Monday, May 09, 2016

DAP’s commitment to Impian Sabah and Sarawak will continue unabated despite the outcome of the Sarawak state election

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.

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