UMNO-PAS cooperation not worrying PH, says Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Pakatan Harapan (PH) is not worried with the cooperation between UMNO and PAS which was said to be the cause of Barisan Nasional’s (BN’s) victory in the Semenyih by-election last Saturday.

The Malaysian Prime Minister who is also PH Chairman said he was confident the cooperation would only happen during by-elections where the victory would not bring much meaning.

“In a by-election, a win or loss is not disastrous but in the general election, they would not be able to cooperate.

“If they cooperate, PAS would not get anything,” he told a media conference after opening the National Landscape Day at the Botanical Garden yesterday.

In the by-election last Saturday, BN recaptured the Semenyih state seat when its candidate, Zakaria Hanafi won the four cornered-contest with a majority of 1,914 votes.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad listens to a briefing from SeriGreen Garden and Landscape Sdn Bhd Managing Director Jamaliah Hamdan after launching the 2019 National Landscape Day at the Botany Garden yesterday. – BERNAMA

Conceding the use of extreme religious issues during the campaign was among the cause of PH’s defeat, Dr Mahathir said.

PH would be conducting a post-mortem very soon to identify the real cause of the coalition’s loss in defending the Semenyih seat they won in the 14th General Election in May last year.

He said the difference in majority obtained also showed Semenyih voters had changed their mind due to negative perceptions and religious provocations during the campaign period.

On the failure to fulfil manifesto promises being seen as one of the factors contributing to PH’s loss, Dr Mahathir said the government needed more time to realise what was promised.

The Malaysian Prime Minister said while PH would be working towards meeting election pledges, the government also needed time to pay more than RM1 trillion debt left behind by the previous government.