Dr Awang Azman


KUCHING: The big win by Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Kimanis by election is an indication that Malaysian politics is very dynamic and very sensitive to the various nuances of political changes and broken promises, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

BN’s candidate Mohamad Alamin defeated his Warisan opponent Datuk Karim Bujang by a 2,029-vote majority. Mohamad garnered 12,706 votes against Karim 10,677 votes. 

Masing, who is State Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister, said the Kimanis by election results maybe a shock and a disappointment to Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, but they should take their loss positively and use their defeat to make PH a better administrator.

James Masing

“Such positive move may not augur well for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as it approaches the 12th state election, but Malaysian voters deserve better than what PH government has done in the last two years,” said Masing who is president of Parti Rakyat Bersatu (PRS).

He said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his ministers must stop the blame game and start to govern as they have promised during the 14th general election.

“I am sure not all former BN leaders are devils, as not all PH are angels. So please learn to forgive and forget, and move forward to make Malaysia a better country for all,” he added.

Mas Gading PKR deputy chief Francis Teron said the defeat was unexpected given that Warisan is a local party.

He advised PH not to continue experimenting on Malaysian voters.

“Shape up or get shipped out,” said Teron.

Meanwhile, a political analyst at the Department of Sociology, University of Malaya, Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said people’s dissatisfaction with PH performance and unfulfilled promises was one of the major reasons why Warisan lost.

“The people are hoping that the change in government in Putrajaya will bring about better change than the previous government, but after 20 months, the people didn’t feel much.

Dr Awang Azman

“Cost of living is rising, prices of goods are rising, more aid is being cut, and even the number of recipients is decreasing even as the needs of the parties are increasing,” said Awang Azman.

This, he said shows that dissatisfaction with PH’s performance is not only occurring in the peninsula but also in Sabah and Sarawak.

According to Awang Azman the national issue is now affecting the voting pattern.  

“For ordinary people they just want their income better than ever, their wages higher than before.

“In this environment, salaries are still not increased while prices of goods and services rise. This has caused people to be dissatisfied with PH’s performance. This dissatisfaction is expressed in the form of a protest vote,” he said.

He said Putrajaya should look into the development needs of Sabah and Sarawak.

Failure to address these needs will anger the people into punishing the PH government at the ballot box, he warned.