The results of the Tanjung Piai by-election seem to have sent shock waves among Pakatan Harapan bigwigs, although the writing on the wall was clear to see.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail concluded that it may be because of a few things that PH had done wrong but it is clearly a misdiagnosis of the situation.
PH has failed to a very large extent and the people are bitterly disappointed. PH cannot hope to go on in the same direction or it will be ousted in the next general election.
To begin with, Dr Mahathir Mohamad needs to go and be replaced by Anwar Ibrahim. We need to recognise that Mahathir wanted to atone for his past mistakes and asked for another chance.
He has reverted to his old type though, and has not shed his politics based on race and ideas that divided the country during his first administration.
A main issue of the people, resulting in the ousting of the Barisan Nasional government, was the rising cost of living, attributed to the mismanagement of the economy.
The people do not see anything has changed in that regard. It is still a system that caters disproportionately to the benefit of big business.
The inefficiencies created in the economy, through the mismanagement of government-linked-companies (GLCs), has also not been resolved. It has been more of the same.
Mahathir has had his time, and should now give way. In any case, it is not the case of one person making the difference and that era of people being supplicants to a coercive leader has long since passed.
DAP has seemingly lost its voice and is playing the role that the MCA used to play in the previous BN administration.
After having fought for so much when in the opposition, it is now displaying a brand of authoritarianism that would even put the previous BN government in the shade. DAP has a lot of work to do to restore itself as a party that is striving for a Malaysian Malaysia.
A Cabinet reshuffle has to take place in haste, and underperforming ministers should be replaced. It is clear that some ministers are not up to mark and that is causing the public to lose confidence in the PH government.
The civil service needs to be overhauled, and technocrats need to be hired to revamp the functioning of the civil service as a whole.
It is also time for new political parties to emerge, and provide an alternative to both the PH and BN, that are constructed along somewhat similar lines.
A Labour Party, for instance, that would transcend race and religion, and work to represent the interests of the people and the country as a whole may appeal to the younger generation that must be tired of the politics that have been played for decades, and which have outlived its usefulness and appeal.
The political parties and the politicians have failed the country and its people. It is about time that the people looked for alternatives outside of the current political construct.
As for PH, it needs to recognise that it is in dire straits, and more than that has failed the people that chose to repose its trust in its promises.
A rapid and major change is required, and it should not be for the reason of staying in power, but about serving the interests of the rakyat.
Callistus Antony D’Angelus is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.