RANTAU POLLS | Pakatan Harapan's defeat in the Rantau by-election is a reminder for the ruling coalition to focus on the people's plight, said PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
"The defeat is a reminder to Harapan leaders to continue giving appropriate attention to the people's concerns about the economy and cost of living," he said in a statement this evening.
Harapan candidate Dr S Steram was trounced by BN's Mohamad Hasan, who won with a 4,510-vote majority.
Mohamad, who is also the Umno acting president, garnered 10,397 votes to Streram's 5,887 while independent candidates R Malar and Mohd Nor Yassin received 83 votes and 79 votes respectively.
Anwar, who campaigned relentlessly for the Harapan candidate, said he respected the people's decision and congratulated Mohamad for retaining the seat.
The PKR leader also believes that Harapan can bounce back from its third consecutive by-election defeat.
"I am confident that after this, Harapan will rise again to garner the people's support," he said.
Anwar also thanked PKR's election machinery and Harapan allies for their "maturity and good example" during the campaign period.
However, he did not comment on the fight that broke out at the Harapan command centre following news of Streram's defeat.
Harapan, which won half of the 14 polling districts in Rantau at the parliamentary level in the last general election, was defeated in all but one polling district in this by-election.
BN also picked up the polling district of Pekan Sagga, which has the highest proportion of Indian voters at 63.7 percent.