IPOH, March 3 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) lost the Semenyih by-election because voters were unhappy with the high cost of living and wanted to send a message to the ruling coalition, Dr Lee Boon Chye said today.
The Gopeng MP said PH leaders have received the message and will look into their complaints.
“We’ve got to look into the grouses raised by the people. I think cost of living is the main issue that we need to address,” he told reporters after launching an event marking Malaysia Hearing Day here.
Dr Lee who is also deputy health minister also said the PH election machinery needed improvement after losing two by-elections back to back.
BN recaptured the Semenyih state seat when its candidate, Zakaria Hanafi won the four cornered-contest with a majority of 1,914 votes.
Before the Semenyih loss yesterday, PH failed to take Cameron Highlands in the January 26 by-election.
The Pahang parliamentary seat is regarded as a BN strongly and has never been lost. The by-election was called after the courts ruled that some BN had bribed some voters to vote for it at the GE14.
Despite the two losses, Dr Lee believes PH is able to win the next by-election in Negri Sembilan, even though it is also considered a BN stronghold.
“But I am confident we can win Rantau based on its racial composition. In Rantau we have a better machinery too,” he said.
The Election Commission has yet to announce the dates for the poll in the Rantau state seat.
Acting Umno deputy president Datuk Mohamad Hasan won the Rantau seat uncontested during the general election but it was vacated after the Federal Court upheld an Election Court ruling that the PKR candidate, Dr S. Streram, was unlawfully prevented from submitting his nomination.