KUCHING: The Tanjong Piai by-election results must be taken seriously by the Pakatan Harapan leadership, said Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen.
In a statement yesterday, he said though it might only be the result of one by-election, it was nevertheless the general indication of the rakyat’s dissatisfaction towards the performance of the PH government after 18 months in government.
“This is just like a term assessment for the PH government with the 15th General Elections (GE 15) as the final year examination.
“From this term assessment, the PH government has failed miserably. Not only did we not gain any increase in Malay support, we have lost the majority of the Chinese support,” he said.
He said the people had spoken loud and clear and it was time for the top leadership and the cabinet to urgently make amend and re-think the government’s policies and direction henceforth.
“The PH leadership should not take consolation in the fact that there are three and a half years to go before the next general election.
“This is because the Sarawak State Elections will be held latest by September 2021. The state election will be the mid-year assessment for the PH government. If the PH government fails again, the momentum will carry itself to the end of the term,” he said.
Therefore, he said between now and the next state election, which might be held as early as six months from now, there must be a discernible change of federal government policies in the right direction.
“We do not need to search far for what is the right direction. We only need to refer to the GE 14 PH manifesto which had won us the government, which is in general, a middle-path, progressive and fair government for all races,” he said.
Chong, who is also the Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman, told the Sarawak PH members and supporters not to look at the result of Tanjung Piai by-election in despair.
“It is a battle lost but not the war. From another perspective, the Tanjung Piai fiasco is a blessing in disguise.
“It gave us the early warning signal rather than letting us find out the hard fact after the state elections or the GE 15,” he added.
Meanwhile, DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said PH would have to review its performance thus far.
“We will learn from it (defeat)… respect the people’s voices,” he said, conceding that Tanjung Piai voters had sent a message to let the government know that it should do a better job of taking care of the country.
“To me, the message is crystal clear. I hope the federal government would improve and apologise for what has gone wrong.
“We should work hard; go to the grassroots to ensure that all our initiatives benefit them.
“We will use the five-year-term to ensure that our promises are fulfilled and the nation’s economy strengthened so that prosperity is experienced by everyone regardless of race and religion,” he told reporters yesterday at Kuching Sentral.