Streram not reason for PH’s loss in Rantau, says PKR veep

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin and the ministry’s secretary-general Mohammad Mentek after the launching of the anti-Aedes gotong royong campaign in Ampang today.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin said Dr Streram Sinnasamy was not the reason for the ruling coalition’s defeat in the Rantau by-election yesterday.

Instead, she said Pakatan Harapan lost because Malaysians were still in a “cultural shock” after May 9 last year when the new government took over.

“The people have not gotten over the transition in power yet and the government had to go through seven by-elections within a year.

“And we have the eighth coming up,” the housing and local government minister said, referring to the Sandakan by-election set for May 11.

Zuraida had previously been against the party’s decision to field Streram in Rantau, and wanted a female candidate as no women had contested in Negeri Sembilan in the last general election.

Former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohamad Hasan won the seat when he polled 10,397 votes against 5,887 received by Streram. Independent candidates Malar Rajaram and Mohd Nor Yassin obtained 83 and 79 votes, respectively, and lost their deposits.

Zuraida said PH’s last three by-election defeats were only a “short-term repercussion”.

“Give some time for the political scene to stabilise, as well as the Cabinet (to perform).

“Then the public can see the changes that we are bringing to the country,” she said after launching an anti-Aedes gotong-royong campaign in her Ampang constituency.

PH won four out of the seven by-elections that were held after May 9, but BN won the last three.