KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 -- Pakatan Harapan (PH) will conduct a detailed post-mortem to identify the cause of its defeat in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election, said chairman and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir in a statement today said he welcomed the decision made by the people of Tanjung Piai, although it was anticipated that majority votes would go to the opposition.
He said he expected the opposition to win by less than 2,000 vote majority but the official results showed a defeat by 15,086 votes.
“A detailed, serious and honest post-mortem at all levels of the party will be conducted to identify the actual cause of our defeat in this by-election," Dr Mahathir said.
He also thanked all who had worked hard throughout the by-election.
The six-cornered fight for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat saw Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng defeating other candidates including PH’s Karmaine Sardini.
Wee won with 15,086-vote majority.
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the frustration of the people as manifested through the Tanjung Piai by-election must be understood.
“We need to truly understand the frustration of the people,” he said, adding that the outcome of the election underscored the need to take stock of the situation.
“The people have spoken and we must take wise steps to restore their confidence,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
On the demand for the dissolution of Parliament by certain quarters Anwar said: "Losing one or two seats does not mean that the government has lost, we have been given the mandate to continue serving the people."
Meanwhile, PH vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in a statement said this is not the time for PH leaders and members to point fingers and take the opportunity to argue over the coalition’s leadership.
He said attacks on any of the leaders would only weaken the coalition and effectiveness of the government in administering and managing the country.
“This is the moment for the PH to combine forces and face reality collectively. The results is a challenge for every PH leader and member to prove that we can continue to work together and overcome obstacles as a team,” he said.
"We need to prove to the people that the government is committed to the mandate given by the people and will continue to protect the people’s interests so that their confidence in the coalition can be restored," Mohamed Azmin said.
In JOHOR BAHRU, Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal, as the director of Tanjung Piai by-election, when asked to comment about how certain quarters were blaming him for PH loss, said what is important now is for the coalition to improve its weaknesses and undergo self-reflection.
“A post-mortem at the state level will also be carried out,” he told reporters after opening the Melaka Indian Muslim Entrepreneurs Association office and participating in a coffee talk with its members here today.
On the allegation that PH loss in Tanjung Piai was mainly due to the failure of the state government to solve the issue of the rising cost of living, the menteri besar said the issue is a national issue.