PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional leaders are calling their win in Tanjung Piai a referendum by the rakyat on the Pakatan Harapan government, with some even suggesting for Parliament to be dissolved.
Describing the power of the people as the real winner in the by-election, former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said Pakatan was now facing the same situation as Barisan did in the last general election.
“During the Tanjung Piai by-election, various promises were made and regulations were imposed but the rakyat did not care about all that.
“It is now the turn of the current leadership of the ruling parties. Suddenly, the rakyat’s feelings have changed. They were angry. And their anger triggered many other things.
“To Barisan, please learn from this. I believe after what happened during the GE14, it truly gives a big lesson to be more humble and careful, ” he said on Facebook yesterday.
Barisan candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng had won the Tanjung Piai by-election with an overwhelming 15,086-vote majority.
Zambry also congratulated Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other top Barisan leaders for making a brave decision to allow MCA to contest the parliamentary seat.
“The decision was carefully thought out and in the end, the spirit of Barisan and Muafakat Nasional has brought us the decision, ” he said, adding that the victory also gave a significant boost to Muafakat Nasional, which is Umno’s cooperation with PAS.
“Moderation politics and inclusivity for all races and religions is the answer to a continuous future of the country, ” he said.
MCA, he said, should take the win as a momentum to stand up again as a party that received the confidence of the Chinese community.
“Now, MCA has two seats in parliament. With leaders like Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (MCA president) and Datuk Dr Mah Han Soon (MCA deputy president) they need to be brave and confident in debates against DAP, ” said Zambry, adding that he believed that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would come under increased attacks from former PKR vice-president Dr Syed Husin Ali as a referendum on his leadership.
Agreeing, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the result not only reflected the feelings of the voters but Malaysians in general.
“This rejection is not the first time. The government has been rejected three times in a row since the by-elections in Cameron Highlands, followed by Semenyih and Rantau, ” he said, adding that Barisan’s winning majority had increased each time.
“The message is clear that they no longer trust the Pakatan government to administer the country.
“If the government is truly sensitive and listen to the grouses and heart of the people, it has no choice but to dissolve Parliament.
“Let the rakyat decide the future of the country, ” he said, adding that the people were disappointed with Pakatan’s failure to
implement its election manifesto as well as policies.
In Pontian, Johor MIC chief R. Vidyanathan said Barisan’s win showed that the coalition was right in fielding a non-Malay candidate in the seat that many felt should have been given to a Malay.
This, he said, showed that Barisan’s formula of inclusiveness had paid off and should be continued in future by-elections or general elections.
“We should move away from looking at race-based candidates, ” he said.
Johor Barisan Youth chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said its victory proved that it was a coalition that was able to defend and safeguard the rights of all Malaysians.
“This victory is the rakyat’s victory in which they rejected Pakatan and have faith in the new coalition formed between Umno, Barisan and PAS. It can be seen when the Chinese voters come back and give their support to Barisan, ” he said.