Dr M: Malay support for PH in Semenyih ‘still strong’

PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Malay votes in Semenyih may split if there are more than two parties contesting in the polls.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident Pakatan Harapan enjoys strong support from the Malay community in Semenyih, where the community makes up nearly 70% of voters.

He said this despite the ruling coalition’s inability to make significant headway with Malay voters in the recently concluded Cameron Highlands by-election which it lost to Barisan Nasional.

At a press conference today, Mahathir voiced optimism over PH’s chances despite the possibility of a multi-cornered fight.

“We have to remember there may be more than two parties contesting so the Malay votes may be split.

“That can be bad for some parties, but we are convinced based on our assessment we still have a very good chance of winning,” he said after chairing a PPBM Supreme Council meeting.

The Semenyih by-election was triggered by the death of its incumbent, PPBM’s Bakhtiar Mohd Nor on Jan 11.

Bakhtiar had won the seat in the May 9 polls in a four-cornered fight against Barisan Nasional, PAS and PSM.

The by-election will be held on March 2.

On a separate matter, Mahathir said a number of Arab countries had voiced their happiness over Malaysia’s decision to bar Israeli athletes from entering the country for the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships.

Malaysia was recently stripped of the right to host the championships due to its stand.

“I had some conversations with leaders who are happy with our stand and they support us,” he said, adding this included the leaders of Hamas.

Earlier, Mahathir received about 5,000 membership forms from PPBM representatives from Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Melaka and Johor.