‘Citizens’ Declaration’ now ‘Save Malaysia’, targets hundreds of thousands signatures

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during an event to announce a citizens’ movement against the government in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during an event to announce a citizens’ movement against the government in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 ― The Citizens’ Declaration group will be officially named the Save Malaysia movement and aims to get at least hundreds of thousands to sign a petition calling for the prime minister’s removal.

The movement comprising Barisan Nasional (BN) veterans, opposition leaders and human rights activists led by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also decided at a meeting last night that a signature drive would be started this month in Johor, Kedah, Sabah and Terengganu, according to PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang who was present at the meeting.

“There'll be a roadshow around the country and then this collection of signatures will continue,” Chua, popularly known as Tian Chua, told Malay Mail Online.

Johor, Kedah, Sabah and Terengganu are key states that have seen dissent within Umno against the current administration. Prominent signatories of the Citizens’ Declaration include former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who comes from Johor and former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who comes from Sabah, has also expressed support for the Citizens’ Declaration although he has yet to sign it. In Terengganu where BN holds precarious power, former mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said recently tabled at the state legislative assembly a motion of no confidence against his successor Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, but it was rejected by the Speaker.

Chua told Malay Mail Online today that the Save Malaysia movement also aimed to get former civil servants and more civil society groups to sign their petition. A secretariat has also been formed.

The Batu MP said the Save Malaysia movement did not discuss who should replace Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister, stressing that the group would continue pressing Najib’s successor for reforms.

“We don't decide who to replace ― that's not our place to decide. It's very clear that it should be Parliament that decides,” Chua said.

According to Chua, the meeting last night was chaired by Dr Mahathir and included leaders from various opposition parties like Lim Kit Siang (DAP), Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS), Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah), as well as Mukhriz, former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, former Umno minister Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, and activists Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah.

One of the people who attended the meeting confirmed with Malay Mail Online, on condition of anonymity, that the group would be officially named “Save Malaysia” and that it planned to get hundreds of thousands to sign their petition.

Another source also confirmed the name change and said the Save Malaysia movement aimed to get as many signatures “as we can possibly get”.

A spokesman for the group told Malay Mail Online Tuesday that the online version of the Citizens’ Declaration, which requires signatories to state their IC numbers on a Google Form, had about 25,000 signatories.

Malay Mail Online understands that Dr Mahathir will announce the outcome of the Save Malaysia movement’s meeting last night on his blog sometime today.