KUCHING – The Barisan Nasional is confident of winning back considerable support from the Chinese in the coming Sarawak state election, said Chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
He believed the “wind of change” was coming due to a slew of policies he had implemented since he took over from Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud in 2014.
“There is a change, a shift back (of support)to BN,” he said in an interview with Bernama at his office here Tuesday.
He was asked on the voting trend of the Chinese in Sarawak and what he expects in the state election.
“There have been (a change), I notice, because of my policies regarding the Chinese – one, they are not pendatang (immigrants), recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate, admission of Chinese graduates into the state civil service and Sarawak Foundation and so on.
“I think they are quiet acceptable and I believe there is a change of mind on their part but whether it is enough or not, I don’t know, but definitely there is a shift back to BN,” he said.
As for problems in the allocation of seats among BN component parties, he said his approach was through persuasion for them to accept the decision he would make rather than to issue warnings.
He acknowledged that the existence of two Chinese-based parties, SUPP and the UPP, on the BN side could be a problem.
“Now if there is a shift back to BN, they (the Chinese) have to decide which party to vote for, UPP or SUPP, and that will result in dividing them. So the best way is to have a direct BN candidate,” he added.
Asked whether the BN component parties agreed to the suggestion for direct candidates, he said some had agreed reluctantly, but they all accepted the rationale for it.
On whether the Sarawak government had done enough for the Chinese, he said it was up to them (Chinese) to decide because he had done the best for them.
“One is recognising them. I don’t like to follow some of those in Peninsular Malaysia calling them pendatang. They have been here for generations. If you notice in Malaysia there are Chinese graves all over the place. Don’t tell me these people died yesterday.
“Why call them pendatang? They are not from Bangladesh or Myanmar. They (Chinese) regard this as their home. They will go to China to visit their long lost relatives. After that they go home. This is their home,” he said.