Dr Dzul warns of stumbling blocks to #SaveMalaysia


(FMT) – Amanah Strategy Director Dzulkefly Ahmad has warned of the danger of the #SaveMalaysia agenda being killed by the “political grandstanding” of any of the promoters of the Citizens’ Declaration signed last week.

In a statement given to FMT, he expressed dread at the prospect that the signatories might themselves become stumbling blocks to the principal objective of the declaration, which is the removal of Prime Minister Najib Razak from power.

He noted that the declaration seemed to have become “different things to different people” and warned that therein might lie the “genesis of its own failure.”

He said: “The promoters need no reminders that the rakyat are very well aware that there exists a stark difference between former PM Mahathir Mohamad’s end game and those of the individual leaders of Pakatan Harapan and civil society organisations, principally Bersih.

“These different narratives have in fact fuelled contentious debate raging in the social media. It is a cause of awkward dissension amongst well-wishers of the various groupings for #SaveMalaysia.”

He advised the different interests against making assertions that are “too opinionated,” saying they were “uncalled for” and “unhelpful.”

“It is our conviction that for the sake of realising the visions of #SaveMalaysia, it is most critical that no one should exude political grandstanding so as to take ownership of the reform agenda,” he said.

“Let it be truly a Citizens’ Declaration. It is the rakyat who have suffered most from Najib’s failed leadership and a grossly dysfunctional system, under which power is over-concentrated in the Prime Minister and his cohorts.”

Referring to Mahathir’s insistence that the end game was only to get Najib removed, he said this must be read together with the bigger agenda of reform as stipulated in Article 36 of the declaration.

Article 36 reads:

“We, the undersigned citizens of Malaysia, agree and support:

“(a) The removal of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak as the 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) The repeal of all the recent laws and agreements that violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and undermine policy choices; and

“(d) A restoration of the integrity of the institutions that have been undermined, such as the police, the MACC, Bank Negara and the PAC.”

Dzulkefly said it was “perfectly alright” if Mahathir agreed only with the first of the objectives because the “sea change” it would trigger “will know no bounds.”

“While the Tun may want to stop at destination (a), the bandwagon of change must plough on for comprehensive reform,” he said.

“The other steps will have to be shouldered and ploughed on by the rakyat, regardless of the time-line. It will have a momentum and a life of its own.”

Referring to the call by some of the declaration’s signatories and supporters for emphasis on the release of Anwar Ibrahim from prison, he said: “It does not take much convincing for the rakyat to believe that, on having Najib removed by whatever legal mechanism, the release of Anwar, as the embodiment of all victims of unbridled injustice and a grossly dysfunctional system, is very much in line with the greater critical reform agenda.

“So, embark on the path of reform with first getting Najib removed, as he is the greatest stumbling block to change and reform.”