding on the popularity of the DAP and, in Ba’Kelalan Baru Bian’s victory was largely because of his personal popularity. At Kerian, it was an unexpected victory for PKR arising from personal weaknesses of the BN candidate himself.
Voter support from various racial groups for the National Front is shown in the table below:
The above table has been prepared from result of regression analysis of all data from yesterday’s election. It shows the Malay/ Melanau votes for BN has increased to 81.7% , compared to 77.1% in 2006, an increase of 4.6%.
The support of the Dayak people for BN is still comfortable at 61.2%, a decrease of 6.3% over the figures achieved in the 2006 state election. However after taking into consideration spoilt votes and votes that went to independent candidates, it is estimated that only 34% of the Dayaks voted for Pakatan Rakyat.
Support for BN from the Chinese community plunged to an all time low of only 24.6% compared with 40.4% obtained in the 2006 state election.
Decline in support from the Dayak community is quite significant and this should need urgent attention from the Barisan Nasional, in order to maintain its strength in the next General Election. NCR land issue and the Bible issue played by the opposition are sensitive to the ethnic Dayak.
With regard to the collapse of support from the Chinese community, there is nothing more the Government can do, as it has exhausted all approaches. The Chinese community seems to feel that they gain more by opting for confrontation with the National Front Government and don’t seem to appreciate the efforts of the Prime Minister’s to reach out to them.
There was an air of hysteria among the Chinese community in Sarawak during the election campaign. It was hard to figure out what really happened and what they really wanted. Did they really believe that they could topple the BN government in Sarawak? If so, why? Couldn’t they sense that they were alone and the rest of the state followed different path? Perhaps this could have happened only when they only read racist Chinese newspapers and mesmerised by the huge DAP rallies during the campaign period.
Perhaps, it didn’t really matter to the Sarawak Chinese community to track down this lonely path outside the government. This is a big sacrifice they inadvertently took which helps DAP’s cause in Semenanjung Malaysia. This may be the more logical explanation, since the collapse of Chinese support in Sarawak would not make it so easy for Najib to decide on an early election. Should the voting results be more friendly towards BN, Najib would surely not hesitate to call an early general election and destroy the opposition in the process.
The nagging question now is whether the Chinese voting pattern in Sarawak is similar to their counterpart in Semenanjung. If we look back to the 2006 Sarawak State Election, the Chinese support for BN had already dropped to 40% of their total votes. This anti BN sentiment spread to Semenanjung in the 2008 General Election when Chinese support also dropped to exactly the same figure 40%.
Does this mean Chinese support for BN in Semenanjung has also dropped that low to 24.6%? Perhaps yes. Perhaps not, since the the overwhelming issue to the Chinese in Sarawak was the Chief Minister himself, and their belief that the Dayak were with them to topple the state government.
DAP may not be able to duplicate such a scenario in Semenanjung. Moreover, Barisan partners in Semenanjung are different, though not without their own bad image. Still Chinese support for BN in Semenanjung is not as bad if we gauge by the results of the last five byelections.
The Sarawak State Election outcome also indicates that the Malay and Dayak confidence and trust in the BN is still strong. However, to sustain this confidence and to perpetuate Malay and Bumiputera unity it is important that UMNO and Barisan Nasional continue to champion Malay and Bumiputera interest.
PKR failed miserably in Sarawak, especially in the Malay/Melanau areas. Support from this racial group for BN is the highest, ie 81.7%, meaning that PKR only managed to collect not more than 17% of their votes. In fact in Sarawak Anwar is more and more seen as a Chinese leader judging by the hysteria he created at huge Pakatan Rakyat rallies which were virtually attended by the Chinese community only.
PAS has been more realistic. They kept a low profile and away from Anwar. In fact they only competed in a handful of seats and almost won in Beting Maro where they lost by a mere 391 votes. Only the sheer might and popularity of Najib that managed to keep this constituency inside BN.