Dr M: Maybe Tanjung Piai defeat was my fault, how would I know?

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attends the 2019 South-east Asia Ulama Multaqa gathering in Sepang November 19, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SEPANG, Nov 19 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceded today that Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) embarrassing loss of the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat to Barisan Nasional (BN) could be his fault.

“Maybe it is my fault, how would I know?” he told reporters after attending the South-east Asia Multaqa Ulama at the Movenpick Hotel and Convention Centre in KLIA this evening.

The prime minister had come under fire from some PH lawmakers who are pressuring the coalition chairman to shoulder the blame for the by-election defeat of a more than 15,000 majority.

Among those who said that something drastic needs to be done by Dr Mahathir include Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim, Klang MP Charles Santiago, and Kapar MP Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid.



PKR’s Hassan urged Dr Mahathir to emulate former British prime minister David Cameron who resigned after failing to prevent the UK from leaving the European Union.

Charles suggested that move to expand khat and jawi lessons to vernacular schools, maintaining draconian laws despite reform promises and the country’s continued sluggish economy after Barisan Nasional was ousted contributed to PH’s defeat.

Abdullah Sani said the PH leadership was currently operating without any clear and solid policies.

Another PKR MP, Wong Chen, said much of the blame was on Dr Mahathir as the by-election was a referendum of his leadership — a view that has been espoused by Opposition lawmakers who are demanding Parliament be dissolved to pave way for a general election.

The Subang MP also cited the lack of a definite timeline for the transition of power from Dr Mahathir to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the current state of Malaysia’s economy and the underperforming ringgit.

In Saturday’s final tally, BN’s candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng from MCA received 25,466 votes over PH’s Karmaine Sardini from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia who received 10,380 votes.

BN trounced PH by a whopping majority of 15,086 votes, its biggest since 2004.

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