Salleh Said Keruak
No doubt a more comprehensive post mortem needs to be done regarding the Sarawak state election but immediately we can already see that a few factors have contributed to the outcome.
First and foremost we cannot deny that the Adenan Satem factor played a critical role in swinging the voters. One could even probably interpret the Sarawak state election as a vote of confidence for the Chief Minister.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was personally down on the ground and was well received by many voters in the places he visited. In a way this proved the Prime Minister’s critics wrong regarding his popularity.
The launching of the Anti-Najib Campaign by those aligned to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan backfired badly on the opposition as was expected. The opposition’s denial syndrome proved that they ignored this very important point at their own peril. Elections are never about one factor but about a combination of factors.
Let this be a lesson to the opposition that hate politics can sometimes be very counterproductive. The voters no longer want to vote against any party based on hate. The voters want to see more tangible reasons such as development, harmony, peace, security and so on.
Barisan Nasional brought all these issues to the voters while the opposition merely played up the hate factor. And for that reason the opposition paid a heavy price.