2006 Sarawak State Elections: Issues and Electoral Results/ELECTIONS DE 2006 DANS L'ETAT DU SARAWAK: LES ENJEUX ET LES RÉSULTATS ÉLECTORAUX

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Malaysia held the ninth Sarawak state election on May 20, 2006. It has invited various issues such as native customary rights land development, fuel hike and Chief Minister successor issue. Barisan Nasional won 62 of the 71 seats. The result was seen as a shock because BN failed to maintain the big mandate given from the previous election which was 60 of the 62 seats contested. The opposition meanwhile won 9 seats, reflecting new voting attitudes among the voters. This article examines the election issues and their performance in the election. This article also discusses the factors that influenced the voting patterns and the implications in the future. It is drawn from a 14 days fieldwork since nomination day, throughout election campaign period and polling day in May 2006.

Key words: Malaysia; State Elections; Voting Patterns; Election Issues; Electoral Results

Résumé: La Malaisie a tenu la neuvième élection dans l'État de Sarawak le 20 mai 2006. Cela a causé des problèmes divers, tels que les droits coutumiers de l'aménagement des terre, l'augmentation des prix de carburant et les successeurs du ministre en chef. Barisan Nasional a remporté 62 des 7 1 sièges. Le résultat a été considéré comme un choc, car BN n'a pas réussi à maintenir le grand mandat de l'élection précédente, c'est-à-dire obtenir 60 des 62 sièges à pourvoir. Pendant ce temps, l'opposition a remporté 9 sièges, ce qui reflète les nouvelles attitudes de vote chez les électeurs. Cet article examine les problèmes électoraux et leur performance dans l'élection. Il explique également les facteurs qui ont influencé les habitudes de vote et les implications dans l'avenir. Il est tiré d'un travail de 14 jours sur le terrain depuis le jour de nomination, durant toute la période de campagne électorale et le jour du scrutin en mai 2006.

Mots-clés: Malaisie; élections de l'État; habitudes de vote; problèmes électoraux; résultats électoraux

INTRODUCTION

Malaysia's political system framework is based on federal constitutional monarchy with the king as head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. Federal government has its legislative power vested in the Parliament and the 13 states under the state assemblies.

Malaysia held the ninth Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (SLA) elections on May 20, 2006 after the date of nomination was confirmed for May 9, 2006. The Elections Committee (EC) also confirmed a duration of eleven days for the campaign taking into account the interest of 892,537 voters including 14,727 voters via postal service as well as the geographical factor and the increase in the number of seats from 62 to 71 in this state elections (New Straits Times, 25 April 2006). SLA was dissolved by the Governor (Yang di-Pertua Negeri) Sarawak, Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng with the advice of the Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on April 24, 2006 to enable the selection process via casting of votes, one of the branches of democracy taking place in Sarawak. While the 1996 elections saw Barisan Nasional (BN) winning 57 out of the 62 seats which were being competed for, the 2001 elections witnessed BN controlling 61 out of the 62 seats with the remaining seat being held by the opposition party, Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the SLA constituency of Kidurong. Hence, this article will attempt to study the issues and achievements from this election and also study the performance of parties involved especially that of BN.

2006 ELECTION ISSUES AND CAMPAIGN

BN Sarawak was a combination of four component parties, them being Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headed by Taib Mahmud; Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) under the leadership of Tan Sri Dr George Chan; Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) led by Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing, and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) chaired by Datuk William Mawan. All these parties under the BN banner compromised and agreed to stand for elections and each were allocated 35 seats (PBB), 19 seats (SUPP), 9 seats (PRS) and 8 seats (SPDP). …