PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad is reported to have been left fumbling for an answer when questioned by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong about the purported 1.4 million signatures on the Citizens’ Declaration against Prime Minister Najib Razak.
In an article at Malaysia Today, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin said Mahathir’s audience with Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on Friday had been “a disaster.”
Raja Petra said that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had asked about the authenticity of the purported 1.4 million signatures on the Declaration, which petitions the Rulers’ Conference for action to remove the prime minister.
Tuanku Abdul Halim had also made a point of asking Mahathir about his widely-publicised claim that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had been “kept under house arrest” by the Federal Government, after he had previously failed to obtain an audience at Istana Negara.
The audience with Tuanku Abdul Halim on Thursday afternoon was at Istana Anak Bukit, the home palace of the Sultan of Kedah. Tuanku Abdul Halim is performing his second tour of duty as 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, whose seat is Istana Negara.
The Citizens’ Declaration was launched by Mahathir in March, with support from some Opposition politicians and a few civil society activists. The bulk of the declaration comprises allegations against Najib and 1Malaysia Development Berhad. It also includes a call for political reforms.
Raja Petra said Tuanku Abdul Halim had asked whether Mahathir could guarantee that all the signatures were genuine. “Mahathir was clearly not prepared for this,” Raja Petra wrote, and said the former premier was “quite stunned.”
He said Mahathir replied merely that the documents were what had been given to him, to which Tuanku Halim “just gave a wry smile.”
After asking whether Mahathir still felt that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was under house arrest, “the Agong changed the subject and talked about other things, mostly small talk,” according to Raja Petra.
Raja Petra did not say how he obtained information about what transpired at the audience, which was reported by Malaysiakini to have been a “four-eyed” meeting.
Former Umno member Khairuddin Abu Hassan told FMT that he accompanied Mahathir to the palace, and that “the audience was “just between the two of them”. Mahathir’s special officer Sufi Yusuf also confirmed to FMT that the 91-year-old former prime minister went to the Istana bearing “a set of documents.”
Raja Petra said “Mahathir’s audience was a disaster” and he failed to obtain the Agong’s intervention or involvement in the move to oust Najib.