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DAP has no regrets in trying to make inroads into rural heartland

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen today stressed the party made the right decision in trying to make inroads into the state's rural heartland even though it fared poorly in the Sarawak election.

"We will continue to penetrate the rural constituencies; we have made the correct decision.

"DAP needs to get out of rural areas to become a multi-ethnic party.

"How are we going to do that, (we need) to study and do introspection before deciding our strategy," he said at a press conference after the state poll results were announced.

Apart from losing in all the rural seats it contested in, DAP also lost five out of the 12 urban seats it held.

Chong acknowledged that DAP's poor showing at the election yesterday had set the party back to its 2006 strength in the state assembly.

Back then, he said DAP only won six state seats, one less than what it won this round.

Beside defending 12 of its Chinese-majority seats, DAP also contested in 17 Dayak-majority seats and one Malay-Melanau-majority seats.

It lost all the bumiputera seats and five of its Chinese-majority seats, including Batu Kawah, Repok, Meradong, Dudong, and Piasau.

It lost in Batu Kitang, an urban seat in Kuching where there was a clash with PKR.

"We were set back to 2006; we won six seats then. We need to study and review how we are going to start again," he added.

Low turnout rate of voters and money politics were among the reasons behind the party's defeat, Chong elaborated.

Also present were elected Padungan state assemblyperson Wong King Wei and Pending state assemblyperson Violet Yong.