As polling for the Sarawak state election getting closer, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has intensely appealed to voters to save DAP in order to save their state.
Lim warned that Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem and the state BN are doing their utmost to reduce DAP to a "mosquito" presence with a half a dozen or so seats.In the last state election, DAP contested 15 seats and won 12. This time , it is gunning for 31 seats, which observers describe as a high-risk venture.
Acknowledging the pitfalls, Lim, however, said the move was in line with DAP never wanting to be a Chinese party or one that is confined only to the peninsula.
He added that DAP, which is often forced to counter allegations of being Chinese-centric and wanting to undermine the position of the Malays, is committed to being a Malaysian political party which serves all races, religions and regions.
"There are analysts who believe DAP adopted a wrong strategy of 'over-reach' as we should be defending the 12 seats which we won five years ago instead of over-stretching our resources campaigning in the Dayak areas all over the state.
"Sarawak DAP has adopted a very high-risk strategy... However, the decision is right as DAP is a principled political party which wants to represent all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region," he added in a media statement.
"This is why Sarawak DAP embarked on the two-fold objective - defend the 12 seats we won and secondly to make a breakthrough outside the urban areas to demonstrate that the political change and meaningful development espoused by DAP have the support not only of the Chinese in Sarawak, but also the Dayaks and Malays.
"And that it is not only in the urban areas in Kuching, Sibu, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri that the DAP message for change and renewal finds resonance and support, but also in the rural areas as well," he added.
Reiterating his appeal to the voters, Lim urged them to ensure that DAP can capture the Sarawak state government in the next state election.
He also does not predict that the opposition would be able to deny Adenan a two-thirds majority in the 82 state seat assembly.
"I do not think this is likely to be achieved as I do not see the signs that the opposition collectively will be able to win 28 state assembly seats, the 'magic figure'...
"I hope more than 20 opposition state assembly representatives could be elected on May 7, which would be a resounding setback for the many high-handed actions taken by Sarawak BN in the election campaign," he said.
BN leaders, on the other hand, have denounced such appeals and cautioned voters not to fall for such tricks.