KUCHING: Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s (pic) popularity is at its peak, and Sarawak PKR has conceded that this factor may swing votes from the opposition camp to the ruling coalition.
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said the chief minister’s popular decisions have won the hearts of locals, especially those in the Chinese majority urban seats which are considered DAP’s vote bank.
“Adenan has been vocal about Sarawakian rights. In fact, he has handled the Chinese issues very well,” said Baru in an interview.
These issues, said the Ba’kelalan assemblyman, include the state government’s recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) .
Adenan, who is also the president of Parti Besaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), had also allocated over RM4mil to Chinese schools. Baru said this would be a significant factor in the voting pattern in the state elections.
However, Baru insisted that the real test lies with the support the Opposition will get in the general election.
“Although there is a possibility that they may vote Barisan Nasional in the state, I believe they will still vote for the Opposition in the general election,” he said.
Meanwhile, as PKR gears up for the state elections, an election manifesto will be drawn up to highlight issues close to the hearts of Sarawakians.
Baru said the manifesto will highlight an 18-point roadmap for the betterment of the Hornbill State.
They include issues that touch on religious freedom, sovereignty and governance, education, healthcare, infrastructure and economy.
“These 18 points have not been fulfilled for Sarawak since it formed Malaysia. This is what we hope to achieve if we are in power,” he said.
Baru said it is saddening to see that Sarawak has lagged behind despite being under Barisan rule for decades.
And this, he said, can be blamed on several factors although they have made repeated requests to the Federal Government regarding their concerns.
“Maybe they (the Federal Government) think Sarawakians are contented with what we have, which I think is a fact. They have not seen the best,” he said.
He said most of the Sarawak elected representatives from Barisan were “not brave” enough to raise their concerns in Parliament. “They think by raising these issues, they will be seen to be against the Government,” he said.
As for his constituency, which has about 8,000 voters, Baru said he is confident that he will retain it in this election.
Having stood there for the past four elections, he said his constituents are becoming “more politically aware”.
“It used to be a very strong Barisan stronghold. But people are more mature now and understand that scare tactics will not work on them,” he said.