KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi labelled yesterday’s Tanjung Piai by-election result as a victory by the people and a manifestation of their rejection towards the current Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also claimed the result was proof that the current administration no longer enjoyed the trust of the people.
He said it was a sign that the people have voiced their approval for Muafakat Nasional as the defenders of their fate and future.
“We respect our opponents, but this decision is the voice of the people towards the injustices that has happened.
“Ministers have come here and made all sorts of promises but the people have realised it is just a string of 1,001 lies,” he said in a statement.
While also paying gratitude towards the BN and PAS election machinery, Zahid also called for the opposition to not get too excited with the results, and instead remain focused on continuing their efforts and maintaining their momentum until BN returns to Putrajaya.
The Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat was returned to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fold in yesterday’s by-election in a result most political pundits saw coming, with the former ruling coalition securing up to 75 per cent of votes, including from several Chinese-majority voting streams.
In the final tally, BN’s candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng from MCA received 25,466 votes to bag a majority of 15,086 over PH’s Karmaine Sardini from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, who received 10,380 votes, confirming pundits’ forecast.
“Let the people decide the future of the country,” he said in a statement.
Ismail also pointed out how the people no longer bought into the promises of federal ministers who made the trip to the Southern state during the campaign trail, and that bread and butter issues affecting small time agricultural farmers was the turning point in securing BN’s victory.
He said the drop in the price of commodities such as palm oil and rubber which directly affects the wellbeing of these farmers was what swayed voters to choose BN’s candidate over the PH’s.
“Fishermen in Tanjung Piai are also suffering with their small incomes and absence of new policies to improve their livelihoods.
“Their lives are continuously squeezed when the price of goods are constantly increasing; what is more burdensome is when incentives under the BN government were removed,” he said.
He said both Chinese and Malay voters had rejected PH as they were suffering the adverse effects of a sluggish economy, resulting in reduced spending power that directly affected their income level.
“In truth, the people are disappointed not only in the government’s failure to deliver their manifesto promises, but by also fooling them with excuses like they made the manifesto that cannot be achieved because they were not confident in winning the 14th General Elections.
“What adds on to their frustration of the people are government policies which have failed and instead added burden to their lives,” he said.