PETALING JAYA: Four days after quitting Umno, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has teamed up with key political figures and civil society leaders to initiate a citizens’ declaration to demand the removal of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The group of more than 50, including suspended Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, signed the 37-point declaration during a ceremony at the Universiti Malaya Alumni Association clubhouse.
The former prime minister renewed his attacks against 1MDB, including its joint venture with Petrosaudi International Limited.
Dr Mahathir also revisited the controversy surrounding the RM2.6bil in Najib’s personal bank accounts, pointing to discrepancies between the Prime Minister’s explanation and reportedly that of a Saudi minister.
“To this day, WSJ (Wall Street Journal) continues to report about 1MDB and Najib has not sued them. He can sue them in the country where WSJ is published,” said Dr Mahathir.
The former premier also claimed that he was forced to initiate a citizens’ movement as existing avenues had been crippled.
“Normally, we can make reports and then the police will investigate.
“If there is evidence of wrongdoing, then the Attorney-General can take the case to court. But right now, that system is not working,” he told reporters after the signing ceremony.
Other signatories to the declaration included former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, PKR vice-presidents Rafizi Ramli and Tian Chua, lawyer activist Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, former PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, former PAS information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar, Amanah deputy president Datuk Salahuddin Ayub, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, and Bersih 4 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.
Four other individuals who endorsed the declaration but were not present for the signing included Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua and lawyer Matthias Chang.
Asked if his collaboration with the Opposition would lead him to join Pakatan Harapan, Dr Mahathir said it was not the case.
“We are all here today as concerned Malaysians. There’s a difference between the citizens’ agenda and party agenda. The media must understand that,” he said when asked if he was now endorsing the Opposition’s goals.
Muhyiddin said he was not afraid that the party would take further action against him following his decision to sign the declaration.
“Even if I’m still an Umno member, I’m firstly a citizen of Malaysia and have the right to speak,” he said.
Azmin, who is the Selangor Mentri Besar, said the citizens’ movement was consistent with PKR’s stand all along.
“Anwar (Ibrahim) made a strong stand from prison yesterday to support this position (taken by Dr Mahathir). We are all concerned citizens who are here to support the initiative,” he said.