Lecturer: Need for discussion in wake of political changes


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  • Monday, 10 Mar 2008

KUCHING: Sarawak Barisan will have to operate in a new political landscape even though it won all except one of the 31 parliamentary seats, said an academician. 

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) faculty of social sciences lecturer Dr Andrew Aeria said the new political landscape would mean having substantive policy discussion, respect and adherence to professional and ethnical standards. 

“There should also be respect for human rights, sensitivity to people’s real interests as opposed to the perceived interests of people as seen by authorities,” he said when commenting on the election results yesterday. 

Well done:Chong beingcongratulatedby supporterson arrival atthe votecountingcentre for theBandarKuchingparliamentaryseat in JalanPadungan,Kuching,yesterday.

Dr Aeria attributed the Sarawak Barisan Nasional’s resounding victory to, among other factors, bickering among Opposition parties instead of looking at a larger picture and their weak candidates. 

Sarawak DAP and PKR have openly criticised each other over their failure to reach an agreement on seat allocation. They fought each other in the Chinese-majority seats of Stampin and Sibu. 

On the elected MPs, Dr Aeria hoped they would fulfil what they promised during the campaign period. 

“ They should go down to the ground, listen to the people's grouses and solve their problems,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said “something had gone very wrong” as people in Bandar Kuching had again rejected Barisan though the party had worked very hard to serve them. 

SUPP newcomer Alan Sim Yaw Yen lost to DAP incumbent Chong Chieng Jen, who retained the seat by a 9,952-vote margin, up from 2,041 in 2004. 

On the party’s victory in six other constituencies, Dr Chan said it had done well despite the winds of change witnessed in the country. 

SUPP first-timer Ding Kuong Hiing retained the Sarikei seat for the coalition with a majority of 51 votes. In 2004, the party’s deputy president Tan Sri Law Hieng Ding won by 11,599 votes. 

Party organising secretary Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui had his majority slashed to 5,216 votes in Miri, down from 10,706 in 2004. 

Another SUPP veteran Datuk Yong Khoon Seng retained the Stampin seat with a majority of 3,070 votes against 7,731 in 2004.  


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