Sarawak DAP today apologised for its poor performance in the recent state election which saw it winning only two of the 22 seats it contested and losing five.
Speaking at a press conference in Kuching, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen admitted that the party had failed to fulfil the promises made during its 22-month tenure as part of the federal government.
He added that this had contributed to the loss of confidence by the Chinese community in DAP.
Chong also said that the lower voter turnout as well as split votes among the urban Chinese reflected the changing sentiments among voters and their response to unfulfilled promises which he added had contributed to the party losing more seats this time around.
“The low turnout and split votes among the urban Chinese voters was obvious,” he said. “Regardless, we accept and respect the decision of the voters.”
He also acknowledged that the low turnout and split votes were due to the disappointment of voters in many constituencies.
“Such sentiments are because DAP and Pakatan Harapan, during the 22 months in federal government, did not manage to match the expectations of the people,” Chong said.
“Though we started to implement many reforms within the government system and introduce many good governance and people-friendly measures, we still fell short of what was expected of us during our time in government.”
He said DAP accepted its defeat and would continue to play its role as a responsible opposition.
“To those who have continued to support DAP, we wish to express our sincere thanks for the support and confidence you have placed in us,” he said.
“To those who voted for DAP in 2018 to bring about a change in government, but who in this state election decided not to continue supporting DAP because we did not live up to your expectations, we wish to extend our sincerest apologies for falling short of such expectations.”
DAP had only managed to retain two of its seats at the Sarawak state election on Dec 18 – Padungan and Pending.
Padungan was won by Chong, while Pending incumbent Violet Yong succeeded in defending her seat.
The results were in contrast to the seven seats DAP won in the 2016 state election, and the 12 it won in 2011.