Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has admitted that his ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition could be a one-term government.
He made this comment on Monday, Jan. 20 to reporters in Langkawi, a resort island off the western coast of Malaysia, Reuters reported.
“We have lost five by-elections but they still don’t understand,” Mahathir said, pointing out the divisions within his own grouping of unlikely partners.
He admitted that if the ruling coalition does not make some changes, it will be removed from office.
Mahathir’s coalition, which translates to “Alliance of Hope”, defeated the Barisan National coalition in May 2018.
Malaysians voted for Mahathir’s coalition as it promised to fight corruption and bring about reforms.
Mahathir had to corral former foes, such as Anwar Ibrahim, to form the unlikely coalition.
They went on to defeat former prime minister Najib Razak.
However, more than one-and-a-half-years into the new regime, infighting and fractious relationships within the party have stymied reforms and prevented the alliance from carrying out all the campaign promises that were put down in the election manifesto.
Mahathir said, as quoted by Reuters: “I told them in a democracy you need strong support from the people. But instead they fight amongst themselves and divide the people… They are not going to win unless they change their ways.”
The coalition has lost five by-elections since May 2018.
The latest by-election loss in Sabah’s Kimanis occurred over the weekend.
Polls have also repeatedly shown waning popularity for Pakatan Harapan among the public.