DAP leaders and members to start preparing for the 14th General Elections with two-fold objective – to effect change both at the Federal and Sabah state government levels

Sabah did not achieve our Pakatan Rakyat objectives of winning at least one third of the 26 parliamentary seats in Sabah so that in the three “fixed deposit” states of Sabah, Sarawak and Johore, PR can win 33 parliamentary seats to help Pakatan Rakyat to provide the final cluster of parliamentary seats to win Putrajaya for Pakatan Rakyat.

In the event, the three “fixed deposit” states of Sabah, Sarawak and Johore won for Pakatan Rakyat a total of 14 Parliamentary seats (Sabah 3, Sarawak 6 and Johore 5), out of a total of 83 seats, i.e. 16.9% instead of the 33.3% targetted.

Although this target for the three “fixed deposit” states of Sabah, Sarawak and Johore to achieve a total of 33 parliamentary seats for Pakatan Rakyat had not been realised, one ineluctable fact to emerge from the 13GE is that none of the three states of Sabah, Sarawak and Johore can now be regarded as a “fixed deposit” state for Barisan Nasional and the contest and competition for the hearts and minds of the people of Sabah, Sarawak and Johore are now fully out in the open arena.

For Sabah, a lively and strong Opposition presence has now been restored to the Sabah State Assembly after an absence of two decades, with 11 State Assemblymen (DAP 4 and PKR 7) from Pakatan Rakyat and one from Star.

However, the May 5 general elections is an expensive lesson for the Opposition in Sabah, for the Barisan Nasional would have lost in another four parliamentary and eight state assembly seats if not for split votes among the Opposition candidates.

The four parliamentary constituencies are P. 168 Kota Marudu, P. 180 Keningau, P. 181 Tenom and P. 182 Pensiangan while the eight state assembly seats are No. 11 Kiulu, N.29 Kundasang, N. 31 Paginatan, N. 32 Tambunan, N. 34 Liawan, No. 35 Melalap, N.38 Nabawan and N.45 Elopura.

In fact, an united Opposition could have brought the total score of Parliamentary and State Assembly seats for the Opposition in Sabah to 11 Parliamentary (I.e the present three, plus four lost due to split votes and another four, viz. P. 177 Beaufort, P. 170 Tuaran, P. 179 Ranau and P. 169 Kota Belud) and 26 State Assembly seats (i.e. the present 12, plus eight lost due to split votes and another six, viz. N.2 Tanjong Kapor, N.30 Karanaan, N.36 Kemabong, N. 37 Sook, N. 44 Karamunting and N.46 Tanjong Papat).

For the 13GE, I have always believed that it is easier for Pakatan Rakyat to win the Federal Government in Putrajaya than to win the Sabah State Government.

However, the challenges for Pakatan Rakyat in the 14GE is very different, for we will have a two-fold objective – to win the Federal Government in Putrajaya as well as the Sabah state government.

For this reason, my message to DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, member and supporters is that there is no time for rest as we must work immediately to achieve what we failed in the 13GE as well as to ensure that we build a solid foundation to also win the Sabah State Governmment in the 14GE.

For this reason, apart from the four existing DAP State Assembly seats, DAP Sabah will immediately focus on 13 areas to help Pakatan Rakyat achieve the two-fold objectives for the 14GE – namely Elopura, Karamunting, Tanjong Papat, Tanjong Aru, Karanaan, Paginatan, Tanjong Kapor, Melalap, Kemabong, Liaiwan, Sook, Tambunan and Merotai.

To help in the DAP and PR campaign in Sabah for the 14GE, DAP MPs and State Assemblymen, whether in or out of Sabah, will be encouraged to “adopt” these targetted 13 Sabah constituencies. The Sabah State Committee, together with the CEC co-ordinator for Sabah and Sarawak, Teresa Kok, will work out the details of these “adoption” programmes, which can have more than one DAP elected representative being appointed to adopt each of the 13 constituencies.

For a start, I will adopt Karanaan state constituency as I visited Ranau for the Kg Sarapong Pesta Kaamatan yesterday.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah