PUTRAJAYA, Feb 1 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) is confident of retaining the Semenyih state seat in the upcoming by-election no matter what Barisan Nasional (BN) or PAS might have up their sleeves, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He told reporters after chairing the coalition’s presidential council meeting today that despite its loss in the recent Cameron Highlands by-election, PH has its own strategy to defend Semenyih.
“We find that even though we lost in Cameron Highlands, those who vote for us have increased and Barisan Nasional (BN) has decreased. We believe they won because the Islamic party PAS has joined forces with the kafir (infidel) party Umno.
“This is what PAS has said (previously), I did not say it, I’m just quoting them. In Semenyih, we believe they will be up to something. We realise we had a narrow margin of victory, but we have ways to overcome that,” said Dr Mahathir.
The Semenyih seat fell vacant after the death of its Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) assemblyman Bakthiar Mohd Nor earlier this month.
Nomination day for the by-election will be held on February 16 with polling on March 2.
Dr Mahathir said PH was confident of securing the majority of Malay votes in the seat in addition to that of the other races.
“Our previous victory was because the people, Malays especially, were disappointed with the previous administration.
“They are focused on PH successes after we took over and it is becoming clear what we have done, what we are doing, and what we will do,” said Dr Mahathir.
He also fended off questions that PH is losing the support and confidence of 60 per cent of Malays, saying that this is “fiction” invented by PAS and Umno.
“They are making use of this fiction that PH is run by DAP, (and) that I am just a puppet. I’ve never been a puppet yet. I’ve talked to Malays and they support us, but these are assessments by the Opposition to degrade us,” he explained.
When asked about some of PH’s failures to deliver many of its 14th general election manifesto promises, the world’s oldest elected leader said it had delivered some promises, while others require a change in the Constitution.
He gave the example of shortening the prime minister’s term in office to a maximum of two terms would require a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The same would apply to lowering the voting age to 18.
Currently, PH doesn’t have two-thirds control of the Lower House and it needs Opposition support before such changes can be made.
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