PORT DICKSON: The Semenyih by-election defeat reflected the feelings of the people, especially the sentiments shown by the Malay community, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim on Saturday (Mar 2).
“We must take into account but we must continue with our tasks well and I am confident that with a little time, the people will understand why we take the necessary measures in implementing our programmes.
“... we must also remember that the nature of the constituents is important for us to study,” he said.
The PKR leader, whose party is part of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, made the comments after Barisan Nasional (BN) won the state legislative assembly seat.
BN candidate, Zakaria Hanafi polled 19,780 votes to achieve a majority of 1,914 votes in the four-cornered fight.
Zakaria defeated PH candidate, Muhammad Aiman Zainali, who polled 17,866 votes, Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, 25, from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) (847 votes) and independent candidate who is also a social activist, Kuan Chee Heng, 56, (725 votes).
Anwar added that in the democratic process, the government respected the decision made by the people and it was their right.
“As a government, that is the Selangor State Government is still strong under Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari and the Federal Government under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
“It is also my opinion that Malaysia must continue with the spirit of the constitution which promised to preserve the position of Islam and the Malays but the government must also be firm in preserving racial harmony and the PH must represent the sentiments and needs and aspirations of all races,”he said.
Asked Dr Mahathir's aura had disappeared following the defeat of PH in two by-elections including the Cameron Highlands parliamentary election, Anwar said it was inappropriate to make such interpretation.
“Because Cameron Highlands is not a seat held by the PH but the majority votes, we accept.
“The Semenyih by-election actually gave a picture that there are several problems that we have yet to resolve,”he said.
Earlier, Anwar who is also the member of parliament for Port Dickson, said in a speech that the government under the leadership of Dr Mahathir was endeavouring to bring changes to the people but it was not possible to see the outcome within a period of several months.
“If people ask me what is the biggest success achieved by Pakatan Harapan under Tun Mahathir, I say that the biggest success was that we managed to save the country from a government that was committing major robberies of the national income, not a minor robbery, not stealing chicken but stealing national wealth,” he added.