The outcome for the Sarawak state election has been a blow to both DAP’s campaign in the urban seats and our outreach to the rural constituencies.
The result has disappointed many, including party volunteers who had worked hard for the election campaign. For the rural seats, some have publicly opined that a couple of our Impian Sarawak projects generated little or no returns in terms of votes.
Our supporters who have contributed generously have also voiced understandable concern over the outcome, especially upon receiving such viral reports and messages.
Yes, it is true that in some polling districts where we have carried out projects, the electoral impact has been tiny or even negligible. But what is also true is that in certain areas, we have received a small but significant increase in support.
Nevertheless, any attempts to measure the impact of Impian projects via short-term changes in electoral support is not only premature, it is well off-the-mark.Impian Sabah and Sarawak was founded with the specific goal to bridge the rural-urban divide, to offer basic infrastructure, health and education projects as well as services to uplift the quality of lives of the marginalised poor as well as to improve the understanding between the Party and the villagers.
Impian Sabah and Sarawak has been an unqualified success in its short two-and-a-half year history. We have delivered more than 60 projects which included the desperately needed gravity water feed projects, building accessible roads and generating cheap electricity. We have helped thousands of villagers achieve a better quality of life.
However, any expectation of instant transformation in perception and trust among the rural villagers after decades of fear and prejudice conditioned into their minds is unrealistic. If the political mindset change in West Malaysians took decades of sacrifice and effort by our pioneering opposition leaders, why should we expect the same change to take place overnight in rural Sarawak?
The DAP has received an invaluable better understanding of the rural communities – their needs, their limitations and their dreams.
Most importantly, we have made many friends in rural Sabah and Sarawak. Friends whom we did not have before we embarked on the Impian journey. Without friends, and without more of them, our journey for change will never succeed. And without first appreciating the plight of the rural communities, we cannot claim to offer meaningful “change”.
The Sarawak election result is disappointing or even heartbreaking for some who put in sweat and tears. However, it is but a bridge which we must cross to achieve our goals for a better Sarawak, and a better Malaysia. Perseverance and persistence will mark the difference between a lost cause and a realisable dream.
Therefore, we would like to reiterate here that our commitment to Impian Sabah and Sarawak is a long-term cause. Our efforts to bring change at both the quality of life and political landscape for our fellow Malaysians, will continue unabated.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters who have contributed immensely to the success our Impian Sabah and Sarawak projects, and we look forward to your continued support.