KUCHING, Dec 29 — Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen today said the low turnout of Chinese voters in Sarawak’s urban constituencies was the main reason why the party performed poorly in the recent state election.
He added that this was due to their disappointment with the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government.
He said the recorded turnout was in the range of 40 to 45 per cent at urban polling stations where Chinese voters are the majority.
“For polling stations where the majority voters were Bumiputera, the turnout rate was in the range of 65 to 75 per cent,” he said during a press conference after chairing a state DAP committee meeting.
Chong said in the 2018 general election, the turnout of Chinese voters exceeded 65 per cent.
“We accept and respect the decision of the voters. We acknowledge that the low turnout is due to the general sentiment and disappointment felt by the electorate in many of our constituencies,” he said.
He said PH had been unable to match the expectations of the people during its 22 months in power.
“And for that reason, we would like to apologise to them for not being able to match their expectations during the 22 months,” said Chong, who was one of only two DAP candidates elected in the state election.
He said the local party issue was not among the reasons for the state DAP’s poor performance as it has been around for more than 40 years.
“To those who voted for DAP in 2018, to bring about a change of federal government, but in this state election, have decided not to support DAP because we did not live up to your expectations, we wish to extend our sincere apologies for falling short of such expectations,” he said.
He said the state DAP will continue with its political struggle by upholding the principles of transparency, accountability, good governance and fairness in the government system.
“We will continue to play our role as a responsible Opposition, supporting what is right and opposing what is wrong by the government of the day,” he said.
Apart from Chong, who won in Padungan, the other DAP candidate was voted in during the state election was Violet Yong in Pending.
The party also failed to retain its seats in Kota Sentosa, Bukit Assek, Pelawan and Pujut.
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