Despite DAP’s defeat in the Sarawak state election, the party has affirmed that it will continue its commitment to the party’s voluntary programme Impian Sabah and Sarawak.
“We would like to reiterate here that our commitment to Impian Sabah and Sarawak is a long-term cause,” said DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua in a statement today.
“Our efforts to bring change at both the quality of life and political landscape for our fellow Malaysians will continue unabated.”
Acknowledging how the outcome of the Sarawak election had been a blow to both the party’s campaign in the urban seats as well as its outreach to rural constituencies, Pua said the result had disappointed many.
“For the rural seats, some have publicly opined that a couple of our Impian Sarawak projects generated little or no returns in terms of votes.
“Our supporters who have contributed generously have also voiced understandable concern over the outcome, especially upon receiving such viral reports and messages."
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP admitted that electoral impact was tiny in several polling districts, but the DAP, he said, had also received a significant increase in support.
However, any attempts to measure the impact of Impian projects via short-term changes in electoral support were well off the mark, he said.
Impian Sabah and Sarawak - which was founded to bridge the rural-urban divide - has been an unqualified success in its short two-and-a-half year history, added Pua, citing how it has delivered more than 60 projects.
“However, any expectation of instant transformation in perception and trust among the rural villagers after decades of fear and prejudice conditioned into their minds is unrealistic."
Further admitting how results of the Sarawak election were disappointing or even heartbreaking for some who had put in their sweat and tears, Pua contended that it was a bridge which the party must cross.
“Perseverance and persistence will mark the difference between a lost cause and a realisable dream.”
The Sarawak polls which concluded on Saturday saw Barisan Nasional (BN) winning 72 out of the 82 seats which it contested.
DAP, which previously held 12 state, seats lost five of them and only won seven out of the 31 seats contested.