March 5, 2016
Putrajaya reacts: Change via Democratic Elections
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should follow the democratic process and wait for the next general election if he wants a change of government, Putrajaya said today, hours after the former prime minister launched a new cross-party initiative to remove Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak from office.
Responding to the press conference by Dr Mahathir, opposition leaders and civil society leaders earlier, Putrajaya said Malaysians had given Najib the mandate to lead the country during the 13th general election.
“Today, Tun Mahathir and his former enemies have demonstrated the depth of their political opportunism and desperation.There is an existing mechanism to change the government and Prime Minister. It’s called a general election. And it is the only mechanism that is lawful, democratic and fulfils the people’s will.
“In 2013, the Malaysian people expressed their will and elected the current government, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak. If Tun Mahathir wants to change the government, he must follow democratic process and await the next election, in line with Malaysia’s laws and Federal Constitution,” a government spokesman said.
Earlier today, Dr Mahathir got together with his old political allies and foes to obtain the people’s support to sign a declaration seeking Najib’s removal as Prime Minister.
The Citizens’ Declaration, which among others calls for Najib’s removal as well as “those in concert with him”, is signed by 58 individuals, including Dr Mahathir’s wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Dato Seri Salleh Said Keruak described the movement to oust Najib as a side show by a group of misfits with no clear agenda for reforms.
“It was basically a collection of misfits and a motley crew who are united by only one thing: their hatred for Najib. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad talked about removing Najib and then pushing for reforms,” he said, adding that those who attended the press conference were the same voices who had been most vocal in demanding Najib’s resignation.
Salleh also said that Dr Mahathir was careful not to go into detail on what kind of reforms he was referring to.
“He left it vague. The opposition’s idea of reforms differ greatly from that of Dr Mahathir’s.They are not united on the details. That alone ensures that this alliance is doomed from the start, just like Pakatan Rakyat was.Let us first hear what their full agenda of reforms is before asking the rakyat for their support,” he said.
He also questioned the movement’s next course of action as he said their one and only agenda was to oust Najib.
“After that, what? Dr Mahathir said the alliance is merely to oust Najib so that Malaysia can be saved.Saved from what? What he means is the 1MDB issue but he does not want to mention that because the matter has already been resolved and is no longer an issue,” he said, adding that even the RM2.6 billion donation issue also had been resolved.
He said those who were part of the movement realised that their attempt to oust Najib had failed and it was just a face-saving exercise.
“They need to be honest and not take the rakyat for a ride.It is a side show to give an impression that the effort has not ended, when in fact it ended months ago.”