KUCHING, Jan 16 — Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) should start to focus on preparing for the forthcoming 15th General Election (GE15) which should be held this year, said DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang.

To do this, the Iskandar Putri MP said Sarawak DAP must find out the reasons for its poor performance in the Sarawak state election which saw the party’s seats reduced to only two.

“Sarawak did poorly in the Sarawak state general election held last month. I am disappointed with the results of the Sarawak state general election as apart from Padungan and Pending, I had expected DAP to win Kota Sentosa, Bukit Assek, Pelawan, Tanjong Batu and Pujut.

“Sarawak DAP should find out the reasons for the poor performance and the serious setback in the Sarawak state general election but even more important, focus on preparing for the forthcoming 15th General Election in Malaysia which should be held this year,” he said when speaking at the opening of Sarawak DAP Ordinary Convention 2022 today.

Lim also said he does not agree with those people who say that a new dawn has come to Sarawak with the passage of the 2021 Constitution Amendment Bill by the Dewan Rakyat four days before the Sarawak state general election.

“We want a new dawn for Sarawak, but a new dawn for Sarawak has not arrived yet. It is a work-in-progress. What happened in Parliament is only the first step to bring about a new dawn for Sarawak, after half-a-century of nightfall. More will have to be done before the arrival of a new dawn in Sarawak.

“Firstly, there cannot be a new dawn for Sarawak if there is there no new dawn for Malaysia,” he said.

Lim said it would probably take more than three decades to achieve this and, even then, only when Malaysia started practising a “Malaysian First” policy for the whole country and a “Sarawak First” policy for Sarawak.

On DAP in Sarawak, he said Sarawak DAP since its establishment in 1978 has been waging a long-term struggle on two fronts – firstly to create a world-class Sarawak and secondly, to create a world-class Malaysia.

“We met with earlier success in 1982 to send two Members of Parliament, representing Kuching and Sibu, to Parliament, but Sarawak DAP had to struggle for 18 years from 1978 to 1996 to get elected into the Sarawak State Assembly but the two objectives to create a world-class Sarawak and a world-class Malaysia are unfinished businesses,” he said.

He noted there are considerable disappointment and unhappiness among the people with the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government, because the hopes and expectations were very high over the unprecedented success in toppling the seemingly invincible Umno government of half-a-century.

He, however, disagreed that DAP should break away from the PH coalition without trying to make it work.

He said DAP must persevere in its struggle to make a better Malaysia and a better Sarawak “not for our own sake, but for the sake of the future generations”.

On a related matter, he said a lack of understanding on the historic significance of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government has resulted in criticisms that PH has ceased to be the opposition.

“Nothing can be further from the truth. They failed to realise that it is the historic decision of the 14th General Election which ended the Umno political hegemony which produced conditions for the MoU.

“It was because Datuk Seri Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the weakest prime minister in the nation’s history that produced the conditions that made this MoU necessary,” he said.

Under the MoU, both sides had agreed to work together to restore political stability while the government manages the Covid-19 pandemic and bolsters economic recovery. — Borneo Post