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Note of Editor: This story was updated at 3.11pm on Dec 20, 2021.
By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Dec 18: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has secured a landslide victory by winning at least 75 seats in the 12th Sarawak Election (PRN12), three seats more than in the 2016 Sarawak Election under the late former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) retained all its 47 seats while Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) after years of taking hits from Democratic Action Party (DAP), has finally managed to enact its sweet revenge by wresting back five Chinese-majority seats.
These five Chinese seats were Kota Sentosa in Kuching, Pelawan and Bukit Assek in Sibu, Tanjong Batu in Bintulu and Pujut in Miri.
Apart from that, the party also managed to take back the Bidayuh-majority seat of Opar from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) through its candidate Billy Sujang, while retaining its seven seats of Batu Kawah (Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian), Batu Kitang (Lo Khere Chiang), Piasau (Datuk Sebastian Ting), Senadin (Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin), Repok (Dato Sri Huang Tiong Sii), Meradong (Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing and the Iban-majority seat of Simanggang (Datuk Francis Harden Hollis).
This means SUPP now holds a total of 13 out of the 18 seats it contested, losing in Bawang Assan which was defended by PSB president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh; Engkilili whose incumbent is PSB’ Johnichal Rayong; and in two seats to DAP, comprising Padungan which was won by Sarawak DAP Chief Chong Chieng Jen and Pending which was strongly defended by DAP’s Violet Yong.
Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) also saw a great improvement in performance, led by a walkover for its president Dato Sri Tiong King Sing in Dudong which was the most heavily contested with a total of eight candidates vying for the seat. The seat was previously held by Datuk Tiong Thai King from PSB.
PDP managed to reclaim Krian after Datuk Ali Biju, a strong contender from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) announced his withdrawal to give way to PDP candidate Friday Belik. The party however, did not managed to take back Bakelalan from PSB.
Meanwhile, despite put being under siege by a strong lineup of candidates from PSB in many constituencies especially in Balai Ringin, Batang Ai, Tamin, Kakus, Pelagus, and Baleh, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) was able to fend off the challengers and defended all its 11 seats.
GPS’ resounding victory means a stunning defeat for the Opposition.
The biggest loser is DAP which suffered an almost complete wipeout after losing five seats comprising Tanjong Batu, Kota Sentosa, Pelawan, Pujut and Bukit Assek.
It managed to only retain Padungan and Pending despite contesting in 26 seats Statewide. This means from the seven seats won in the 2016 Sarawak Election, Sarawak DAP now holds only two seats.
Chong won his gamble in Padungan after garnering 4,686 votes. He was up against popular SUPP candidate Dato Wee Hong Seng, the Kuching South City Hall mayor came up short of 1,198 votes.
DAP’s allies in Pakatan Harapan (PH) namely Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) which contested in 28 and eight seats respectively all fell flat on their faces, scoring fat goose eggs.
Despite contesting in the second most number of seats at 70, local opposition party PSB had a terrible debut. Not only that, far from gaining political mileage by winning more seats, it lost two seats it used to hold, namely Opar and Dudong.
There was also no so-called ‘Dayak tsunami’ at all.
In the many PRS areas which PSB fielded former ministers, ex-assistant ministers and retired political secretaries to try to upset PRS’ position within GPS, none made it. PSB now holds only four seats — Bawang Assan, Engkilili, Batu Lintang and Ba’Kelalan.
The dismal result is an anticlimax for the party that has claimed to want to take over as the State government from GPS.
For ambitious election newcomer Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) which debuted candidates in 73 seats, it was a disastrous defeat with no seat won and many candidates losing their deposits.
Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party’s (Aspirasi) efforts to contest in 15 seats also went down the drain following the failure of all its candidates in making headway in any seat. Its president Lina Soo who contested in Padungan against DAP heavyweight Chong and SUPP’s star candidate Wee, failed to keep her deposit as she managed to only poll 193 votes.
Meanwhile, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Pas), Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (Sedar) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) which contested in one, five and 11 constituencies respectively, all had their dreams of taking a seat in DUN shattered to pieces.
Similarly futile were the efforts of 30 independent candidates contesting in this election, including Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Datuk Ali Biju. Voters turned their back on the independents with none elected except for Ali’s case, who had decided to withdraw and campaign for PDP candidate Friday Belik in Krian so that GPS may allow him to contest under Bersatu in coming 15th General Election.
As of 12 midnight, there has yet result from Mulu due to bad weather which hindered the transportation of the ballot boxes. — DayakDaily
Overall results of 12th Sarawak Election polled on Dec 18, 2021
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