KUCHING – The responsive chord that Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem struck
with the Chinese has resounded in a ringing vote of confidence from community and
One of them went as far as to predict that Tok Nan, as they call him, can
capture five urban constituencies in the May 7 state election – four more than
Dr Chou Chi Ming, chairman of the Kuching Chinese Community Charitable Trust
Board, said the Chinese had undergone a change in political thinking under
Adenan whom most of them see as a “chief minister for all Sarawakians”.
“He has implemented all his promises for the benefit of the Sarawak people.
All his policies are for the good of Sarawakians and not for small groups of
cronies,” said Dr Chou.
“He is fair and the state government under him is clean, fair and
efficient. Many Chinese voters further feel that his political and economic
policies are to bring the Chinese community in Sarawak back to the political
He said Barisan Nasional under Tok Nan could wrest back five urban seats,
but declined to name the constituencies.
Dr Chou is also the immediate past president of the Federation of Kuching,
Samarahan and Serian Divisions Chinese Association.
Of the 15 Chinese-majority seats now at stake, only Bawang Assan went to
Barisan Nasional in 2011. DAP will be defending 12, and PKR one. The other seat
is the newly created Batu Kitang, which PKR will contest.
Temenggong Lu Kim Yong, the highest ranking Chinese community leader in
Kuching, said Adenan has not only addressed the critical education issue for
the Chinese community with grants for Chinese independent secondary schools and
recognition of the United Examination Certificate, but also made the business
community happy with his growth policies.
“He gives us a very comfortable feeling. He is broadminded, very considerate
and is aware of the importance of all races,” he said.
“He has served in the government for many years and since he took office (as
Chief Minister) two years ago, Tok Nan has done so much for the community. All
these are good mileage for BN in this coming election.”
Adenan’s statement that “orang Cina bukan pendatang” (the Chinese are not
immigrants) touched the Chinese because the community has been in the country
for so many years, said Lu, who is also vice-president of the Federation of
Chinese Associations Sarawak.
The BN fight for the Chinese-majority seats is led by component party SUPP
and direct candidates, who quit UPP, the splinter of SUPP, to contest under the
A businessman, who heads a Sarawak business guild, said Adenan can expect
more support from the community.
“He treats the Chinese well. Previously, Chinese schools were never given
any allocation. To be frank, it is a loss for the Chinese community if there is
no strong Chinese representation in the state government,” said the businessman,
who did not want to be identified.
A voter in the DAP stronghold of Padungan, the businessman said the increase
in support, however, may not be big enough to swing the Chinese votes because
young voters tend to favour the opposition.
“Personally, I will look at the candidate first and see what is his
contribution. I hope SUPP will not lose all because we need SUPP too,” he added.
Long-time voter Kho Khai Beng said the community should look at the
background of candidates this time instead of parties.
The 78-year-old, when met in Batu Kawah where SUPP president Senator Datuk
Dr Sim Kui Hian is contesting, said: “It’s time to prove SUPP cannot be
Temenggong Lu said the main consideration for Chinese voters was to have a
peaceful and stable community for living and doing business, and to ensure the
young generation would have a “better environment”.
BN candidates named for the Chinese-majority seats are Peter Pau (Padungan),
Milton Foo (Pending) and Sih Hua Tong (Batu Lintang) in Bandar Kuching, Wilfred
Yap (Kota Sentosa), Lo Khere Chiang (Batu Kitang) and Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui
Hian (Batu Kawah) in Stampin, Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii (Repok) and Ding Kuong
Hing (Meradong) in Sarikei, Chieng Buong Toon (Bukit Assek) and Datuk Tiong Thai
King (Dudong) in Lanang, Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan) and Datuk Janet
Lau (Palawan) in Sibu, Datuk Pau Chiong Ung (Tanjong Batu) in Bintulu, and Datuk
Sebastian Ting (Piasau) and Datuk Hii King Chiong (Pujut) in Miri.