Sarawak State Election 2016 Results: Analysis and Comments

[This is the English version of the Bahasa Malaysia article with the same title published two days ago  on 8 May, 2016.]

The complete result of the Sarawak State Election 2016 has just been announced  and  it  was generally  in line with expectation of the public and the media. A result summary is shown below:

Parti Seats PRN 2016 Seats  PRN 2011
Barisan Nasional 72 56
PBB 40
PRS 11
BN Direct 11
DAP 7 12
PKR 3 3
TOTAL 82 71

Our forecast was published on this blog early morning 6 May, a day before the election. It was then expected (in the forecast) that BN would be able to win between 68 and 74 seats and,  as shown above, the actual results fall within our estimate   range.

The table below shows the results summary of a regression analysis I have conducted to gauge voter support for BN according to race.

RACE PRN 2016 (%) PRN 2011 (%)
Melayu 89.0 81.7
Dayak 66.2 61..2
Cina 34.2 24.6

The above results indicate increase in support for BN by all races in the State Election 2016 compared with the 2011 Election. You may note that support from the Chinese voters increased by approx 10 percentage point to 34.2%, an  encouraging sign for BN although the bulk of the Chinese, ie 63% are still with DAP and the opposition.

The results printout of the regression analysis is shown as Appendix.

Our prediction for the rural constituencies proved to be very accurate where all seats are won by BN except for Krian and Ba’kelalan won by the incumbents from PKR.

Prediction for the Chinese constituencies proved to be more challenging where a number of seats were won in the previous election by razor thin margins. The recent redelineation exercise also changed voters racial composition in some constituencies and this made it even more difficult predict as the outcome could go either way. For instance, our prediction on Batu Kawa wasn’t accurate as a few factors came into play. In the end, it was the smart campaign strategy and promises made by  Tan Sri Adenan that overwhelmed the voters there, inspite of all the odds in this specific constituency.

Our forecast for Batu Kitang and Piasau proved to be accurate and BN indeed won there. Hot seats at  Meradong, Dudong and Repok in central Sarawak were particularly difficult to predict as it could go either way depending on slightest shift in racial sentiment particularly among the Chinese voters there. This is a case of an effctive BN policy and campaign strategy that swayed the voters there and in Sarawak as a whole.

A lot of initiatives and accomplishment have been made by the BN government since Tan Sri Adenan took over the reign two years ago. He has dealt with the Native Customery Rights land effectively. He has taken measures to abolish road tolls, land rent and reduce housing assessment rates which reduced the impact of GST. Even more he has proven to be reasonably effective in fighting against illegal logging and demonstrated his disdain on corruption. He has convinced all races, including the Chinese, that he is Chief Minister for all by showing genuine warmth towards them. All these are important to Sarawakians who cherish their multiracial approach to life and are  stressed up  with Peninsular Malaysian confrontational and hate politics.

Lessons to be learned

Looking at the support for BN across the racial line, it is obvious that increase in support occured across the board involving all races. It looks normal to see this scenario among the Malays/Melanau and the Dayak. But from the Chinese? This is unusual given the steady erosion of Chinese support and the shrinkage of SUPP that we saw in the last one decade. Could it be  hatred towards  an unfair government  as perceived by the Chinese, or their disdain on  corruption that keep them away from the government all these years. If this is so, then the Chinese will always be angry and forever be  in the opposition. These are not actually the case. It would be more accurate to say that DAP has convinced the Chinese that it would be the dominant force behind the new government to be formed after the last general election. With this becoming a more distant dream, it is hoped that what we see in the just concluded Sarawak election will lead to more Chinese coming back to BN fold in the Peninsular for  a more inclusive political atmosphere  in our multiracial Malaysia.


Regards to all,




  Regression Output:    
Constant     0  
Std Err of Y Est   859.5899  
R Squared     0.82  
No. of Observations   80  
Degrees of Freedom   77  
X Coefficient(s) 0.8901 0.3416 0.6622
Std Err of Coef. 0.027 0.0183 0.0217
T Value   32.85 18.59 30.50
    Malay/Melanau Chinese Dayak
Gallery | This entry was posted in Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak 2016, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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