By Clara Chooi
KUALA KUBU BHARU, April 25 — DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has regarded the Pakatan Rakyat’s loss in the Hulu Selangor by-election as “a step forward” for the fledgling coalition, which had lost in all its three state seats in Election 2008.
Speaking at a small gathering at the mini stadium here tonight, Lim said that PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s loss tonight was a mere 1,725 vote-margin, which was by far a smaller amount if compared to the losses in the last general election.
“In the last election, we had lost by about 6,300 votes (6,175 votes) in all the three state seats of Hulu Selangor. So if we want to compare these results, we have to look at the results in the tally of votes for the three state seats and not the total votes polls for the parlimentary seat,” he said.
In the parliamentary contest for Hulu Selangor, PKR had won by a small majority of just 198 votes.
“So did they really win back all their votes? No. They are still lacking. So we concede that we have lost but we have gained more support than what we had before,” he said.
Lim said that the PR had taken a few steps forward while the Barisan Nasional had taken several steps back.
“Even then, it was because they had won in this ‘buy-election’... not a by-election. The Prime Minister had come here, brandishing more than RM60 million to distribute to the people,” he claimed.
Lim added that if totalled with the amount of money the BN had spent for its extensive election machinery, the government would have spent a whopping RM100 million for a mere by-election.
“Is this what we want? In any case, this is not a victory of the hearts of the people for them. That would be a true victory... when truth is won,” he said.
Lim noted that like Zaid, he too had lost in his first by-election.
“This is Zaid’s first election on the PKR ticket,” he pointed out.
Failure, he said, was the “mother of all success”.
“Like (Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri) Khalid Ibrahim... he lost in the Ijok by-election in 2007. But he came back again in 2008... and his loss in Ijok was just the platform for us to take over the entire Selangor government.
“Let Hulu Selangor be the second Ijok,” he said.
With this, Lim said that in the next election, the PR would win over Putrajaya and claim the Federal government.
Zaid today was defeated by MIC’s first-time candidate P. Kamalanathan when he polled 23,272 against the latter’s 24,997 and lost by a 1,725 vote-margin.