UMNO veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is wrong when he said that the Save Malaysia Citizens’ Declaration first signed by 42 political and civil society leaders in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016, including former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir and former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was unconstitutional or contemplated unconstitutional action.
Nothing could be further from the truth as it is in fact seeking a return to the fundamental principles of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Constitution 1963 on democracy, rule of law, fundamental liberties and doctrine of separation of powers.
Firstly, there is nothing wrong, unconstitutional or undemocratic in calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister of the day, whether in Malaysia and in any other country practising parliamentary democracy, whether Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, India or even the United States in calling for the resignation of the President.
If the call for resignation of the Executive head of the land from the country’s citizenry is loud, clear and imperative, the democratic will and wishes of the people must prevail through the constitutional processes available – whether through voluntary resignation or a vote of no confidence in the highest legislature in the land.
Secondly, all the 42 signatories of the Save Malaysia “Citizens’ Declaration” are committed to peaceful, non-violent, democratic and constitutional processes and abjure any resort to any violent, undemocratic or unconstitutional means to achieve the demands of the Citizens’ Declaration, which are contained in Paragraph 36 of the Declaration, viz:
a) The removal of Najib as Prime Minister of Malaysia through non-violent and legally permissible means.
b) The removal of all those who have acted in concert with him.
c) A repeal of all recent laws and agreements that violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the federal constitution and undermine policy choices.
d) A restoration of the integrity of the institutions that have been undermined, such as the police, the MACC, Bank Negara and the PAC.
Thirdly, the Citizens’ Declaration launched on March 4 in Kuala Lumpur is in fact to return to the fundamental principles of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Constitution 1963 on democracy, rule of law, fundamental liberties and doctrine of separation of powers, as powerfully affirmed by Paragraph 37 of the Citizens’ Declaration, viz:
“37. 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.”
The call of the Citizens’ Declaration in the final Paragraph 37 is in fact a summation of the speeches which Tengku Razaleigh himself had made down the decades in his political career.