KUALA LUMPUR: The two top leaders of PKR, Anwar Ibrahim and Mohamed Azmin Ali, today said Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) defeat in Tanjung Piai should be taken as a signal that the coalition is in need of further strengthening.
But Azmin said the defeat should not be an excuse for leaders to take potshots at each other, and called for undivided support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead the government.
“Therefore, I urge every member and leader of PH to continue to give our undivided support to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, prime minister of Malaysia and chairman of PH, to continue to lead the country and the coalition,” Azmin said in a statement.
Azmin, the PKR deputy president, had repeatedly called for Mahathir to remain as prime minister as supporters of Anwar urged the PH chairman to make way for the party president.
Anwar meanwhile said PH should act to restore the people’s confidence, adding that a defeat “in one or two seats” should not make the government “give up”.
“If we do not learn and do not know what this means, then we are no longer qualified to govern.
“We have received the information and we should take time to act wisely to restore confidence,” he told reporters at Parliament today.
Azmin said PH should overcome the trouncing it received at the hands of Barisan Nasional in Tanjung Piai with humility.
“We need to recognise that what we think is best for the rakyat may sometimes not be necessarily so.
“To the people of Tanjung Piai, we hear you. We will redouble our commitment and efforts to win the trust of the rakyat,” he added.
BN saw its biggest win yet in the by-election for the Johor federal seat on Nov 16, with MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng getting 25,466 votes – more than half that of his closest rival from PH, PPBM’s Karmaine Sardini, who got 10,380 votes.
Anwar said it was not true that the by-election outcome showed the disappointment of any particular race.
“I think we have to understand the disappointment of all races. The message is clear for us to pay attention,” he said.