KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — The results of the Cameron Highlands by-election show that Pakatan Harapan (PH) is faced with a “clear and present danger” and that it too could be voted out, said Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) supreme council member said on his blog today that PH’s record since it took power in the historic general election last May had fallen short of the expectations of even its most realistic and loyal supporters.
“Granted that it took over from the kleptocratic BN government a crippled economy and a corruption-riddled administration, the people have yet to feel the real fruits of their labour,” said the former editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Group.
Besides issues like the price of goods, unemployment and affordable homes, Kadir said there had been complaints that Cabinet members and their deputies as well as their political aides were not as friendly and hardworking as when they were in the Opposition.
“Now that they are in government, they are bureaucratic, distant and unfriendly. Some even picked fights with their own supporters. This is suicidal.
“After promises upon promises were broken, the people don’t buy anymore the “akan kaji” (will study) excuses and blaming the last government,” he said, rating poorly the ministers responsible for food production, supplies, transportation, pricing, monitoring and enforcement.
He pointed out that during the campaign period for the by-election, he had seen ministers and their deputies crowding around VIP tables instead of mixing with the people, which he said they must do more often if they want to stay in power.
Kadir added that as a government, PH must be united and act decisively against racism and extremism which was openly instigated by the Opposition.
“The people who took the risk voting for PH during the last general elections deserve better than what is currently being offered,” said Kadir.
PH was soundly defeated in the by-election which was called after an Election Court found BN’s Datuk C. Sivarraajh from MIC guilty of vote-buying after he won the seat in the general election last year.
In the polls last Saturday, BN direct candidate, Ramli Mohd Nor, defeated PH’s M. Manogaran from DAP with a majority of 3,238 votes in the four-cornered fight, improving on Sivarraajh’s majority of 597 votes in a five-way fight in the nullified election.
Kadir also said BN’s decision to take away the seat from MIC in the by-election and nominate Ramli, who is an Orang Asli, was a masterstroke as it reduced the disenchantment among Indian supporters.
He also noted that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had upset PH by campaigning as if he was still in power and that his supporters were regaining their confidence.