PUTRAJAYA, Nov 23 -- Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) defeat in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election must be seen as a warning that the people were unhappy with the current state of affairs, especially with regard to cost of living, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
Dr Mahathir, who is PH chairman, said in the post-mortem done during the special PH Presidential Council meeting that he chaired today, each component party in the coalition had owned up to their faults and gave their assurance to act on them.
“We all realise that this (by-election) bad result is a warning to the party (PH) that many of the things being done by us are not well received by the people, especially with regard to cost of living,” he told the media after the meeting.
“And then there other reasons as well, including allegations that PH is fully controlled by DAP, which is how the Malays view it, while the Chinese feel DAP is being manipulated by Dr Mahathir of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM),” he said, adding this has led to dissatisfaction from both sides.
On a question whether there was any effort by the government to listen to the public's demands on his administration, Dr Mahathir said the public was also divided into two groups.
"Some are very supportive. Those who are supportive, are not very vocal. Those who are not happy, speak out a lot.
"We have to make an assessment on who we should follow. Those who are against, or those who want the reshuffle or those who don't, all must be taken into consideration," he said.
Commenting on the meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Friday before the weekly Cabinet meeting, Dr Mahathir said he explained to His Majesty on the problems faced by the government.
"I explained to the King the problem we face...that we are not completely free to do everything we like.
"We have to be advised by the wishes of the people, sentiment of the people. We are a government of five parties, not so easy to change government," he said.