PH govt’s inconsistencies blamed for Melaka polls defeat

(FMT) – Pakatan Harapan’s perceived inconsistency in its 22 months in power has been seen to be a major reason for the opposition coalition’s election failures, including last week’s Melaka polls.

A DAP leader, who asked to be anonymous, said the inconsistency had caused long-term damage that would take years or even decades to reverse.

The inconsistencies included the controversy over the use of Jawi, replacing the Goods and Services Tax with the Sales and Services Tax, a disproportionate increase in the property gains tax and the controversy over the proposed High Speed Rail to Singapore.

Policy problems were compounded by the pompous attitude of coalition leaders and Cabinet ministers, the source added.

The trouncing that PH received at the Tanjung Piai by-election in 2019 demonstrated how badly PH had lost the confidence of voters, the source said.

Barisan Nasional trounced PH by a convincing 15,086-vote majority in Tanjung Piai. Wee Jeck Seng secured 25,466 votes, more than double the 10,380 votes secured by his closest rival, Karmaine Sardini (PH-Bersatu).

“The people have been waiting to penalise PH and this will carry on until the next parliamentary general election,” the source told FMT. “Melaka is just another manifestation of this punishment of PH for their failure while in power.”

The source added that the coalition’s Chinese supporters had shown apathy towards PH and DAP as well.

Following PH’s dismal performance in Melaka on Saturday, when the coalition won only 5 seats – down from 15 in 2018 – some supporters called for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to be ousted.

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat had also said Anwar should eventually step down as opposition leader, but only after a merger between PKR and Amanah and the setting up of a shadow cabinet that would allow new leaders to emerge.

But the source said he has yet to receive any complaints from party grassroots about Anwar and if he should be solely held responsible for the loss in Melaka.

“It is unwise for anyone to point a finger at Anwar,” the source said, adding that the people were disappointed with the PH government at large. Anwar was not part of the 2018-2020 PH government, which was led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.