May 16, 2016
The Citizens’Declaration: 1.27 million signatures–Still a long way to GO
by Scott Ng
Some may say a million is an insignificant portion of the country’s population, which is about 30 million, but no one can deny that the number has a symbolic impact. It gives a kind of legitimacy to the claim that there is popular support for the cause behind the declaration, which is the removal of Prime Minister Najib Razak.–Scott Ng
The Citizens’ Declaration can be said to have finally lived up to its name, now that 1.27 million citizens across the the country have allegedly signed it. That represents a large enough voice for it to be taken seriously.
Some may say a million is an insignificant portion of the country’s population, which is about 30 million, but no one can deny that the number has a symbolic impact. It gives a kind of legitimacy to the claim that there is popular support for the cause behind the declaration, which is the removal of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The leader of the cause, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has said that he was now seeking an audience with the Yang Dipertuan Agong to submit the signatures to him.
However, what comes next is the difficult part. As we have heard most reassuringly from our ministers over the past week, a million signatures or no, the King does not have the power to remove a prime minister arbitrarily. The mechanisms Mahathir put in place in 1993 to ensure royal interference would never be a factor in his administration are now coming back to haunt him.
The goal here is much simpler than to ask the King to dismiss the Prime Minister. It is to make him acknowledge that a significant number of his subjects are opposed to Najib’s rule.
As the champions of Islam and defenders of the people, the Sultans and the Yang Di Pertuan Agong will at least have to give consideration to the fact that a million of their subjects are protesting.
Although they are ostensibly apolitical, their word still carries weight among the rural folk. The King’s acceptance of the signatures may be enough to serve as a word of royal disapproval, which will speak volumes to those still hesitant to sign up for the cause.
Making a major figure of authority acknowledge the legitimacy of a cause may be more effective than going on road shows. It may not bring about Najib’s resignation, but if it makes him and his men uncomfortable, that would be as good a sign as any to Mahathir’s forces that they are headed down the right path.
My Friend Bernard Zorro Khoo– Fighting for the Future
Make no mistake about this; the Save Malaysia campaign has barely begun. More likely than not, we’ll be able to judge the result only after GE14. It will be a long, arduous trek to the goal, and the Najib administration will only be too happy to throw a wrench in the works whenever possible.