Scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will neutralise the feel-good factor of Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem in the upcoming state election, state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said.
"To put it bluntly, Najib is a liability to BN," he said, adding that federal policies affecting the economy is also a huge factor affecting the ruling coalition’s chances at the polls.
Najib is now the opposition's number one ‘campaigner’ based on two reasons - the goods and services tax (GST) and the scandal surrounding RM2.6 billion donation, he stressed.
"Politics is about managing the country's economy. At the end of the day, the ultimate concern and consideration of the people is their pocket.
"These are things that BN have done very badly - employees do not have money to cover their living costs, business has dropped 30 percent. Price hikes are especially serious in Kuching; the price of imported canned goods from China has increased by 30 percent," he said.
"In speaking and interacting with the people, we found that even those previously more inclined to BN said he had crossed the final limit of their tolerance," said the two-term Kota Sentosa state assemblyperson.
Prior to this, Adenan who took office in April 28, 2014 was seen as the biggest threat to Sarawak opposition with his climbing popularity, by showing a friendlier face of BN compared to his predecessor Abdul Taib Mahmud.
'Traditional supporters ignored'
Political commentators’ forecasts say the Chinese community, which voted BN out in most of the Chinese-majority seats in 2011 state poll, will swing back to BN in the upcoming state poll. However the majority Dayak and Malay-Melanau groups will still opt for BN.
Chong, however rebutted the pundits' view, claiming DAP is confident it will maintain all its Chinese majority seats, mainly located in Kuching, Sibu, and Miri.
According to him, Adenan had put so much effort to please Chinese voters that some complained he took the support of Dayak and Malay-Melanau communities for granted.
"Do not think of Adenan as God," said Chong in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini and KiniTV.
Chong claimed his party had enjoyed a comfortable 60 to 70 percent Chinese support in the seats it contested in 2011, compared to 60 percent in 2006.
In 2011, DAP set the record by winning 12 out of 15 state seats it contested.
"What was announced by Adenan might be politically correct and the Sarawakians see him as a good chief minister. The problem is he has a BN team that are bad teammates and that would hold the people back from supporting him," he added.
Internal squabbles in BN
Moreover, Adenan has failed to contain the infighting in his own party, as well as in his BN allies, where splinter parties have emerged due to internal squabbles, he added.
"During Taib's (era of) high-handed and strongman politics, this would never have happened or would not have emerged in the open. They just did not dare.
"Adenan is losing grip. The internal fight will be carried over to the state election. It is an open war now.
"Thus, I don't think Adenan's feel-good factor would add any extra value to the support of BN as compared to (during) Taib's era," he said.
The state BN is mulling on fielding candidates under the BN banner, amid the internal problems in the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).