The opposition Barisan Nasional defeated the ruling Pakatan Harapan in a by-election in Johor, wrestling the parliamentary seat with a 15,000 majority.
The BN rep Wee Jeck Seng registered a whopping 25,466 votes to the PH’s candidate Karmaine Sardini’s 10,380 votes. PH won the seat last year but the incumbent MP succumbed to a heart attack last month.
The Tanjung Piai by-election is seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership, said a former deputy president of Anwar Ibrahim’s party, Syed Husin Ali.
Anwar heads the PKR which stands for People’s Justice Party in English. The seat was contested by a member of Dr Mahathir’s party, the Bersatu.
Syed Husin Ali says the message is loud and clear and Dr M should step down because he has to take responsibility for the severe defeat.
“The results are clear. The people are disappointed and want to teach Harapan, especially Dr M (a lesson),” he tweeted after it became clear BN was headed for a landslide victory.
“He (Mahathir) knows what should be done with immediate effect. Don’t delay it any longer.
“A large number of the rakyat (people) are unhappy with Mahathir’s leadership which has slid to his and Umno’s old ways.”
He said the people expected changes but they are slow in coming and the people spoke at Tanjung Piai.
Tanjung Piai is one of the rare time Dr Mahathir campaigned personally in favour of PH candidate Karmaine.
The latter is a Muslim religious figure, and he was defeated by a Chinese from the Malaysian Chinese Association in a shift of votes in the constituency.
The irony is the Barisan candidate got the backing of the Islamists from the PAS who last year canvassed Muslim voters not to vote for non-Muslims in an election.
This time around, they said it was the duty of the Muslims to punish the PH and vote for an ethnic Chinese instead.
On top of that, ex-PM Najib Razak was also hot on the trails in the campaign supporting the BN candidate.