Sarawak polls: Slow burn for Kapit election campaign

KAPIT: Though the 11th state election is quickly heating up things in the Land of the Hornbills, the second day of campaigning in this Iban heartland along the Rajang River is still on a slow burn.

In the morning, only a few DAP flags were spotted at the town's social hub, the Kapit Town Square.

For now, flags from both sides of the divide are mostly affixed to four-wheel drives, which are often seen cruising around the mountainous region.

However, this lack of campaigning material could be due to the difficulty of transporting such paraphernalia in a quick and timely fashion.

To reach Kapit, one has to travel to Sibu by air, land or river and then board an express boat to it. The express boat journey itself takes about two hours.

Kapit is the seventh of 11 administrative regions in Sarawak.

It is the biggest division spanning an area of about 40,000sq km, with three districts in the challenging terrain, namely Kapit, Song and Belaga.

In the afternoon, the driver of a pick-up truck near the passenger terminal confirmed that his vehicle's cargo were DAP party flags, fresh off the morning boat from Sibu.

According to the man, who did not wish to be named, it is unclear if more materials are on their way.

Till then, it's mostly small buntings displaying DAP's hornbill mascot Ubah, and posters telling voters to "Berani Ubah" (Be Brave to Change) with DAP candidate Frankie Bendindang Manjah, who is vying for the Pelagus seat.

In the last state election, Pelagus was won by an independent, George Lagong, who later joined the opposition Sarawak Worker's Party (SWP)..

The Barisan Nasional side has also erected a small billboard bearing the image of its Pelagus candidate Wilson Nyabong near the Kapit passenger terminal, with the blue-and-white poster urging residents to vote for Barisan candidates.

Next to it are several blank billboards of a similar size, and it remains to be seen if they were also bought for campaigning purposes.

At the transport hub, a large poster featuring highly popular Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem asked voters to "Give Team Adenan a Chance".

Buntings bearing the face of Barisan’s Bukit Goram hopeful Jefferson Jamit Anak Unyat were also strung along the shaded gazebo areas.

DAP's candidate for the new seat, Larry Anak Asap, is a 29-year-old Masters student in Education in Kuching.

After videos on the Impian Sarawak project were played for coffee shop customers and passersby, the bespectacled fresh face gave a spirited talk on the need for change, while standing on a chair in front of Wilson Cafe, which is located under the DAP service centre for Pelagus and Katibas.

At the Teresang Market where he had a walkabout, some traders read through the opposition's leaflets as they waited for customers, including a young boy wearing a Barisan cap and a red Ubah shirt.

However, no party flags have gone up there yet, nor at the popular eating spot Gelanggang Kenyalang Kapit, which is famous for its deep-fried roti canai served with curry and chutney.

Sarawak Election 2016