Whether March 4, 2016 goes down in Malaysian history as a historic watershed in the politics and nation-building in Malaysia will depend on whether the Citizens’ Declaration signed by 45 political and civil society leaders, including former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Cabinet Ministers, as well as Opposition and civil society leaders bridging the political divide calling for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s removal as Prime Minister of Malaysia as well as for democratic and institutional reforms gets the support of the majority of Malaysians.
Today’s gathering of distinguished personalities endorsing the Save Malaysia Citizens’ Declaration is a further step in developing a momentum to create national awareness of the urgent and imperative need for Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, politics, to stand as one Malaysian people to cure the country of the great sickness which has caused the nation to fail in achieving the great promises we aspired when the nation attained Merdeka 59 years ago with our rich human talents and natural resources.
Because of my six-month suspension from Parliament, I had the opportunity of visiting so far 92 parliamentary constituencies to take the pulse of the people on Najib’s twin mega scandals, and in the past two weeks, public reaction to the Save Malaysia Citizens’ Declaration.
Last week, I visited 12 parliamentary constituencies in Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis i.e. Ketereh, Machang, Tanah Merah, Tumpat and Kota Bahru in Kelantan; Sungai Patani, Merbok, Kuala Kedah, Alor Setar in Kedah and Padang Besar, Arau and Kangar in Perlis and I find that by and large, the Citizens’ Declaration resonates with the people’s deepest aspirations because all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics love this country and want to be able to be proud of Malaysia to secure world recognition and appreciation of our achievements.
We do not want to become one of the world’s most corrupt countries with our football ranking as No. 171 in the world, when in the early decades of the nation, we are one of the great football nations in Asia.
It is almost one year ago, at the Bukit Bintang DAP dinner on March 22, 2015, that I broached the idea of a political coalition crossing the political, racial, religious and regional divides to Save Malaysia to resolve the multitude of national crisis confronting the country.
The 304 Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia on March 4, 2016 is a first step to bridge the political divide to realise this Malaysian Dream, although the journey is going to be a long and arduous one.
It is natural and understandable that Malaysians, like the 45 signatories to the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia on March 4, have different and separate political agendas, but our greatest challenge is to come together to develop a common core agenda to Save Malaysia by checking the rot in the country and create a clean, democratic, incorruptible and inclusive government of excellence which upholds constitutionalism, the rule of law, human rights and restore the independence, credibility, professionalism and integrity of the national institutions in the country.
I call on all Malaysians to endorse the Citizens’ Declaration and support all programmes and activities that will be organized by various stakeholders in support of the Citizens’ Declaration in various parts of the country in the coming weeks and months.
Ideally, we should develop enough momentum to ensure that by the next 14th General Election, the slogan and cry of “Save Malaysia” can be the most overpowering one which not only unites all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, but can be the remedy for the multiple ills afflicting the nation.
(Media Conference Statement at the endorsement of Save Malaysia Citizens’ Declaration at DAP Hqrs on Wednesday, 16th March 2016 at 11.30 am)