PONTIAN: Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory in the Tanjung Piai by-election is a clear signal from the people to the ruling coalition, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who is BN chairman, said Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng’s landslide victory was also a sign that the people have “returned” to BN.

“The 15,086 vote majority is an unexpected victory, and a gift from God. I feel that this is a win for the people, and a protest to the government.

“This is a clear signal that the people were not given the attention they were promised,” he said after the by-election result announcement in Dewan Jubli Intan here tonight.

He said the win also proved that Chinese voters now supported the coalition.

Zahid congratulated Wee and MCA, and thanked all component parties, including the Pas leadership. He added that Pas had given extraordinary commitment in the by-election.

Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng is carried by supporters after the official resultds were announced at Dewan Jubli Intan, Pontian. -NSTP/Hairul Anuar Rahim.

Meanwhile, Wee expressed his commitment to his constituents, and said he would work hard as a new member of the opposition bloc.

“This win renewed my spirit. I am committed, even as an opposition, to have more programmes and help my constituents.

“This is to return the favour of those who voted for me,” he added.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong said he was confident that with cooperation from all parties, the momentum could continue.

“Umno, Pas, MIC and friends of BN has worked hard. We are not complacent. Now, I have someone to have meals with in Dewan Rakyat,” he said in jest.

Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan candidate Karmaine Sardini when met by the media said he accepted the election result and that the pact would conduct an analysis to determine how they could lose with such a big majority.

"I’m still the Tanjung Piai Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and PH chief. I will continue to fight," he said.

Johor PH leadership in a statement later admitted that the loss was a signal sent by the voters to PH and that it should be taken seriously.

Pakatan Harapan candidate Karmaine Sardini says he will continue to fight. - NSTP/Mohd Azren Jamaludin

The statement was signed by Johor PH chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Johor PKR chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Johor Amanah chairman Aminolhuda Hassan, Johor DAP chairman Liew Chin Tong, and Johor Bersatu chairman Mazlan Bujang.

“Considering this defeat, PH need to go back to its drawing board to evaluate its policies, approaches and the performance of the party and the government that has led to the dissatisfaction among the people,” the statement read.

For Berjasa candidate Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, he said the party accepted the fact that it lost to two giants, PH and BN.

However, he said Berjasa could have garnered more votes if it was given more time to meet with Tanjung Piai voters.

At the same time, he also expressed hope that in the future, Malaysians would choose an election candidate based on their capabilities instead of the political parties they represent.

“I respect the decision made by Tanjung Piai voters, but I hope that (other) voters (in the future) will realise that principled politics is more important.”

Read more here.

Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) with Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng celebrate the victory during a press conference at Dewan Jubli Intan, Pontian. -NSTP/Hairul Anuar Rahim.