SEREMBAN: Describing his fourth victory in Rantau as a "very comfortable win that exceeded expectations", Barisan Nasional deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan says it was also a referendum by the youth that have rejected the government.
Mohamad credited the youth for delivering Umno's by-election hat-trick, saying that the youth's disenchantment with Pakatan Harapan's undeliverable promises has brought them back to Barisan's side for this by-election.
"If the people did not reject Pakatan, we wouldn't have won so comfortably.
"We are very happy seeing how the streams that we used to fear, which were the youth, have now delivered the majority (of votes) towards Barisan's win.
"The youth are dynamic and they are sensitive to the situation surrounding them, especially politics, and they now realise that they used to be captivated by Pakatan's promises, which the government failed to deliver.
"They felt very disappointed and this is the referendum that they're sending through the ballot boxes today," he said.
Barisan had also won in the Cameron Highlands and Semenyih by-elections earlier this year, making Rantau its third win.
He said Rantau, a constituency with only 53% Malay voters, were challenging for Barisan to clinch compared to other areas with a larger population of Malays.
"In the end, we got a comfortable result that exceeded expectations. A lot of people said Rantau is an area that reflects the country's multicultural society.
"In other places, Barisan may be able to win easily but here, there are not that many Malay voters, only 53% of them while the rest are Indians and Chinese," Mohamad told reporters after the Election Commission (EC) announcement of the official results at SJKC Bandar Sri Sendayan here Saturday (April 13).
Mohamad, who is also former Negri Sembilan mentri besar, said he would quickly assume his role in the state assembly's Opposition aisle to provide a check and balance to the state Pakatan government.
"We will always be a party that checks the government's performance where there are clear administrative weaknesses. The country is now unstable politically and the economy is weak.
"We need an opposition bloc in Parliament and the state assemblies to check the performance of our government, which is almost a year old.
"But it looks like we are a regressive nation as we are not moving forward, we are moving backwards in terms of economic performance," he said.
Mohamad also thanked Barisan's coalition parties MCA, MIC and also its partner in cooperation PAS.
Mohamad on Saturday (April 13) defended the Rantau state seat polling 10,397 votes against Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr Streram's 5,887 votes. Mohamad won by a comfortable margin of 4,510 votes.