KUANTAN, Jan 31: PAS’s defeat in the Tenang by-election should not demotivate Pakatan Rakyat because the result was a foregone conclusion, said PAS vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in a statement to Harakahdaily.
The majority however fell short of BN's target of reverting to the 5000 votes in pre-2008.
“What we need to focus on now is strengthening the party. PAS and other component parties must have the basic and solid strength at every area.
Failure to develop this basic strength will make it tough for us to face any election. In Tenang, we admit PAS’s shortcomings whether at branch or membership level,” said Tuan Ibrahim.
'Real face of candidate'
Tuan Ibrahim however said winning the by-election held during flash floods will be a grave test, as the new state assemblyman will now have to address the problems left by the flood.
“It is kind of unfortunate for the winner as he will be tested immediately by voters who are now facing floods in Labis and Tenang. If during campaign, the candidate went down from house to house, helped people, the people can now be able to see the ‘real’ side of the BN candidate,” he added.
He also urged Normala not to be disappointed and continue her struggle as the people would ultimately judge her based on her actions, whether she won or lost.
"Next general election is waiting for you" was his message to Normala, who stole the limelight in this election after MCA president launched personal attacks on her for observing Muslim norms.
Normala meanwhile expressed appreciation to Pakatan Rakyat leaders, supporters and volunteers during the campaign.
"Continue to fight in the next battle in Merlimau state seat which will be held soon," she wrote in her blog.
PKR's Teja state assemblyman, Chang Lih Kang, said despite the loss, Normala had captured the heart of many Malaysians in the country.
“In the coming general election, we will conquer Tenang like Ijok,” said Chang, recalling the by-election in Ijok, Selangor, in 2007, in which current Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim lost heavily to BN. He however wrested the state seat from MIC in 2008 and went on to become the MB.
Meanwhile, PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan Tantawi said PAS would continue the struggle in Johor with PR despite the loss.
“Pakatan Rakyat will overcome its weakness, correct its mistakes and improvise our work to rise in the next general election,” he twitted.