Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Warisan's defeat in the Kimanis by-election today could be because the voters in that parliamentary constituency had yet to embrace the Pakatan Harapan administration.
However, he said that he was confident that overall people in Sabah, in time, will understand and appreciate that the government now was better than the previous one (BN).
Warisan, which helms the state government in Sabah, is allied to Harapan. Umno-led BN was defeated by Harapan in the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018 after being in power since independence.
"Everything that we do takes time, like the new policy for agriculture, we cannot do it today and expect results overnight, it takes time,” Dr Mahathir told journalists at an event in Alor Setar last night.
He was speaking to reporters after attending the "Majlis Makan Malam Santai 2020 Parlimen Kuala Kedah" event near here tonight.
Harapan, he said, would do a post-mortem to identify the factors that contributed to the defeat and what the people of Sabah thought about the government.
"Yes, we will find out why we lost. The defeat was worse than previously (in the 14th general election). So we want to know why - what caused the people in Sabah to be disappointed with our administration,” he said.
He said the parties (in Harapan and its allies) must continue to get closer to the people to find out their problems and try and help resolve them.
BN candidate Mohamad Alamin, 48, won the Kimanis by-election by a majority of 2,029 votes. He polled 12,706 votes while Datuk Karim Bujang, 67, from Warisan, secured 10,677 votes.
The by-election was necessitated by the Election Court’s nullification on Aug 16, 2019, of former MP Seri Anifah Aman’s win in Kimanis in the 14th General Election.