Kit Siang: Razaleigh wrong on Citizens’ Declaration

Lim-Kit-SiangKUALA LUMPUR: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was wrong to say that the Save Malaysia Citizens’ Declaration was unconstitutional, said DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang in a statement. “It’s in fact seeking a return to the fundamental principles of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963 on democracy, rule of law, fundamental liberties and the doctrine of separation of powers.”

The Citizens’ Declaration, in the final Paragraph 37, was in fact a summation of the speeches which Razaleigh himself made down the decades during his political career, added Lim who has been suspended from Parliament as Gelang Patah MP.

Paragraph 37 of the Citizens’ Declaration reads:

“We call upon all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion, political affiliation, creed or parties, young and old to join us in saving Malaysia from the government headed by Najib, to pave the way for much-needed democratic and institutional reforms, and to restore the important principle of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary which will ensure the independence, credibility, professionalism and integrity of our national institutions.”

Razaleigh was wrong, reiterated Lim, when he said that the Save Malaysia Citizens’ Declaration signed by 42 political and civil society leaders in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016, including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was unconstitutional or contemplated unconstitutional action. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Firstly, stressed Lim, there’s nothing wrong, unconstitutional or undemocratic in calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister of the day in Malaysia as in any other country practising parliamentary democracy, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, India or the United States (the President).

If the call for the resignation of the head of government was loud, clear and imperative, the democratic will and wishes of the people must prevail through the constitutional processes available. “This can be through voluntary resignation or a vote of no confidence in Parliament.”

Secondly, assured Lim, all the 42 signatories of the Save Malaysia “Citizens’ Declaration” campaign are committed to peaceful, non-violent, democratic and constitutional processes and abjure any resort to any violent, undemocratic or unconstitutional means to achieve the demands in Declaration, which are contained in Paragraph 36 of the Declaration:

a) The removal of Najib Abdul Razak as 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) A repeal of all 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 Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara and the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Thirdly, reiterated Lim, the Citizens’ Declaration launched on March 4 in Kuala Lumpur was in fact to return to the fundamental principles of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963 on democracy, rule of law, fundamental liberties and doctrine of separation of powers, as powerfully affirmed by Paragraph 37 of the Citizens’ Declaration.