Mahathir said he did not predict crushing Tanjung Piai by-election defeat
Mahathir was aware that Pakatan Harapan would lose.
Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad claimed he predicted the ruling Pakatan Harapan alliance’s loss in the recent Tanjung Piai by-election.
However, he did not anticipate the margin of defeat that PH encountered, as the opposition Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition won a landslide victory.
Worst by-election loss in Malaysia’s history
According to The Malay Mail, Mahathir expected the margin of defeat to be no more than 2,000 votes.
However, the PH candidate, Karmaine Sardini, lost to BN’s Wee Jeck Seng by 15,086 votes.
This was despite extensive campaigning by Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim, who is the most likely candidate to be Mahathir’s successor as prime minister.
Wee is a former two-term Tanjung Piai MP.
Malysiakini reported that the Tanjung Piai by-election loss was the worst performance for any ruling coalition in Malaysia in a parliamentary by-election.
While a ruling coalition averages a 56.25 per cent vote share in the 61 by-elections that have occurred since 1959, PH only secured a measly 26.4 per cent vote share for the Tanjung Piai by-election.
PH needs to restore the people’s confidence
This was PH’s fourth by-election loss since it came into power in May 2018.
According to CNA, Mahathir said that PH will analyse the loss closely to determine what went wrong.
“A detailed, serious and honest post-mortem across all levels of the coalition will be conducted to identify the true reason for this by-election defeat,” he said.
Anwar said that PH accepts the defeat, and that the ruling coalition needs to take action to recover the confidence of the people.
He claims that PH needs to understand the frustrations of the different races, and stressed the importance of learning from this defeat.
“We’ve gotten the signal and we just need some time to make intelligent decisions to recover confidence in the people,” he said.
Top image from Mahathir Mohamad/FB.