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.”
Muhyiddin may find it surprising that he has now become a “non-person” with the UMNO/BN controlled media, but this is no news to us in the Opposition. I had been a “non-person” as far as the UMNO/BN media are concerned in the past half a century, unless it is to vilify or demonise me.
There is no good word about me or DAP leaders, except for those DAP leaders that the UMNO/BN media want to exploit, and photographs are a “no no” in the UMNO/BN media as far as DAP leaders and I are concerned.
This reminds me of Nelson Mandela, who was banned from being mentioned in the Apartheid South Africa media for decades, and how for the first time in 20 years, photographs of Mandela were allowed to be published in South Africa in February 1990 when he was to be released from prison after 27 years or 10,000 days of imprisonment!
I can confirm that the initiative for the Citizen’s Declaration came from Mahathir, but the question of he using the Opposition and civil society leaders or vice versa does not arise.
Although Opposition and civil society leaders agree on the need for the removal of Najib as Prime Minister, because of Najib’s twin mega scandals and Malaysia lurching towards a Prime Ministerial dictatorship with fundamental freedoms entrenched in the Constitution flouted and violated, leadership change must be accompanied by democratic and institutional reforms to end rampant corruption, arbitrary abuses of power and violation of human rights and fundamental liberties entrenched in the Constitution.
It is not a question of who made use of whom, but reaching of national consensus that Malaysia must be saved from hurtling towards a failed and rogue state, where leadership change accompany democratic and institutional reforms.
(Speech at the “Mana RM2.6 billion?” dialogue at Anak Bukit, Kuala Kedah on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5 pm)