Amanah gearing up to change voters’ perception of party in time for Sarawak election

Mohamad Sabu

KUCHING, Aug 18: Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) Sarawak will intensify its efforts to change Sarawakian voters’ perceptions towards the party which were responsible for the party’s failure to win any seats here in the last general elections.

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu said among the perceptions he discovered that Sarawakians tend to believe about the party is that Amanah is a Malayan party and may not have a place in the state.

“When we first contested in Sarawak during the last general elections in 2018, we lost all the six Sarawak parliamentary seats we contested in.

“This was due to this perception that Amanah is a Malayan party. Therefore this time we must work hard to change this perception to prepare for the coming state election due in 2021,” he said in his speech when officiating at Amanah Sarawak Convention 2019 here this morning.

Mohamad said Amanah is not just a Malayan party but a national party, and the Amanah Sarawak leadership are all Sarawakians.

The party’s national leadership will only be involved in guiding and helping the party leadership in the state, he added.

Another perception that many rural Sarawakians have, which had dampened Amanah’s past efforts to win their hearts, is that Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), having been in the state government for so long, is the state government.

He said PBB is just a political party, not the state government, and voters should not be afraid to not vote for it.

Other than that, Mohamad said everything else about Sarawak is straightforward because unlike in the Peninsula, Sarawak has almost no racial or religious issues amongst its very diverse composition.

Later during a press conference, he explained that Amanah Sarawak will start mobilising its machinery to rural areas in the state and intensify its efforts in reaching out to rural voters to change their perceptions of Amanah.

“To change their perceptions would take a lot of time and effort. We don’t have much time from now till the state election,” said Mohamad who is also Defence Minister.

One of the strategies would be to explain to them that Sarawak is represented in the federal cabinet through Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) via Works Minister Baru Bian and Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen.

Herefore, he added, if Amanah Sarawak can win in the state election, Sarawak’s representation in the federal government would definitely be greater.

Meanwhile, Amanah national elections director Datuk Wira Mohd Hatta Ramli said Amanah Sarawak has to be identified as a local party in the state, hence 100 per cent of its leadership composition are Sarawakians.

“Although Amanah is a national party, the state party leadership has to be familiar with the lingo and culture of Sarawakians,” he said. — DayakDaily