PETALING JAYA: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad brought only the original Citizens’ Declaration with 45 signatures for his royal audience at Istana Anak Bukit on Thursday, says blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.
In a second article at Malaysia Today about the audience, Raja Petra questioned what had happened to the much-publicised million-plus signatures that were said to have been collected from the public.
Dr Mahathir had sought unsuccessfully to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara in order to present the declaration, which petitions for royal intervention to remove Najib Razak from office as prime minister.
“Suddenly, two days ago, Mahathir was finally granted an audience with His Majesty. And Mahathir brought a copy of the Citizens’ Declaration with its original 45 signatures in a small envelope to hand to the Agong,” Raja Petra wrote yesterday in an article entitled ‘How the Agong Outmanoeuvred Mahathir’.
“But why the Citizens’ Declaration with the original 45 signatories, some such as Tamrin Ghafar who have since announced they have pulled out? What happened to the balance of the 1.3 million or 1.4 million signatures? Why were these not also handed to the Agong?,” Raja Petra said.
Raja Petra said Dr Mahathir had only handed over “a small envelope that did not contain the alleged 1.4 million signatures” which would have made up a document “as thick as an encyclopaedia, and maybe a few volumes”.
On Friday, Raja Petra had described the much-sought-after audience as “a disaster” for Dr Mahathir when Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah had pointedly asked about the 1.3 million or 1.4 million signatures declared by Dr Mahathir as having been collected from the public.
Dr Mahathir initiated the Citizens’ Declaration in March. It was publicly signed by 45 people, comprising some Mahathir supporters, mostly opposition politicians and a few social activists. A campaign was launched for public signatures, which ran into controversy about whether the campaign had bought a database of names and personal details from a computer programmer, casting the authenticity of the list into doubt.
Raja Petra said the so-called “handing-over” of the declaration to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was a mere publicity stunt on Dr Mahathir’s part and he noted the lack of any publicity photographs as a sign of Dr Mahathir’s failure.
He also reiterated that the point of the audience granted with Tuanku Abdul Halim was to rebut Dr Mahathir’s assertion in May that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may have been “kept under house arrest” by the Federal Government.
Raja Petra quoted Dr Mahathir as having said: “We have got 1.4 million signatures, and we’ve been trying to show them to the Agong. But as of now I’ve not been able to meet the Agong because it’s likely that he’s under house arrest. The rulers may be confined to their palaces.”
At the audience on Thursday, “Mahathir realised it was not mission accomplished but mission failure”, Raja Petra said.