Where was Dr M's Malay appeal during Slim by-election defeat? - PKR Youth leader

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Where was Dr M's Malay appeal during Slim by-election defeat? - PKR Youth leader
Where was Dr M's Malay appeal during Slim by-election defeat? - PKR Youth leader

If former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's claim that he can attract Malay voters for the opposition still held true, then why didn't the Malay-majority constituents of Slim flock to his chosen candidate during last year's Slim by-election?

This was a question posed by PKR Youth vice-chief Syed Badli Shah Syed Osman, who insisted that Pakatan Harapan should move on instead of including Mahathir and his allies in a "grand coalition" the opposition.

"His value to influence the Malay vote during the Slim by-election signalled that the people had rejected him. The seat comprised 75 percent Malays," Syed Badli Shah said in a statement.

Mahathir's yet-to-be registered Parti Pejuang Tanah Air fielded Amir Khusyairi Mohd Tanusi as an independent candidate during the Slim by-election on Aug 29 last year against BN's Mohd Zaidi Aziz.

Amir, who was endorsed by Mahathir, garnered 13.69 percent of the votes against Mohd Zaidi's 84.53 percent of the votes. Another independent candidate, Santharasekaran Subramanaim, only received 1.78 percent of the votes.

In contrast, Harapan, represented by Bersatu, picked up 33.08 percent of the votes in Slim during the 2018 general election.

However, BN still came out on top with 44.83 percent of the votes while PAS got 22.09 percent of the votes.

Mahathir, who founded Bersatu but was later expelled, had claimed that Harapan would lose Malay support if it sidelined him and his allies.

Amanah has been pushing for a grand coalition in the opposition that includes Mahathir's Pejuang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was quoted by The Star yesterday as saying that they plan to discuss the matter this month.

However, their coalition partner PKR has been less keen.

Syed Bali Shah likened Mahathir to "old baggage" that couldn't be managed.

He also noted that Mahathir had continued to make critical remarks against PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

"His latest statement showed that he is no longer relevant in the current mainstream politics and Harapan should move forward without being disturbed by Mahathir," Syed Badli Shah said.

He added that opposition MPs who insist on staying on with Mahathir should be sidelined as he is a "bad influence" that could hurt Harapan's agenda.

Meanwhile, Selangor PKR Youth information chief Adzman Kamaruddin accused Mahathir of being "dishonest" during his previous involvement in Harapan.

He added Mahathir's continued criticism of Anwar showed he was not sincere about wanting to cooperate with Harapan.

"He continues to blame Anwar for failing to restore the people's mandate and take over the government when in reality Mahathir was the main factor why Harapan lost federal power," he said.

Adzman claimed that contrary to Mahathir's assertion, the former prime minister will cost Harapan both Malay and non-Malay support.