Despite setbacks in yesterday’s twin by-elections and last month’s Sarawak state election, DAP's political education chief Liew Chin Tong said Pakatan Harapan will rise again.
He said the current situation was similar to what the opposition had faced during the 1995 general election, and during the Machap and Ijok by-elections in 2007.
“In the 1995 general election, the opposition was decimated and it took years to come back.
“In April 2007 after losing the Machap and Ijok by-elections, no one would have thought that less than a year later, the political tsunami would happen on 8th March 2008.
“In a difficult moment like this, we must not give up, but rise to provide leadership for a new and better Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
BN won convincingly in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar twin by-elections yesterday, garnering more votes than its PAS and Amanah opponents combined.
BN garnered 16,800 votes in Sungai Besar, compared to Amanah (7,609) and PAS (6,902).
In Kuala Kangsar, BN garnered 12,653 votes, compared to Amanah (4,883), PAS (5,684), and independent candidate Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary (54).
At the recent Sarawak state election, Pakatan lost six seats to BN compared to the previous one, and failed to win any of the newly created seats.
Liew said it would have taken a miracle for Amanah to defeat BN yesterday, but it was hoped that the by-election results would at least realign Malaysia’s political players more clearly.
“But the split in Umno and the split in PAS did not translate into sufficient votes for the Amanah candidates. Hence the political scene is still murky and messy,” he said.
Moving forward, Liew said Pakatan would have to convince rural and semi-urban voters that a change in government was the right thing for Malaysia.
In addition, it needed to overcome racial and religious barriers.
“Since the 2008 election, Umno has worked overtime in demonising DAP to prevent any possible support from among Malay voters for DAP and its coalition partners.
“The challenge for Pakatan Harapan is to articulate a new agenda that brings ordinary Malaysians of all ethnic backgrounds together with a common purpose and a shared destiny. There is no easy way out.
“We in Pakatan Harapan have to convince all Malaysians that a change of government is good for the majority of Malaysians,” he said.