Sandakan result a lesson to opposition to respect Sabah, S’wak rights: Guan Eng

13 May 2019 / 14:59 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP’s landslide victory in Sandakan should serve as a lesson to the opposition not to hamper the government’s efforts to restore Sabah and Sarawak’s rights and not to propagate racism.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (pix) said opposition lawmakers made a strategic error in opposing Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s bid to restore the status of the two states as equal partners to Peninsular Malaysia when they rejected a bill in Parliament last month.

“This was repeatedly stated by both Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and DAP during campaigning, that opposition MPs had no right to talk about Sabah and Sarawak rights, if they refused to support the constitutional amendments,” he said in a statement today.

The Bagan MP added that the opposition parties’ propaganda, that they could win federal power by playing up divisive politics of outright racism and religious extremism, would be doomed to failure without support from Sabah and Sarawak.

“Trying to pit Malays against non-Malays and Muslims against non-Muslims did not resonate in Sandakan but in fact repelled voters to turn to DAP, Warisan and Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“DAP won, for the first time, in all polling districts in Sandakan, including Barisan Nasional (BN) strongholds in Pulau Berhala and Kampung Sim Sim, which consist overwhelmingly of Muslim voters,” he said.

Lim said these were among the five key lessons for the opposition after DAP’s candidate Vivian Wong Shir Yee won the Sandakan by-election with an increased majority of 11,521 votes, despite a considerably lower voters’ turnout.

Aside from these, Lim said a proven economic track record and a government that is clean and against corruption also mattered to voters, claiming that it would be hard for those entangled in corruption to inspire confidence among voters.

Lim said efforts to disseminate lies through the control of certain newspapers and social media would only not work in the long term.

“When sentiment and emotional passions have cooled, truth invariably prevails. PH have four years to debunk and expose the lies and falsehoods of the opposition,” he said.

Lim added that another lesson for the opposition from the Sandakan results was that leadership mattered to the rakyat, noting that there were no credible opposition alternatives to Shafie and Mahathir in the Sabah and federal governments.

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