MIRI: The dust of the parliamentary elections in Sarawak has not even settled, but the blame game has started as to who caused Sarawak Barisan Nasional to lose in an unprecedented manner.
Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Jemut Masing pointed at internal Barisan elements for causing the loss in native-populated semi-urban constituencies of Julau, Selangau and Lubok Antu.
“Disunity among Barisan Nasional component parties was the main cause.
“PRS lost three of the six parliament seats we had,” he claimed.
However, a former PRS supreme council leader from northern Sarawak said Masing was the one who made the last-minute decision to contest new faces in Lubok Antu and Selangau.
He said Masing also ignored warnings from within the party that deputy president Datuk Joseph Salang in Julau was under threat from Sarawak Workers Party president Larry Sng who stood as an Independent.
“When there is defeat, there will be finger-pointing,” he said.
Sarawak Barisan lost 12 parliamentary seats, including the six semi-urban seats of Selangau, Lubok Antu, Julau, Mas Gading, Saratok and Puncak Borneo.
Meanwhile, it is learned that Sarawak Barisan chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg had asked all Barisan teams in the lost seats to submit a report to the Sarawak Barisan supreme council.
Sarawak United Peoples Party secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting said his party would carry out a post-mortem on the six urban seats – Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri – lost to Pakatan Harapan.
Meanwhile, rural folk in constituencies won by Barisan have been told not to celebrate.
“No big celebrations will be held. We must all go back to work,” said Baram Barisan youth chief Dennis Ngau.
He cited the example of Baram where Barisan candidate Anyie Ngau won by 1,992 votes, which is an improvement from the 2013 margin of only 194 votes.
“The Orang Ulu voters were split in middle and upper Baram.
“But Barisan won big in the Iban-populated areas in lower Baram,” he said.
He said there was much to do to heal the split among the native people, not just in Baram but in other parts of Sarawak.
“How we reunite the natives again after this parliamentary election is a crucial subject Sarawak Barisan must address,” he said.