Malaysia’s ruling coalition in decisive win in Sarawak

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Kuching_SarawakMalaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak won May 8 elections in the key state of Sarawak in a landslide victory, a much-needed boost during ongoing investigations into Razak’s involvement in irregularities at government-backed investment fund 1MDB.

Barisan Nasional secured 72 of 82 seats in the state assembly, according to the Election Commission. Opposition parties won 10 seats. Chief Minister Adenan Satem, in power since February 2014, was sworn in for his second term. In the previous elections in 2011, the party won 55 of 71 seats in the last assembly.

The government spent a lot for infrastructure and development in Sarawak ahead of the polls, and Najib has been frequently present there in recent months. He promised further development funding, which seems to have been well received by many voters.

“The victory we achieved shows voters’ confidence in Adenan Satem’s leadership as chief minister,” Razak said in a joint briefing in Sarawak with Adenan after the outcome.

“The win also represents voters’ confidence in the strong partnership between the federal and state governments,” he said, adding that “this strong and enduring partnership will allow Barisan Nasional to fulfill our campaign promises.”

Infighting in the opposition over individual seats being contested in the polls is seen as one of the reasons for the result. The ethnic Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party, or DAP, won seven seats, a weaker showing than 2011, while the People’s Justice Party, or PKR, won three. Another reason mentioned by observers might be voters’ indifference to the scandals linked to Razak outside Malaysia’s biggest cities.

The win for Barisan Nasional could reassure foreign investors that projects in Sarawak will go ahead. Najib touted development of Sarawak and Sabah in his budget speech in October, pledging to build a 1,796-kilometer highway linking the states at a cost of $7.2 billion.

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Malaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak won May 8 elections in the key state of Sarawak in a landslide victory, a much-needed boost during ongoing investigations into Razak's involvement in irregularities at government-backed investment fund 1MDB. Barisan Nasional secured 72 of 82 seats in the state assembly, according to the Election Commission. Opposition parties won 10 seats. Chief Minister Adenan Satem, in power since February 2014, was sworn in for his second term. In the previous elections in 2011, the party won 55 of 71 seats in the last assembly. The government spent a lot for infrastructure...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Kuching_SarawakMalaysia’s ruling coalition Barisan Nasional of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak won May 8 elections in the key state of Sarawak in a landslide victory, a much-needed boost during ongoing investigations into Razak’s involvement in irregularities at government-backed investment fund 1MDB.

Barisan Nasional secured 72 of 82 seats in the state assembly, according to the Election Commission. Opposition parties won 10 seats. Chief Minister Adenan Satem, in power since February 2014, was sworn in for his second term. In the previous elections in 2011, the party won 55 of 71 seats in the last assembly.

The government spent a lot for infrastructure and development in Sarawak ahead of the polls, and Najib has been frequently present there in recent months. He promised further development funding, which seems to have been well received by many voters.

“The victory we achieved shows voters’ confidence in Adenan Satem’s leadership as chief minister,” Razak said in a joint briefing in Sarawak with Adenan after the outcome.

“The win also represents voters’ confidence in the strong partnership between the federal and state governments,” he said, adding that “this strong and enduring partnership will allow Barisan Nasional to fulfill our campaign promises.”

Infighting in the opposition over individual seats being contested in the polls is seen as one of the reasons for the result. The ethnic Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party, or DAP, won seven seats, a weaker showing than 2011, while the People’s Justice Party, or PKR, won three. Another reason mentioned by observers might be voters’ indifference to the scandals linked to Razak outside Malaysia’s biggest cities.

The win for Barisan Nasional could reassure foreign investors that projects in Sarawak will go ahead. Najib touted development of Sarawak and Sabah in his budget speech in October, pledging to build a 1,796-kilometer highway linking the states at a cost of $7.2 billion.

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