DAP attributed its success in retaining Kidurong to a combination of factors, from general unhappiness over state government’s land policies and Taib’s tenure to the urban voters’ desire for change.
DAP’s Kidurong winner Chiew Chiu Sing successfully defended the seat with a three-fold increase in majority from 1664 votes in 2006 to 6930 votes.
He secured 12,493 votes against 5,563 for SUPP’s Henry Ling.
In 2006 state polls the Bintulu DAP chairman garnered 8,517 votes and defeated SUPP’s Paul Yong Khing Kee who polled 6,853.
Although seen as a Chinese-based party and previously shunned by the Dayaks, Chiew said DAP had gained substantial support from the communities in the 10th state polls.
Kidurong which is a mixed-race area with the Chinese making up 51% and 49% bumiputeras (comprising Iban, Malays, Melanau, Orang Ulu) overwhelmingly swtiched allegiance to the Opposition.
Chiew said the voting pattern showed that Kidurong people wanted substantive real change.
“I used to lose in Dayak areas but this time we’ve gained Dayak votes. It shows the Dayaks also want change, primarily because of NCR land issues,” he said, adding state government must address the issue and formulate better policies.
Chiew also attributed the increase in votes for DAP to some changes in campaign strategies employed by his party after last year’s Sibu by-election.
“We’ve are more engaging this time and gained momentum from the first day of the campaign.
Chiew said Pakatan leaders from Peninsular Malaysia had been very effective in attracting the crowd and translating the turnout into votes.
The seat saw a 10% increase in the number of voter turnout from 57.3% to 67.3% compared to the 2006 state polls.