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.
Many people had asked how Tun Dr. Mahathir and I could sit on the same table in view of our past history and the great differences between both of us down the decades.
This is proof that Malaysia has reached a historic watershed where Malaysians must rise above racial, religious, regional and political differences to take an united stand on a common national agenda – to save Malaysia from hurtling down the slippery slope of a failed and a rogue state.
There have been historic examples, both international and in our country – from Mao Tse Tung and Chiang Kai Shek forming a common front to fight a bigger common enemy; to the United States President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian dictator Stalin uniting to fight Germany’s Hitler in the Second World War; or the British colonialists teaming up with the Malayan communists under Chin Peng in the Malayan jungles through Force 136 during the Japanese Occupation.
The Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia seeks to spark off a national movement involving the unity all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to Save Malaysia – the highest form of patriotism at this time – through a peaceful, democratic and constitutional process.
I can report that in my visits to 97 parliamentary constituencies in the past five months, which includes 17 parliamentary constituencies in the past two weeks, there can be no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians want the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to stop running and hiding from the twin mega scandals and to take drastic action to ensure that Malaysia is not regarded as among the top 10 countries in the world for corruption.
Secondly, there is overwhelming popular support for the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia.
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.
I am not surprised that one of the strongest opponents to the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia outside UMNO/BN is none other than the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang.
He has formed what he called a “third force” with PAS teaming up with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan), with a common stand that Najib need not resign as Prime Minister purportedly for having a “strong mandate to lead the country” – ignoring the fact that Najib is the first minority Prime Minister in Malaysia winning only 47% of the popular vote in the 13th GE.
Hadi is upset at my comment that “zero plus zero equals to zero”, when I was asked for my response to his “third force coalition”, asserting that PAS is not “zero” as it had managed to wrest Kelantan, Kedah and Perak state governments in the 2008 general elections.
I agree that PAS was not “zero” in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, but the scenario had undergone a sea-change since the 2013 general election.
Can PAS maintain power in the Kelantan State on its own, as it had done for over two decades under the leadership under the then PAS Mursyidul Am and Kelantan Mentri Besar, Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz or has Hadi’s PAS now to depend on the charity of UMNO to continue as the Kelantan State Government in the next general election?
Is PAS under Hadi now a “zero”?
Nobody apart from Hadi regards Ikatan as more than a “zero”. Isn’t this proof that Hadi himself is regarding PAS as a “zero” by putting PAS on the same pedestal as Ikatan! Or does Hadi regards Ikatan as “one”?
Hadi said his party was not the reason why the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government fell in 2009, putting the blame on DAP and PKR whose state assemblypersons “jumped ship”.
It is very revealing that Hadi does not blame Najib, who was the mastermind who carried the coup d’tat in Perak in toppling the Pakatan Rakyat state government led by Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, the PR Perak Mentri Besar.
Is Hadi, now in retrospect, supporting Najib’s role in toppling the Perak Pakatan Rakyat state government of Datuk Seri Jizar Jamaluddin in 2009?
Can Hadi explain why even Nizar had left PAS to join Parti Amanah Negara?
Hadi’s actions in causing the death of Pakatan Rakyat is recent history and memories of Malaysians as to who had destroyed the Malaysian Dream embodied by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is still too fresh for Hadi to distort and rewrite history.
Hadi wants to bring the PAS under his leadership after the PAS Muktamar last year to be the strongest defender and supporter of Najib as Prime Minister and is fully opposed to the Citizens’ Declaration to Save Malaysia, calling for Najib’s resignation as well as far-reaching democratic and institutional reforms.
Malaysians will have to decide whether they support Hadi’s latest political stance – out-UMNO UMNO in full support of Najib as Prime Minister of Malaysia, despite Najib’s twin mega scandals and serious subversion of democratic rights of Malaysians and the independence, credibility and professionalism of our national institutions.
(Speech at the DAP Felda Lurah Bilut warong ceramah on Monday, 21st March 2016 at 6 pm)