JOHOR BAHRU: Amanah president Mohamad Sabu has hailed the contribution of Malay voters, especially Umno supporters, in providing more than 50% of the votes in Pakatan Harapan’s by-elections victories today.
Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, said that the victories in Pulai and Simpang Jeram had proven that Umno were trusted allies.
He said he had been worried about fielding candidates for the two by-elections, after the opposition Perikatan Nasional gained ground at the six state assembly elections last month.
Political pundits and some Umno leaders had said there had been resistance among Umno members and Malay voters towards the alliance with PH, formerly the party’s rivals.
“Our Umno friends have dispelled our concerns that we would only get 10% of the Malay votes. We can see that we received more than 50% of Malay support,” he said.
He said the results would put the PH alliance with Barisan Nasional in good stead for the next general election, which must be held by 2027. “God willing, we will achieve an even bigger victory,” he said.
He said that the results of today’s by-elections have proven that Johoreans rejected PN’s “extreme politics”.
Mohamad said his confidence about the by-election had grown after seeing the sincerity of Umno leaders in campaigning for PH candidates Suhaizan Kaiat (Pulai) and Nazri Abdul Rahman (Simpang Jeram).
Umno is the dominant member of BN, which is a partner with PH in the federal unity coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim.
Mohamad said Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, his deputy Mohamad Hasan, Johor Umno chief Khaled Nordin and the menteri besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi were all very committed in helping the PH election campaign.
At today’s by-elections, Suhaizan (PH) beat Zulkifli Jaafar (PN) for the Pulai parliamentary seat while Nazri won the Simpang Jeram state seat after beating PN’s Dr Mazri Yahya.
The by-elections were called following the death of Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, who had won both seats at the general election last November and 2022 Johor state elections.