A 5-Point Summary Of The Citizens' Declaration By Tun M And The Opposition
Will this 'campaign' against PM Najib Razak succeed in removing him as the prime minister?
In a sudden turn of events, a contrasting set of politicians have joined forces, putting aside their differences in opinions for a common mission: the country's greater good
After months of criticising PM Najib Razak's ruling, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other prominent members of the Malaysian political scene have signed the Citizens' Declaration to oust Najib and institute reforms
Who was present?
The Citizens' Declaration was also signed by ex-DPM and UMNO vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin, Bersih's Maria Chin and Ambiga Sreenevasan, former Kedah menteri besar, Mukhriz Mahathir, DAP's Lim Kit Siang, PKR's Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli, among many local activits and prominent members of Malaysian politics.
What is the point of this gathering?
Dr Mahathir is expected to ink a declaration calling for PM Najib Razak's removal, with support from about 58 politicians, including those from Barisan Nasional (BN), PKR, DAP, PAS and Bersih.
1. First and foremost, the declaration seeks a legal, non-violent removal of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the nation's prime minister, citing all the financial scandals and draconian ways that he has resorted to, to battle all the accusations
Explaining that this sudden combination of forces is brought on by the dire state the country is in, the declaration thinks that PM Najib Razak's poor leadership has brought Malaysia to this disappointing point.
Citing recent foreign reports that suggest Malaysia is undemocratic and listed as one of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world, Dr Mahathir said that the "abuse of power" must stop and the wrongdoers must be held accountable for their actions, regardless of their high-level positions in the local political scene.
2. 'Citizens' Declaration' also wants the removal of all laws that violate the fundamental rights of Malaysians, in line with the Federal Constitution
After years of sudden arrests and warnings from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission, it has now become a common knowledge that there is a clampdown on freedom of speech and the local press is heavily censored.
Referring to many instances when members of the public were arrested for expressing their thoughts on local politicians, the declaration seeks to remove these laws that force the authorities to penalise Malaysians for being more expressive with their thoughts.
When reading the declaration, Dr Mahathir spoke about how the very same organisations that are quick to arrest and investigate when a member of the public makes a remark about foreign reports on local leaders, fail to react the same way when it comes to accusations against PM Najib Razak.
3. While members of the opposition, especially Bersih's Ambiga Sreenevasan, stressed on the importance of releasing Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir refused to comment on the matter during the press conference
Mahathir says the fight against Najib has nothing to do with UMNO. He then deflects a question on whether he will campaign for Anwar Ibrahim's freedom.
"We are concerned about removing Najib," he replies.
Asked if he trusts the opposition, Mahathir says that doesn't matter and instead said, "What's important is that we are citizens of Malaysia."
4. Former premier Dr Mahathir has reaffirmed that the declaration and its interests have nothing to do with political parties. He said that the members of the opposition and ruling government that have come together are only focused on saving Malaysia.
When asked by English daily Malaysiakini if he (Dr Mahathir) is fighting to save UMNO or Malaysia, the ex-prime minister explained that his agenda is not related to that of UMNO or any other political parties.
5. Reinstate the integrity of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the police force, Bank Negara and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), following all the recent investigations on the corruption and financial scandals
"We call upon all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion, political affiliation, creed or parties, young and old to join us in saving Malaysia from the government headed by Najib, to pave the way for much-needed democratic and institutional reforms, and to restore the important principle of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary which will ensure the independence, credibility, professionalism and integrity of our national institutions," read the declaration ready by Dr Mahathir.
Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak rubbished the Citizens' Declaration, calling it nothing but a "list of aspirations and desires" of a group of politicians
In his blog post titled, 'The Deklarasi Rakyat of the 58 Wakil Rakyat', Salled said that the declaration was just a union of all those who disapprove of PM Najib Razak and has nothing to do with reforms and change.
Salled also explained that the wishes of the 58 politicians who signed the declaration does not represent the masses, especially that of Malaysia's 15 million registered voters.
What do you think Dr Mahathir and his allies will do next, now that they have officially expressed their motives? Let us know in the comments section below!
Previously, the opposition said that they would only work with Dr Mahathir under one major condition: