SIBU: While DAP bragged about its intended expansion into the rural areas in Sarawak, it shied away from the Malay/Melanau majority areas, noted PBB supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“From the seats mentioned by YB Chong (Chieng Jen), I can see that none are in Malay/Melanau majority areas and this also reflected their fear or inability to penetrate those areas,” Abdul Karim, who is Assistant Minister of Youth Development, told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He was responding to news reports quoting Chong, who is state DAP chairman, as saying they targeted to set up branches in 21 rural constituencies within the next two months to strengthen their rural reach.
He was also quoted to have said if they could break the hegemony of Barisan Nasional (BN) in the rural areas it would be a big step towards ‘Ubah’ (change).
To this, Abdul Karim said: “Being a democratic country, it is DAP’s right to set up branches or contest anywhere in Malaysia.
“BN’s strength as seen from the last general election rests on the rural and semi-rural as well as certain urban seats.
“It would be unfair to say that the urban voters had neglected BN as the seat of Petra Jaya and Santubong, where BN won with huge majorities of above 20,000, have almost all their voters staying in Kuching.”
He figured the intended plan by DAP to go to rural and semi-rural Dayak areas reflected their (DAP) desire to split the Dayaks and because of the Peninsula-based party’s belief that these seats are vulnerable and for BN to lose.
“It is not going to be easy for DAP. On a positive note, DAP’s plan is also welcomed as I hope it could open their eyes to the difficulties of developing the rural areas and how much they have benefited being urban dwellers; something which they have not been able to appreciate to this date,” said Abdul Karim.-theborneopost