Sarawak state election, 2006

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Sarawak state election, 2006

← 2001 20 May 2006 2011 →

All 71 seats in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly
36 seats needed for a majority
Turnout552,350 (61.89%)
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud.jpg DAP SNAP
Leader Abdul Taib Mahmud Wong Ho Leng Edwin Dundang Bugak
Leader since 26 March 1981 (1981-03-26) 12 February 2001 18 May 2003 (2003-05-18)
Leader's seat Balingian Bukit Assek Bukit Saban (lost)
Last election 60 seats, 71.2% 1 seat, 8.4% 6 seats, 5.5% (part of Barisan Nasional)
Seats before 60 1 6
Seats won 62 6 1
Seat change Increase2 Increase5 Decrease5
Popular vote 341,587 82,134 51,459
Percentage 61.8% 14.9% 9.3%
Swing Decrease9.4% Increase6.5% Increase3.8%

Chief Minister before election

Abdul Taib Mahmud

Subsequent chief minister

Abdul Taib Mahmud

The ninth Sarawak state election was held on Saturday, 20 May 2006 with nomination day on Tuesday, 9 May 2006. The election functioned to elect 71 representatives to the Sarawak State Assembly (Dewan Undangan Negeri in Malay). The eighth state assembly was dissolved by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng by the advice of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, on 24 April 2006.

On nomination day, Barisan Nasional won two seats without contest.

This election saw 892,537 voters eligible to cast their ballots.[1]

The previous state election was held in 2001, when the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) won 60 out of 62 seats in the eighth state assembly. The Democratic Action Party won one, while another went to an independent candidate. The eighth state assembly's mandate would expire on 18 November 2006, necessitating the calling of an election beforehand.[2]

Barisan Nasional fielded candidates for all 71 seats:

A total of 28 seats was contested by Sarawak National Party (SNAP), followed by People's Justice Party (PKR) (25 seats), Democratic Action Party (DAP) (12 seats), and Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (1 seat). There were 20 independents contesting for 16 seats.[3]


Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, comprising 124,450 square kilometers, almost as large as the Malay peninsula. In 1963, Sarawak and Sabah together with the Federation of Malaya formed a greater federation named Malaysia. Since then, Sarawak nationalism dominates in every state election. The people of Sarawak generally resented the control of the Malay peninsula on Sarawak affairs such as autonomy in decision making, disatisfaction over the 5% allocation of oil royalty to Sarawak, and the tendencies to support local parties in Sarawak.[4]

Since rural areas dominated Sarawak lands, the control over the rural areas is essential for electoral successes. In the 1990s, deforestation in Sarawak became a major issue whereby logging companies with close political ties to the regime were given large amount of concessions for logging. As the source of timber in Sarawak forests became depleted, oil palm plantations became a priority. The Sarawak government had encroached on the Native customary rights (NCR) lands to convert them into state lands for logging, plantations, and infrastructure developments. In return, the government promised infrastructure projects that can benefit the rural community. However, tenders for the infrastructure projects were also awarded according to party lines. Poverty in the rural areas had fostered dependence on government handouts, thus rural communities showed more loyalty to the government when compared to urban areas.[4]

Sarawak is ethnically diverse. The Iban people is the largest group, followed by Chinese, Malay, Melanau people, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu. The Ibans are primarily located in rural areas, the Chinese is primarily located in the urban areas; Bidayuh was traditionally rural but has been increasingly urbanised. Since 1970s, the chief minister of Sarawak traditionally come from Melanau ethnic group. Similar to penisula Malaysia, delineation of constituencies and campaign issues are organised along racial lines.[4]

Electoral system[edit]

Since formation of Malaysia in 1963, Sarawak has hold nine state elections. Since 1979, Sarawak hold state elections separately from the national parliamentary elections. Thus, Sarawak elections become a measure of support of the incumbent government before the next Malaysian general elections.[4] Malaysian electoral system uses the first-past-the-post voting system, where winners take all. Therefore, Sarawak BN consistently won greater proportion of seats than the share of popular vote. Election Commission of Malaysia (EC) had been alleged to be politically aligned with the incumbent government since 1961. The chairman of EC is appointed by the incumbent government and is answerable to the Malaysian prime minister department.[4]


The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly was disssolved by chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. The nomination date was set on 9 May 2006 with campaign period set from 10 May to 19 May.[4] This election also saw larger number of women candidates being fielded by both government and opposition parties. BN nominated six women candidates while the opposition slated four women candidates.[4] BN has introduced 18 new faces in the election.[4]

There were only a total of 892,537 voters, which was less than a third of the 2.5 million total population in Sarawak.[4]

Parties and leaders[edit]


Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and its predecessor Alliance has been securing decisive victories in every state elections since the formation of Malaysia. Sarawak is also one of the five states in Malaysia where the governing BN coalition secured more than 90% of the seats in almost every election. Other states are: Malacca, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, and Johor.[4] Sarawak BN consists of entirely local parties: United Traditional Bumiputera Party (PBB), Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), Sarawak Peoples Party (PRS), and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP). Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is the president of PBB. He is also the chairman of Sarawak BN. His party consists of Malay-Melanau party members. SUPP is predominantly Chinese, although the party also has several Iban members. PRS is the combination of Iban and Chinese members while SPDP is predominantly Iban. Both PRS and SPDP are either direct or indirect splinter parties from Sarawak National Party (SNAP).[4]


Sarawak National Party (SNAP) was a component party in Sarawak BN in 2001. However, in 2002, SNAP was grippled by a leadership crisis. It was later deregistered by the Malaysian Registrar of Societies (ROS) on 5 November 2002 due to the persistent unresolved leadership crisis. The party then filed a judicial review against the ROS decision. The review was dismissed by the High Court in September 2006.[5] During the 2002 SNAP crisis, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) was formed and admitted into Sarawak BN.[6] SNAP then departed from BN and became an opposition party in 2004.[4] In the same year, a another component party of Sarawak BN, Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), which was a splinter party from SNAP in 1983, faced a leadership crisis and was deregistered. Sarawak Peoples Party (PRS) was formed later and admitted into Sarawak BN.[6]

Amongst all the opposition parties in Sarawak, only Democratic Action Party (DAP) has a seat in Kidurong since 2001 election. DAP had left Barisan Alternatif (BA) before the 2001 election. It has reached an informal agreement with People's Justice Party (PKR) for the latter to contest at Padungan in return for not contesting against DAP in 2004 Malaysian general election.[4]

Meanwhile, People's Justice Party (PKR) together with Sarawak National Party (SNAP) teamed up to form the Sarawak United Front (Barisan Bersatu Sarawak, BBS).[4] Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC), being one of the two parties split from the deregistered PBDS in 2004, was awaiting for registration approval from ROS.[7][8] Therefore, BBS had allowed candidates from MDC to use SNAP party symbol to contest in this election.[9][4] Meanwhile, Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) decided to contest in only one seat in view of voters base in Sarawak mainly consists of non-Muslims.[4]

Most of the seats saw two corner fights with the agreement of the opposition on not contesting against each other. The number of independent candidates also dropped from the last election where only 15 seats saw the participation of the independent candidates.[4]


Barisan Nasional[edit]

The BN government lifted the ban of helicopter flights to ease the dissemination of manifestos in the rural areas. Sarawak BN mainly campainged on theme of "development and stability" with messages such as "A Peaceful, Progressive and Prosperous Sarawak".[4]

Opposition parties[edit]


Barisan successfully captured 61 seats out of 71 seats. Meanwhile, the opposition managed to captured 8 seats and 47.2% of the popular vote. This was the first time since the 1987 election that the opposition made a significant inroad in this election.[4]

Out of 71 seats, only 69 seats saw contests between various candidates. Two seats – namely Daro and Dalat – were won uncontested by candidates from Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu, a component party in Barisan Nasional.

Results by party[edit]

Enrolled voters 892,537 Votes cast 552,350 Turnout 61.89%
Did not vote 340,187 Informal votes 6,959 Informal 1.26%
Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular vote
2001 Dissolution Elected % Change # % Change
Barisan Nasional BN Abdul Taib Mahmud 71 60 60 62 87.32 341,587 62.91
Democratic Action Party DAP Wong Ho Leng 12 1 1 6 8.45 82,134 15.13
Sarawak National Party SNAP Edwin Dundang Bugak 29 N/A N/A 1 1.41 51,459 9.48
People's Justice Party PKR 25 N/A N/A 1 1.41 47,348 8.72
Independent 20 1 1 1 1.41 18,535 3.41
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party PAS 1 0 0 0 0.00 1,901 0.35
Total 158 62 62 71 100.00 542,964 100.00

e • d Summary of the 20 May 2006 Sarawak State Legislative Assembly election results
Party Candidates Vote Seats
Votes % Won % +/–
National Front[a] BN 71 341,587 62.95 62 87.32 +2
United Traditional Bumiputera Party PBB 35 160,331 29.55 35 49.30 +5
Sarawak United People's Party SUPP 19 113,505 20.92 11 15.49 -5
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party SPDP 8 34,737 6.40 8 11.27 New
Sarawak People's Party PRS 9 33,014 6.08 8 11.27 New
Democratic Action Party DAP 12 82,134 15.14 6 8.45 +5
Sarawak National Party SNAP 29 51,459 9.48 1 1.41 -5
People's Justice Party PKR 25 47,350 8.73 1 1.41 +1
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party PAS 1 1,901 0.35 0 0.00 0
Independents IND 20 18,213 3.35 1 1.41 0
Valid votes 542,644
Invalid/blank votes 6,959
Total votes (voter turnout: 61.89%) 549,603 100.00 71 100.00 +9
Did not vote 342,934
Registered voters 892,537
Voting age population (aged 21 years and above)  
Sarawak's population  


  1. ^ Contested using dacing election symbol on the ballot papers.

Results by constituency[edit]

No. State constituency Elected state assembly members Elected party
BN 62 | DAP 6 | PKR 1 | SNAP 1 | IND 1
N01 Opar Ranum Mina BN
N02 Tasik Biru Peter Nansian Ngusie BN
N03 Tanjong Datu Adenan Satem BN
N04 Pantai Damai Abdul Rahman Junaidi BN
N05 Demak Laut Abg. Abdul Rauf Abg. Zen BN
N06 Tupong Daud Abdul Rahman BN
N07 Samariang Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali BN
N08 Satok Abg. Abd. Rahman Zohari Abg. Openg BN
N09 Padungan Dominique Ng Kim Ho PKR
N10 Pending Violet Yong Wui Wui DAP
N11 Batu Lintang Voon Lee Shan DAP
N12 Kota Sentosa Chong Chieng Jen DAP
N13 Batu Kawa Tan Joo Phoi BN
N14 Asajaya Abd. Karim Rahman Hamzah BN
N15 Muara Tuang Mohamad Ali Mahmud BN
N16 Bengoh Jerip Susil BN
N17 Tarat Roland Sagah Wee Inn BN
N18 Tebedu Michael Manyin Jawong BN
N19 Kedup Federick Bayoi Manggie BN
N20 Sadong Jaya Wan Abd. Wahab Wan Sanusi BN
N21 Simunjan Mohd. Naroden Majais BN
N22 Sebuyau Julaihi Narawi BN
N23 Lingga Simoi Peri BN
N24 Beting-Maro Bolhassan Di BN
N25 Balai Ringin Snowdan Lawan BN
N26 Bukit Begunan Mong Dagang BN
N27 Simanggang Francis Harden Hollis BN
N28 Engkilili Johnichal Rayong SNAP
N29 Batang Air Dublin Unting BN
N30 Saribas Wahbi Junaidi BN
N31 Layar Alfred Jabu Numpang BN
N32 Bukit Saban Robert Lawson Chuat Vincent Entering BN
N33 Kalaka Abdul Wahab Aziz BN
N34 Krian Peter Nyarok Entrie BN
N35 Belawai Hamden Ahmad BN
N36 Semop Mohd. Asfia Awang Nassar BN
N37 Daro Murni Suhaili BN
N38 Jemoreng Abu Seman Jahwie BN
N39 Jepok David Teng Lung Chi BN
N40 Meradong Ting Tze Fui DAP
N41 Pakan William Mawan Ikom BN
N42 Meluan Wong Judat BN
N43 Ngemah Gabriel Adit Demong IND
N44 Machan Gramong Juna BN
N45 Bukit Assek Wong Ho Leng DAP
N46 Dudong Soon Choon Teck BN
N47 Bawang Assan Wong Soon Koh BN
N48 Pelawan Vincent Goh Chung Siong BN
N49 Nangka Awg. Bemee Awg. Ali Basah BN
N50 Dalat Fatimah Abdullah BN
N51 Balingian Abdul Taib Mahmud BN
N52 Tamin Joseph Mauh Ikeh BN
N53 Kakus John Sikie Tayai BN
N54 Pelagus Larry Sng Wei Shien BN
N55 Katibas Ambrose Blikau Enturan BN
N56 Baleh James Jemut Masing BN
N57 Belaga Liwan Lagang BN
N58 Jepak Talib Zulpilip BN
N59 Kidurong Chiew Chin Sing DAP
N60 Kemena Stephen Rundi Utom BN
N61 Bekenu Rosey Yunus BN
N62 Lambir Aidan Wing BN
N63 Piasau George Chan Hong Nam BN
N64 Pujut Andy Chia Chu Fatt BN
N65 Senadin Lee Kim Shin BN
N66 Marudi Sylvester Entrie Muran BN
N67 Telang Usan Lihan Jok BN
N68 Bukit Kota Abdul Rahman Ismail BN
N69 Batu Danau Palu @ Paulus Gumbang BN
N70 Ba'kelalan Nelson Balang Rining BN
N71 Bukit Sari Awang Tengah Ali Hassan BN


Johnichal Rayong, who won the N28 Engkilili seat on SNAP ticket, joined SUPP in December 2010, contributed another seat for BN.[10]

Dublin Unting, the state assemblyman for N29 Batang Ai, died at the Normah Medical Specialist Centre, Kuching on 24 February 2009 after a coma.[11] This resulted in the necessity to call for a by-election. Malcolm Mussen Lamoh later successfully defended the seat for Barisan Nasional.

Gabriel Adit Demong previously an independent for N43 Ngemah constituency joined PKR in November 2008.[12] He later quit PKR and joined Parti Cinta Malaysia in December 2009.[13]

Larry Sng, who won the N54 Pelagus seat for BN, was sacked by Sarawak Peoples Party (PRS) in 2007. Although partyless, Sng is regarded as a loyal member of BN by Abdul Taib Mahmud, the chairman of Sarawak BN coalition.[14][15]


  1. ^ Polling In Sarawak State Election Completed. (20 May 2006). BERNAMA.
  2. ^ Background of Sarawak politics. BERNAMA. URL accessed on 20 May 2006
  3. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 June 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout, including votes for third parties. Results before 1986 election unavailable.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Bridget, Welsh (September 2006). "Malaysia's Sarawak State Elections 2006 - Understanding a Break in the BN's Armour" (PDF). Southeast Asian studies. National Democratic Institute. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  5. ^ "SNAP officially deregistered". The Star (Malaysia). 18 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b Raynore, Mering (23 May 2014). "Analysis: Party loyalty counts for little in Sarawak". Malay Mail Online. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  7. ^ Tony, Thien (6 May 2005). "Application for new Dayak party filed". Malaysiakini. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ Jack, Wong (8 October 2005). "Expedite formation of Malaysian Dayak Congress, Registrar urged". The Star (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Engkilili assemblyman could cross over to Barisan". The Star (Malaysia). 26 July 2006. Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  10. ^ SUPP stands united to woo Chinese voters The Star. Accessed on 3 April 2011
  11. ^ Batang Ai rep Dublin Unting Ingkot dies (updated) The Star
  12. ^ Gabriel Adit Officially Joins PKR Bernama
  13. ^ Independent Ngemah Assemblyman Joins Parti Cinta Malaysia Bernama
  14. ^ Sng: Right candidate will make Pelagus safe seat for BN The Star. Accessed on 3 April 2011
  15. ^ Partyless Larry Sng is a BN man, says Taib The Star. Accessed on 3 April 2011

External links[edit]