The shock effect of the Johor by-election is still trending in Malaysia with the Pakatan Harapan still reeling from the defeat while Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tried to pin the huge loss at the hands of the Barisan Nasional on coalition partner, the Democratic Action Party.
In the aftermath of the defeat, Dr Mahathir said the government lost because the voters were angry with the DAP. He said the Malays believes the DAP, a Chinese-led party promoting the idea of Malaysia for Malaysians has taken over the government.
On the other hand, Dr Mahathir said, the Chinese community feel he has cornered the DAP into inaction.
However, a former man of Anwar Ibrahim, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor who left the reformasi movement to re-join the Umno in the late 1990’s lambasted Dr Mahathir for his solution to the Pakatan Harapan’s downfall in Johor.
He said that the 15,000 margin in the defeat suffered by the PH in the by-election in Tanjung Piai is very big compared to their 2018 victory with a 500 vote margin over the BN.
Reiterating his call for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down, he said the defeat is colossal and the response from PH must be colossal.
Nevertherless, he said the proposed cabinet reshuffle by Dr Mahathir will not help the PH because it will not be a colossal response.
Mohamad Ezam said, “In the case of the Harapan government, the cabinet reshuffle should have happened a long time ago without having to wait for the message from Tanjung Piai.
“An extraordinary defeat demands an extraordinary response,” he added.
He said Pakatan is a hypocrite coalition in power because when they were in opposition; they pinned all wrongs from the BN on ex-PM Najib Razak, but Dr Mahathir is not willing to take responsibility for the wrongdoings under the PH regime.
He also said the PM should take responsibility instead of finding excuses.
Commenting on the controversial Malay Congress, he said Malaysians are angry at the rise of racism in the country, but, “But after the election, at the Malay Dignity Congress, the same PM joined hands with his foes in GE14, Umno and PAS? So, who is confusing the people? Is it not the PM himself.”
“The (current) PM needs to stop pussyfooting. Do the right thing. Please step down and step down now.
“If defeated by 500 votes, that is an ordinary defeat and the response can be ordinary – a cabinet reshuffle.
“But losing by 15,000 votes is an extraordinary defeat, and it requires an extraordinary response. Reshuffle the head of the cabinet,” he said. -/TISG