BN leaders dismiss Mahathir-Agong meeting on Citizens’ Declaration

Nazri AzizPETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional leaders have brushed off Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s handing of the Citizens’ Declaration to the King as a non-significant, futile attempt to unseat the current democratically-elected administration.

Umno Supreme Council member Nazri Aziz said the declaration, which reportedly has 1.4 million signatures, is “meaningless”, as it had no enforcement powers.

“If he (Mahathir) wants to waste the remainder of his life, then go ahead. But don’t waste the Agong’s time.

“Our country works through the parliamentary and the democratic system. If he (Mahathir) really wants to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak, then win the general election.

“His latest move won’t affect Umno. I can’t even liken it to a mosquito bite,” the Tourism and Culture Minister told FMT.

Nazri’s comments come following reports that Mahathir, had yesterday met the Yang diPertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, to hand over the Citizens’ Declaration.

The declaration, among other things, seeks to remove Najib as the country’s prime minister.

Another Umno Supreme Council member, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, said that no amount of signatures can “justify” the need to have Najib removed.

“There is nothing to worry about as I have strong confidence that the Agong will be fair and just.”

MIC Deputy President SK Devamany meanwhile, pleaded for Mahathir to stop tarnishing the country’s name, especially “as reports have shown that Malaysia is moving towards the right direction under Najib and BN’s governance.”

“His (Mahathir’s) personel vendetta against the prime minister is going to affect investors’ confidence in the country. I hope he (Mahathir) will wait until the next general election where he and his party can compete in a democratic manner.”

He expressed confidence that the Barisan Nasional coalition will weather this particular episode and emerge stronger, as it “has gone through worse” before.

Devamany said the public are tired of excessive politics and the focus should instead be on addressing the people’s daily concerns like employment issues and cost of living.

Gerakan Youth Chief Tan Keng Liang said Mahathir’s meeting with the King amounted to “nothing”, as “a country’s leadership is not decided through signatures, but through the Parliament and the general election”.

Tan also raised doubts as to the authenticity of the signatures contained in the declaration.

Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar said Mahathir’s meeting with the King was the former prime minister’s attempt to promote the Citizens’ Declaration, after having failed to do so during the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar twin by-elections and by trying to patch things up with jailed Opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim.

“Whatever he (Mahathir) wants to do, go ahead. We will just focus on strengthening our coalition.”