Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng. - NSTP/HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM.

KUALA LUMPUR: The outcome of the Tanjung Piai by-election will not weaken Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) spirit.

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu said he accepted the voters’ decision with an open heart.

“The result calls for the PH government to continue to improve its governance so that all efforts and initiatives implemented can be felt by the people.

In addition, we will make effort to close ranks among party leaders in PH and, at the same time, intensify programmes to disseminate information to the people.”

DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said PH must accept the result of the by-election.

The Iskandar Puteri member of parliament said voters spoke not only on behalf of themselves, but also the country as they were frustrated and unhappy with the pace of reforms since the
14th General Election (GE14) last year.

“The Tanjung Piai by-election result has given greater urgency and importance to review the pace and implementation of reforms promised by PH, especially those in GE14’s Buku Harapan, for which the PH Presidential Council had established a special review committee.”

PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin said the pact should not look at the defeat as a referendum since PH had been governing the country only for the past 1½ years.

“I am saddened and disappointed by the Tanjung Piai result, but we cannot use that as a referendum.

“We have only been in the government for 1½ years.

“It is not an excuse but when you compare us with (a government with) 60 years of experience, it is not right.”

In George Town, Penang DAP vice-chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the pact’s defeat in Tanjung Piai was unlikely to reflect voting patterns in the next general election.

He said this was because by-election voting patterns were different from general election voting patterns.

He said in a general election, there was an awareness of a bigger picture at play, not to mention campaigning dynamics and significant votes from returning outstation and overseas voters.

He said in a general election, people voted to choose a government.

He said by-elections were usually an opportunity for voters to gain something or express displeasure.

“In short, the Tanjung Piai by-election defeat is neither shocking nor a foretelling of doom for PH. It is what it is — an electoral defeat and one that is rather consistent with historical trends. It is unlikely to reflect voting patterns in the next general election.”

In Kuching, Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Dr James Jemut Masing attributed Barisan Nasional’s win to PH’s failure to fulfil its GE14 pledges.

“This was a huge mistake by PH. It did not take its manifesto seriously.”

He said honesty was the best policy as the people wanted a party that was sincere in its struggle.

He said the Umno-Pas cooperation contributed to BN’s win in the by-election.

The Tanjung Piai by-election saw BN candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng winning with a 15,086-vote majority.