Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sarawak BN’s ‘life’ hinges on rural votes

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By FMT Staff

LUBOK ANTU: Despite its admittedly weakening political grip in several urban areas, Sarawak Barisan Nasional remains confident that it will continue to rule after the next state election which, if rumours are to be believed, will be within the next few months.

According to State Land Development Minister James Jemut Masing, the opposition will not be able to make inroads into the rural areas.

“BN will remain strong in the rural areas, and the swing of votes in the urban constituencies would not affect BN in Sarawak.

“The majority of the rural folk don’t want to be represented by the opposition because they (rural voters) want development and they know the opposition cannot deliver this,” he said recently.

While admitting that it will be a struggle for BN in many urban constituencies, he said the onus was on the rural voters to convince their urban counterparts “not to leave BN”.

“We (the rural voters) must lead the way and tell urban voters not to leave BN, otherwise they are the ones who would lose out in future development,” said Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president.

He blamed the current political scenario in urban constituencies on the Chinese.

“We lost the urban seats in 2006 because of the internal problems in the Chinese community, which forms the majority in the state government.

“The problems faced by the Chinese urban voters are not related to the constituency. It is strife within the community. The Chinese feel they are not getting enough suppport from BN.

“The opposition has been cashing in on this and highlighting it in the rural areas.

“They (opposition) know that the BN would lose the majority if the rural votes sway to the opposition camp,” Masing said.

Taking a swipe at the opposition leaders, he told them to stop wasting their time as the rural votes remained with BN.

'Don't hinder development'

Masing said the rural voters were well aware that only BN could translate their promises into development.

“Don’t be an obstacle to the development that will improve the life of the Dayaks in the rural areas.

“Don’t hinder the development that the government has planned for the rural people. The rural people want development,” he said.

While admitting that the opposition has managed to convince some rural folk to reject BN, he however said: “ Those who have rejected us have caused their people to miss out on development opportunities.

“There has to be a price to pay from the negative influence spread by the opposition and they (rural folk) have realised this.”

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