Archive for category Mahathir

Will Mahathir and Anwar’s uneasy alliance unseat Najib?

Yang Razali Kassim
East Asia Forum
22 March 2016

The unthinkable is happening in Malaysian politics. Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad and his jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim have joined hands in a seemingly impossible alliance to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. Never before in Malaysian history have such sworn enemies buried their hatchets for a common cause.

By launching his rainbow ‘core group’ of concerned citizens of various political stripes and leanings to ‘Save Malaysia’, Mahathir has once again thrust himself into the eye of the political storm. With Anwar still in jail, the disparate forces that opposed Najib over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investment fund scandal have finally found someone of stature to rally around in a marriage of convenience. It is ironic that the man who crushed the opposition while in power has reinvented himself in retirement as the de facto leader of what in essence is a citizens’ revolt.

Mahathir himself described this as a ‘very strange group of people’, brought together by a common goal of ousting the scandal-hit prime minister. By calling it a ‘core group’, Mahathir is indicating that this is only the beginning of more moves to come. What could emerge down the road is still hazy. But it is safe to say that a new era in Malaysian politics is unfolding with the key players jostling for a place in the shifting ground. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr. Mahathir’s Attempt at Redemption

Koon Yew Yin
29th March 2016

Like many Malaysians who followed the Citizen’s Declaration Congress which was televised live yesterday by our internet media (thanks to our brave independent media for daring to put it out for public viewing!), I thought that the star of the daylong event was Dr Mahathir.

Although the oldest speaker there by a big margin, at 90 years old, he appeared the youngest and smartest of the group of 19 speakers! We could all see that his mind is still sharp; his wit is one of a kind; and his political instincts still intact. His was also the most enjoyable speech to listen to.

Earlier, UMNO’s Secretary General, Tengku Adnan put out a stern warning to UMNO members not to attend the Shah Alam gathering as he saw it as a platform to destroy an institution and create chaos while serving to achieve certain individuals’ goals and agenda.

What silliness coming from someone who is leader in a so-called democratic party. This was a stupid action and shows the extent of desperation and authoritarianism found in the party’s leadership. I am sure despite his warning tens if not hundreds of thousands of UMNO members will have tuned to the websites to view the programme.

And if Tengku Adnan himself and the other apple polishers and “Cash is King” followers in UMNO were also listening to Dr. Mahathir’s speech – as I think many of them would be doing – I hope they not only feel fearful but also feel ashamed for blindly supporting the Prime Minister in this period of our political history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ku Li, you have let the rakyat down

Mariam Mokhtar
28 Mar 2016

Politicians like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah cause the electorate to lose faith in politics. Affectionately known as Ku Li, he confirms our suspicions of him. He is all spin and no substance. He joins a long list of sycophants who should have had the interests of the rakyat at heart, but at the critical moment, let down the people and himself. Where are the men of integrity and honour?

Ku Li’s betrayal may not matter now, because a majority of the population still cast their votes. In time, this number will drop because they will see politicians as untrustworthy.

So, was it emotion, or political expediency which prompted Ku Li to sign the ‘Kelantan Declaration’? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Critics Roll Out ‘Save Malaysia’ Campaign Against Premier

Anuradha Raghu/Manirajan Ramasamy
March 27, 2016

Malaysian opposition politicians and leading critics of Prime Minister Najib Razak unveiled a fresh campaign aimed at ousting him, after months of attacks over a funding scandal failed to substantially dent his support.

Former premier Mahathir Mohamad and ex-deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin were among those who addressed more than 2,000 people at a convention center in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, with each of the 18 speakers conveying the same message: Najib must go now.

“The wait for two years for the next general elections is too long,” Mahathir said. “Our situation is very bad. We need to recover quickly and two years will be too late.”

Najib is facing his biggest political crisis since coming to power seven years ago as questions linger over $681 million which appeared in his accounts before the last election in 2013, funds the attorney-general said were a donation from the Saudi royal family. Mahathir, the country’s longest serving leader who governed until 2003, has waged a public campaign for months to get Najib out of office. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP is now the target of a systematic attack by UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers – starting with Guan Eng and me

Serdang Parliamentary constituency, of which Balakong is one of the three constituent state assembly seats, is the 98th Parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22, 2015 for demanding answers to the simple questions as to the source, the donor or donors, of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election in May 2013 and where the astronomical sums of monies have gone to.

I wanted public feedback whether Malaysians agree with me that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must answer the teeming questions which multiply by the day about his RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals which are now the subject of separate investigations by seven other countries as well as landed the country with the new infamy of being among the world’s ten most corrupt nations.

However, in the past 10 days since the historic event in Kuala Lumpur on March 4 where 42 political and civil society leaders signed and proclaimed the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia, I have sought public feedback on a second issue in 18 of these 98 parliamentary constituencies I visited– whether the Malaysian public support the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia, and in particular my working with former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir to Save Malaysia despite our differences in the past, including his responsibility for my and Lim Guan Eng’s imprisonment.

However, since the past week, there is third issue grabbing public attention – allegation of corruption against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and insinuation in the government and UMNO/BN owned and controlled media that Guan Eng is like former Selangor Mentri Besar Khir Toyo.

There is no basis whatsoever in such a comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

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Politics and business – fundamental differences between Dr M and Najib

By Terence Gomez
Published 22 Mar 2016, 9:20 am

COMMENT These are unprecedented times in Malaysian politics. On March 4, when the Citizens’ Declaration was announced, its signatories comprised such a large number of longstanding political adversaries that the event was deemed the coming together of extremely strange bedfellows. These adversaries included former Umno president and prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former opposition leader and DAP secretary-general Lim Kit Siang.

What brought them together as joint signatories to this 37-point declaration was their similar goal to compel Najib Abdul Razak to resign as prime minister. Najib, according to this declaration, has refused to sue international news agencies that have made serious allegations of corruption against him involving 1MDB Bhd, a sovereign wealth fund he directly controls as finance minister, and he has curbed institutions from conducting an independent investigation into the charge that he has violated public office.
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Invitation to MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers to the People’s Congress on Save Malaysia Citizen Declaration in Shah Alam on Sunday to demonstrate their patriotism and love for Malaysia

Simpalek New Village has a special place in Malaysian political electoral history, because it was in Simpalek during the Raub by-election in May 1983, that a MCA Deputy Minister had a misstep and fell into a drain, but he tried to exploit it to political advantage by accusing the DAP of instigating DAP members and supporters to push him the drain.

But there were photographs on record to show that nobody pushed the Deputy Minister into the drain.

After the ‘longkang’ incident, the Deputy Minjster went around Raub limping on a tongkat, except that he forgot which foot should be injured, and he was photographed limping on a different foot when going in and coming out of Simpalek new village MCA premises.

The MCA Deputy Minister’s falling into a drain and limping around on the foot which was supposed to be injured in the fall became the laughing stock in the by-election.

The DAP victory in the Raub by-election, which was one of the triple by-election victories after the Kepayang state assembly by-election in Perak and the Seremban parliamentary by-election in 18 months after the 1982 General Election marked the revival of DAP after a disastrous electoral performance in the first five general elections under Mahathir’s 22-year premiership which had used the gleaming slogan of ABC, “amanah, bersih and cekap”.

Now, the fourth and longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir is on the same page with 44 other political and civil society leaders who collectively signed and proclaimed the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016 to demand removal of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the Prime Minister and for meaningful democratic and institutional reforms. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let “Save Malaysia” be the uniting objective and vision of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to stop Malaysia hurtling down the slippery slope towards a failed and a rogue state

On 4th March 2016, an unprecedented and historic event took place in Kuala Lumpur – the signing and proclamation of the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia by 45 political and civil society leaders which bridged the political divide for the first time in 59 years of the nation’s history.

The Citizens’ Declaration called for the resignation of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister for having embroiled Malaysia in the 1MDB scandal, the worst mega scandal in the nation’s history, and plunging the country to be among the world’s worst countries in corruption.

For eight long months, Najib had not only refused to sue international news publications that have made serious allegations of corruption against him involving the 1MDB scandal, he had also undermined full and independent investigation into the twin mega scandals which include the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal, as well as subverted the independence, professionalism and integrity of national institutions which include the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Police.

Even more important, the Citizens’ Declaration recognized that the multiple crisis afflicting Malaysia is not just because of an individual but a systemic one, which is why it also called for “democratic and institutional reforms” to restore the important principle of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary to ensure the independence, credibility, professionalism and integrity of national institutions.

I have visited 97 parliamentary constituencies since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22, 2015 for demanding answers to the simple questions as to the source, the donor or donors, of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election in May 2013 and where the astronomical sums have gone to.

I wanted public feedback whether Malaysians agree that the Prime Minister should stop his tactics of procrastination and denial but should answer directly the teeming questions asked by the public and the world about Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals.

In the past two weeks since March 4, in the 17 parliamentary constituencies in Kelantan, Kedah, Perlis and Pahang, I had also sought public feedback on the historic national development on March 4, the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Save Malaysia’ campaign to oust Najib brings political foes together

By Melissa Goh
Malaysia Bureau Chief
Channel NewsAsia
16 Mar 2016

Political enemies in Malaysia have banded together in a campaign led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, the man who has been leading a year-long campaign to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak, has called for a referendum on Mr Najib’s leadership.

In the campaign, political enemies came together in early March to sign a declaration calling for the removal of Mr Najib, in what they claimed was nothing less than an attempt to save the country from becoming a failed state.

The group included Lim Kit Siang, a former political prisoner from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and civil rights activists who have blamed Dr Mahathir for many of the perceived faults in the nation’s political system. Even Dr Mahathir’s former deputy Anwar Ibrahim, whom he fired and jailed, offered an olive branch from behind bars.

“What Dr Mahathir may be trying to get at in the Citizens’ Declaration and in working with Kit Siang and the DAP and other groups, is to prepare the ground for the next general elections. Mahathir’s support for DAP and the new grouping perhaps could be important in terms of mobilising rural Malay support,” explained Michael Yeoh, executive director of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute. Read the rest of this entry »

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Not business as usual in Malaysia

by Bridget Welsh
New Mandala
17 March 2016

Malaysian politics is entering new and rough terrain, writes Bridget Welsh. And the longer Najib stays in power the worse the country will be.

The formation of an alliance of former foes this month marks a turning point in Malaysia’s contemporary political history.

The Citizen’s Declaration opposing premier Najib Tun Razak through peaceful means and calling for political reform was signed by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and leaders of the 1999 reformasi movement who opposed his leadership, other senior leaders in the dominant party UMNO, civil society activists who mobilised the masses to protest the party’s rule, and long-standing traditional political party antagonists.

To get these men and women to sit down together reflected the depth of concern among prominent Malaysians, who opted to put their country’s future before its political past. At issue was not just the scandals plaguing the country, but its declining economic fortunes, exacerbated by declining revenues from oil and gas and poor governance.

In response, the government has intensified a crackdown on international and Malaysia’s media, strengthened the government’s relationship with conservative elements in the Islamist party PAS, and to portrayed the Declaration as a conspiracy to topple the government — measures that have only deepened the ongoing crisis of confidence with Najib Tun Razak.

In contrast to the cool portrayal of ‘business as usual’, Malaysian politics is entering new and rough terrain. The democratic slide will continue, as Najib fights growing opposition to and disappointment in his leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia turns screw on media as politics realign

Asia regional correspondent
Nikkei Asian Review
March 16, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR — It was a brief, sudden goodbye. With its website blocked by the government since late February, hard-hitting news service The Malaysian Insider announced on March 14 that it would cease to publish on the same day.

“The Edge Media Group has decided to shut down The Malaysian Insider from midnight today, for commercial reasons,” wrote the editor, Jahabar Sadiq, in a notice posted on the publication’s website, which had been blocked because of its reports on corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said The Malaysian Insider’s reporting broke the law as it amounted to “improper use of network facilities or network service.”

Najib has fended off calls for his resignation over hundreds of millions of dollars credited to his personal bank accounts in 2013, saying the money was donated by the Saudi royal family. He has also brushed off recent allegations that the total sum in his accounts amounted to $1 billion and came from troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, at which Najib is the chair of the advisory board. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir no solution for Malaysia’s mess

— Manjit Bhatia
Malay Mail Online
March 15, 2016

MARCH 15 — In hounding Malaysia’s scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak from office, the autocratic Dr Mahathir, his old foes and others have moulded a union — of sorts. Hailed a “realignment” of Malaysia’s politics, some analysts immediately claimed Najib and his clique can’t ignore its peerless example. But is this unholy alliance all that it’s cracked up to be?

Awfully doubtful. Cracks surfaced even before this “political force” is properly forged. A little over a week later and its legs are buckling already.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat wants Anwar Ibrahim, its jailed founder, symbolic head and one-time Mahathir protégé, unconditionally released from prison, to which Mahathir must agree as part of the overall agenda. And elections reformist group Bersih wants Mahathir to admit and apologise for his past sins.

Mahathir has sneered at these tangents. No doubt the alliance’s champions will paper over the cracks. Time will prove that utility. But time is shorter than 90-year-old Mahathir thinks. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Malaysia’s push to stifle scandal questions backfired as journalists deported

By Philip Sherwell
Asia Editor
16 Mar 2016

Malaysia’s embattled prime minister Najib Razak is cracking down on critics as international probes into funding scandal intensify

The Malaysian administration has waged an increasingly heavy-handed campaign to muzzle dissent and divert attention as a funding scandal and corruption allegations shake his administration.

Earlier this week, Malaysia deported two Australian journalists who attempted to question the embattled prime minister Najib Razak about a $680 million payment into his bank account.

The reporter and cameraman from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were detained and threatened with charges after they approached the Malaysian leader at a public event to which media were invited.

And Malaysian Insider, an outspoken news website critical of the prime minister, closed this week a few days after the government suspended its operations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Razak: Malaysian PM has diminishing room to manoeuvre

Greg Lopez
The Interpreter
14 March 2016

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s scandal-linked tenure has continued unabated but now his foes from various sides of the political divide have coalesced to pressure him to resign. This latest unified effort to unseat him could push him over the edge.

International media last year pronounced Najib ‘a dead man walking’ after he admitted to an allegation — of having more than $700 million in his private account — made by the Wall Street Journal. Yet he has remained in power, due largely to the sheer coercive powers and vast resources of the Malaysian institutions that he controls as both prime minister of Malaysia, and president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

Najib was never the most popular within the party. He rose to the top of the UMNO over many colleagues by patiently waiting, and betting on the right horses at the right time. He made more than a few enemies along the way. As soon as he was named deputy prime minister in 2004, his opponents sought to bring him down. That he lasted as deputy (2004-2009), and now as prime minister (April 2009 – present), under the most trying circumstances reflects a determination and instinct his rivals did not anticipate. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Mo zhe shi tou gua he” is one approach of the Save Malaysia campaign launched by Citizens’ Declaration of March 4, 2016

Many questions have been asked following the 304 Citizens’ Declaration (March 4) signed and proclaimed by 45 political and civil society leaders, including the country’s longest-serving former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Cabinet Ministers and former UMNO stalwarts crossing the political divide in bringing together DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara leaders in their personal capacities.

Some of these questions include:

• Who will be the Prime Minister after Najib?

• Is Mahathir the puppet of Lim Kit Siang or Lim Kit Siang the puppet of Mahathir?

• Will Mahathir or Kit Siang benefit most from the Citizens’ Declaration?

• Will the Citizens’ Declaration be UMNO’s salvation?

• Is there a guarantee of success in the Citizens’ Declaration and Save Malaysia campaign?

There are no sure and clear answers to the teeming questions thrown up by the unprecedented and historic Citizens’ Declaration, but there are certain facts that should be put straight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Voters in 12 parliamentary constituencies in Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis which I visited after the signing of the “Citizen’s Declaration” of March 4 support Save Malaysia campaign calling for Najib’s removal as well as democratic and institutional reforms

Kuala Perlis is my seventh stop in the visit to four parliamentary constituencies in Kedah and three parliamentary constituencies in Perlis yesterday and today.

Kangar (which includes Kuala Perlis) is the 92nd parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22 for demanding full and satisfactory accounting from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib for his RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals.

The seven parliamentary constituencies in Kedah and Perlis I visited in the last two days are: Sungai Patani, Merbau, Kuala Kedah, Alor Setar, Padang Besar, Arau and Kangar.

The purpose on my nation-wide visit of the parliamentary constituencies is to take the pulse of the people on Najib’s twin mega scandals, and there is no doubt that uppermost in everyone’s minds are teeming questions as where the billions in Najib’s personal banking accounts came from, where they have gone to, and whether the RM2.6 billion (mushroomed now to RM4.2 billion) donation scandal is part of the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal.

So many question, and which are increasing by the day, which remain unanswered – sending out the disturbing message not only to Malaysians but to the world that Najib has got many things to hide!

In the whole process for the past year, Malaysia is acquiring the notoriety of being among the most corrupt nations in the world – how sad for patriotic Malaysians!

Since March 4, there is an added issue which I am taking the pulse of the people during my visit to the parliamentary constituencies – the people’s reactions and feedback to the Citizen’s Declaration to Save Malaysia signed by 45 political and civil society leaders, involving former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as well as former Cabinet Ministers, bridging the political divide with signatories from the government coalition and the Opposition, calling for Najib’s removal as well as for democratic and institutional reforms. Read the rest of this entry »

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Selling the Save Malaysia movement to a sceptical Malaysian

Julia Yeow
The Malaysian Insider
13 March 2016

It’s been slightly more than a week since former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced he was championing a “people’s movement” to call for the resignation of his hand-picked successor Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Malaysians have been largely divided as to whether or not they should celebrate a loose coalition that claimed to want to save the country, or if they should run as fast as they could from another marriage of convenience between parties that have too many fundamental differences to be taken seriously as a team.

The largely ambivalent response to Dr Mahathir’s new grouping has led to prominent anti-Najib activist and former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to make an impassioned plea for Malaysians to put aside their political leanings for this season of time, and come out in full support of this initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr Mahathir and Ku Li, two peas in a pod?

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
13 March 2016

During the past 10 years I have written a great deal about our national politics and the country’s leadership. In particular I have focused on our prime ministers. What I have written has really been in response to the policies they have initiated and the way they have managed the key issues and challenges of our multi-racial society and developing economy.

Besides writing on the three prime ministers – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak – that we have had during the past 30 years I have also written extensively on two political figures who could have become prime ministers but never quite made it – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Readers will note that my view of Dr Mahathir has not been charitable. In fact, it will be considered unkind. He – and most Malaysians, including a majority of Malays today, will agree with me – is a failed leader who has let down the country badly.

Malaysians of my generation with longer memories than the current generation who know of the stability, harmony and prosperity that we enjoyed as well as experienced the high standards of governance inherited from the British, see the son of Mohamad Iskander Kutty, Dr Mahatir, as the principal cause of our badly dysfunctional economy and society. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five things for Najib to do to establish his bona fides in support of democratic and institutional reforms to “Save Malaysia”

I have been asked what I meant when I said in Sungai Patani yesterday that I am prepared to work with any Malaysian to Save Malaysia, not only Tun Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin, but even with Datuk Seri Najib Razak if the Prime Minister is prepared to admit that he had led the country on a wrong tangent and that Malaysia must be saved with far-reaching democratic and institutional reforms.

I said in Sungai Patani that I believe that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, race or politics, love this country and can subordinate self-interest to national interests and support a Save Malaysia campaign to stop the country hurtling down the slippery slope towards a failed and a rogue state.

I am glad that the people of Sungai Patani, Semiling, Anak Bukit and Alor Star which I visited yesterday had given me full endorsement for taking a strong stand to “Save Malaysia”, even to work with Mahathir and Muhyiddin and all like-minded political and civil society leaders who could agree with the two major thrusts in the Citizen’s Declaration – the removal of Najib as Prime Minister and far-reaching democratic and institutional reforms.

But if Najib is to come board the “Save Malaysia” campaign, there are at least five things he can and should do immediately: Read the rest of this entry »

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Confirmation of Muhyiddin statement that the “Citizen’s Declaration” is Mahathir’s brainchild

I confirm the statement made by former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, that the “Citizen’s Declaration” calling for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s removal as Prime Minister was first formulated by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and his comrades.

Muhyiddin made this disclosure in his interview with Sinar Harian, while rebutting vitriolic demonisation campaigns by UMNO leaders and propagandists claiming that the Citizen’s Declaration was an Opposition initiative, and that Mahathir and other UMNO leaders like former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Cabinet Ministers Tan Sri Sanusi Junid and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal were trapped by DAP or by the Opposition.

Muhyiddin also expressed shock and surprise at the selective, mischievous and tendentious reporting of the historic event of the Citizen’s Declaration last Friday on 4th March 2016 and the ensuing events in the past week.

He said the joint declaration was not about personalities like him, Dr Mahathir, former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir or Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is now in prison, had also expressed support, commenting: “That is extraordinary, because we know the history between Dr Mahathir and Anwar.” Read the rest of this entry »

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