Sarawak polls: Adenan reiterates call for campaign to focus on local issues

KUCHING: Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem continues to emphasise that the Sarawak elections should be fought on state issues.

In a video posted online on Thursday, Adenan, who spoke in a mix of Bahasa Sarawak and Malay, told voters that the May 7 polls “is to determine who is the Chief Minister of Sarawak, not the Prime Minister of Malaysia”.

“That is why, when you go to vote, you will only be given one ballot paper. It’s for the state election,” Adenan said in the four-minute clip.

Adenan called on Sarawakians to come out in droves to vote. He said voters should use their smarts to choose the best possible elected representative.

He also thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for his many visits to Sarawak and development allocation. In particularly, Adenan said the Pan Borneo Highway, which was approved under Najib’s premiership, will spearhead development in rural areas across Sarawak.

“It is because of our good relations with (the) Federal (Government) that we got RM16bil for the highway (in Sarawak). It will be like the North-South Highway. Sarawak is such a big state. We need this infrastructure. This is why I am good friends with the Prime Minister,” Adenan said.

He then turned his focus to his usual campaign points, including abolishment of toll charges, reduction in electricity tariff and ferry charges.

“It cannot be denied that lots of development have taken place in Sarawak. This is because we have had a stable and strong government. Give me five more years as your Chief Minister. Two years is not enough time to do all that I intend to do.”

Adenan pledged to deliver on his promises, saying his track record spoke for itself.

Speaking in Miri earlier this week, Adenan challenged the Opposition to take him on at the polls on Sarawak issues and not drag in national matters.

“I dare the Opposition parties, especially DAP. Don’t drag national issues into Sarawak. Fight me and my team on local issues. Those issues have nothing to do with Sarawak and they should not be dragged into the state election,” he said.

The Chief Minister is going into the campaign period with an approval rating of over 80%. A recent Merdeka Centre survey showed the state government’s popularity standing at 62%.

The same survey found 35% of Sarawakians supporting Adenan’s immigration bans, which have been imposed on Opposition and Umno extremists, as well as civil rights activists.

Adenan scored the highest on his policy on English as a second official language in Sarawak alongside Bahasa Malaysia (83%) followed by the state’s recognition of the Unified Examinations Certificate (68%).

Nomination day is next Monday. The campaign period is 12 days and there are 82 seats up for grabs.