KUCHING: The loss of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Willie Liau to state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian in Ba Kelalan in the recent state election was not really due to the wrong choice of candidate but partly due to unfriendly campaigning from certain parties within the ruling coalition.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said this in a statement yesterday in refuting Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) senior vice-president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan’s statement that the choice of Willie was the cause of BN’s loss in Ba Kelalan.
Tiong pointed out that it was the aggressive and threatening campaigning by certain leaders in the area that angered and caused resentment among voters in Ba Kelalan.
Willie who is a SPDP member was hampered by the intimidating tone of speeches of some BN leaders during the campaign who thought they could pressure the voters to vote for BN through this tactic, Tiong added.
“We cannot use scare tactics to win votes from the voters, in fact they could only create a back lash against BN.
On top of that many promises made to the people in the past were not fulfilled and this caused the people to doubt new promises made during the campaign.”
“And also, please bear in mind that over the years Ba Kelalan area had been lacking in care and assistance from Barisan.”
The SPDP president also pointed out that bigger parties within BN should not have tried to impose their will on a smaller party like SPDP during the election and disrupt their campaign plans.
“We must always remember that all Barisan parties should hold to the Barisan Spirit, listen to the voices of the component parties and respect the party’s decisions.
“We were capable of taking care of our own affairs during the election as we had already set up our strategy.”
Tiong was confident if SPDP had been given enough time and support to solve the issues for Ba Kelalan area, SPDP would have delivered the seat to BN.
On Krian, where the BN candidate failed to unseat the PKR incumbent, the SPDP president said the BN candidate for that constituency was not the party’s final choice.
“The decision was imposed on us by the top BN leadership and we had to make the best of the situation.”
Tiong denied that internal sabotage from within SPDP was the cause of BN’s loss in Krian.
“We tried our best but the candidate was not SPDP’s final choice– in fact if the party had not gone all out to help he could have lost by a bigger margin.”
He added that now that the election is over, leaders of BN component parties should let the dust settle and get on with their job of fulfilling the promises made during the campaign and help Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem achieve his initiatives.
“Any evaluation of the performance of BN candidates should be done internally instead of crying over spilt milk in public and pointing fingers at each other.”