KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he had expected the Barisan Nasional (BN) to retain the Bagan Pinang state seat as it was the coalition's stronghold.
"I am very happy. From the beginning I had predicted we (BN) will win as that is our area. Isa (Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad) is strong there and the Indians also supported him.
"I believed he would win although another (BN) candidate would also have won. Now we have to look after other areas.
"We can win in opposition areas," Dr Mahathir told reporters after attending a Hari Raya function organised by the Pusat Bandar Cempaka Umno branch here on Sunday night.
He reminded party members not to be swayed by the win to the point of forgetting to discharge the duties that they had been entrusted with.
"If Umno becomes very passionate with the win in one place while losing in other areas...if we lose (sight of) our responsibilities, I believe that in the coming general election maybe we will not achieve a good victory or we will not win," he said.
Asked if the win in Bagan Pinang was a sign that Umno was accepted in the area, he said it was a fact that the party had support in the area.
"If we are not careful, do not care for the problems of the people, do not have a programme to win the hearts of the people...eventhough we win in Bagan Pinang, we may not win in other areas. We cannot be too passionate," Dr Mahathir said.
In the Bagan Pinang state by-election today, BN defended the seat when its candidate Mohd Isa defeated Pas' Zulkefly Mohamad Omar with a majority of 5,435 votes.
Mohd Isa garnered 8,013 votes against Zulkefly's 2,578 votes.