Mahathir: PH's poll loss partly due to Umno, PAS cooperation
SEMENYIH Introspection usually follows a loss and Malaysia's ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition is no exception.
It lost its Semenyih seat in Selangor to opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Zakaria Hanafi, who won with 19,780 votes, a 1,914 majority over Mr Muhammad Aiman Zainali, who took 17,866 votes.
BN had held the seat for decades until last May's general election, when PH's Bakhtiar Mohd Nor from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia won the seat with 23,428 votes. Saturday's by-election was called after Mr Bakhtiar died of a heart attack on Jan 11.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is the PH chairman, said yesterday: "We need to find out why we lost." One reason was the cooperation between BN component Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), The Star quoted him as saying.
Dr Mahathir said the rivalry between the two opposition parties had previously helped PH to wrest the seat from Umno.
"Well, the last time we won (the state seat) in the 14th general election was because PAS and Umno were divided, and therefore, they couldn't achieve a good number," he was quoted by Malaysiakini as saying.
But Dr Mahathir was sceptical that the Umno-PAS cooperation strategy would work in a general election.
Mr Anwar Ibrahim, president of PH component Parti Keadilan Rakyat, had a different take on why they lost. He said PH could not defend the Semenyih state seat as it has yet to execute some programmes it had pledged, reported The Star.
He said given time, the rakyat (people) would understand why it is taking the Pakatan administration time to carry these out.