PUTRAJAYA: Umno still has the support of the Malay community in the country, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Prime Minister justified this based on the votes obtained by PAS during the Kemaman parliamentary by-election in Terengganu on Dec 2.
“When we look at the percentage of votes, there was a decrease for PAS,” he told reporters when met at the National Technical Profession Day at Dewan Damar Sari here, Tuesday (Dec 5).
Anwar, who is also the Pakatan Harapan chairman, said this when asked to comment on Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan's remarks that the party must be resilient in capturing the Malay support following its devastating loss in Kemaman.
Anwar admitted that Umno did not obtain the votes from its hardcore voters during the by-election.
He, however, acknowledged that Barisan had set out to reach the grassroots in Kemaman.
“Yesterday, a meeting was held between the Pakatan and Umno leadership and I am happy to see the party had done its job to reach out to its grassroots for the by-election,” he said.
In a similar matter, Anwar said PAS vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, who won the Kemaman parliamentary seat, could cool off the hot political climate.
“Congratulations to Datuk Seri Samsuri, hopefully he can perform his duties as a MP well.
“From the national side, he demonstrates an image of moderation when compared to PAS' leadership who are deemed to be on the extreme side,” he said.
The Kemaman by-election on Dec 2 saw PAS retaining the seat after its candidate Ahmad Samsuri defeated Barisan Nasional’s Gen (R) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor by a majority of 37,220 votes.
Samsuri obtained a total of 64,998 votes while Barisan Nasional's Raja Mohamed Affandi polled 22,778 votes.