PONTIAN, Nov 11 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim admitted that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition is facing a support deficit ahead of the Tanjung Piai by-election on November 16.
He said the battle for PH to clinch Tanjung Piai was a difficult one with the campaign against the Opposition being closely fought.
“I was told in an earlier briefing that support for the government is divided as people are turning impatient with the current government as there have not been much changes since taking over.
“For them, the upcoming Tanjung Piai by-election is also a way for them (voters) to remind the current government of their unhappiness,” said Anwar during a hi-tea event at the Tanjung Piai PKR office in Pusat Perniagaan Kota Emas here today.
He was accompanied by Johor and central PKR leaders. More than 100 party supporters were present.
Anwar explained that the PH government had inherited Barisan Nasional (BN) administration’s economic burden, making it difficult to champion the people.
However, he said this cannot be used as a reason for the government to not assist the people after taking over Putrajaya for more than a year, as the people cannot accept such excuses anymore.
“The people, especially the villagers (of Tanjung Piai), are tired of hearing that PH had inherited problems from the previous BN administration,” he said.
Anwar, who is the Port Dickson MP, said he agreed with the people and urged government agencies and ministers to constantly go down to the ground and settle any problems faced by the constituents.
He also stressed that the government should be given a chance to look into the problems faced by the people despite PH winning a small margin in Tanjung Piai in the general election last year.
Anwar said he agreed that the residents of Tanjung Piai were unhappy at promises made as they are still waiting for change.
He said he heard that Tanjung Piai voters want the government to do more to tackle issues related to fishermen, smallholders and also the lack of development in the constituency.
“We hear the problems and I feel there is no need to vote for the Opposition. Our role is to keep to the promises as there are unfulfilled ones that have not been settled.
“During the campaign, we must not say that all promises have been settled. In politics we need to learn to tell the truth,” said Anwar, urging the voters to consider PH’s by-election candidate Karmaine Sardini who he said will be able to assist the people as his voice will be heard in both the state and federal governments.
The Tanjung Piai by-election will see a six-way contest between PH’s Karmaine, BN’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam, Berjasa’s Datuk Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar.
Polling is scheduled for this Saturday, with early polling tomorrow.