Kota Kinabalu: The Barisan Nasional (BN) should accept the decision by the people in Sarawak in the recent State election, especially in urban areas. Gerakan Vice-President Datuk Raymond Tan said it was more important to find out why the Chinese in urban areas decided to vote for the opposition.
DAP won 12 out of 15 seats that it fielded candidates in its best electoral performance in Sarawak. "They were very, very well prepared, what to say and what picture to put up. They planned everything. They did very well, were organised and very detailed," he said after representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the launching of the Transformational Leadership programme at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Tuesday.
However, the peninsula-based Gerakan believes the "winds of change" as demonstrated by the Chinese community there would not blow over to Sabah. "The party (Gerakan) had learnt well about what had transpired in Sarawak and, thus, will prepare for the general election that is expected to be held soon. "When the time comes for Sabah, we will know what to do," Tan said.
During his trips to Sarawak, Tan said he found that the people there understood the scenario not just in Sarawak but also issues and challenges in the country, especially in urban areas.
The people are more open-minded to issues both in the state and also nationwide. Hence, Sabah must learn about what transpired in its neighbouring State, he said. "This is something that we and I need to be aware of and learn from in order for us to prepare ourselves in the direction that we are going," he said.
Tan, who is also State Industrial Development Minister-cum-Tanjong Papat Assemblyman, said doing the routine during campaigning such as putting up posters, giving ceramah (public rally) and shaking hands with the constituents was not enough. "They could not claim that are already popular after doing all these. Each campaign process is different and they learn new things from it, he said, adding the Sarawak general election was no exception." People in the State, particularly in urban areas, he said, would draw comparisons to the scenario that took place in Sarawak. "So, if the people in Sarawak were discontented or unhappy with certain things there and the Government was not doing anything about it, and we face a similar situation, then we would probably end up in the same way," he said.
Thus, the party needs to be focused, he said, adding if certain things were raised by the people and not enough was done to address these, Sabah would probably face a similar fate.
From his observation, he said many people especially in Sarawak's urban areas are unhappy, discontented and also frustrated over some issues.
Certain things that the Government should have settled, he said, failed to be resolved.
However, Tan said the situation was not only faced by certain communities but felt across the board. It applied to the Chinese, Ibans and also Malays, he said, adding that it was not only confined to the Chinese.
It is for this reason that the opposition influence had spread from urban areas to rural areas.
"So, the Prime Minister was right in querying whether we are really in touch with the people and that if you are in touch with the people and know how to address their needs, you will get their support," he said.
He said that as leaders they could not just assume that the people would be contented after providing them with the necessities. "You could have done it but they would still be unhappy.
So, it is important that whatever you do, it touches them or that it gets to them," he said.
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