KUALA LUMPUR: No matter how one looks at it, the so-called Citizens’ Declaration campaign led by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to oust Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister doesn’t make sense.
It might work in countries prone to political upheavals or prolonged street protests which might force their leaders to quit due to a vague political succession system, but it shall never achieve the same outcome in Malaysia where, if anything, such a system is well-entrenched and clear-cut.
The more the pressure the group would want to resort to trying to force Najib out of office, the higher would be its chances of failure. It’s even not far-fetched to say that it is doomed from the start.
And what has triggered a massive backlash from the entire UMNO community is that arch political enemy the DAP has also jumped on the anti-Najib bandwagon with Dr Mahathir in the driver’s seat.
Najib’s resolve in the face of this latest round of challenge and “threat” to his leadership is too abvious for everyone to see right from Day One when he had had to deal with a spate of issues related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad(1MDB).
In his 40 years of political journey, Najib has never been seen to be as tough as he has turned out to be now, starting with sacking UMNO Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Deputy Prime Minister in July. Another casualty was UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal who was also dropped from the Cabinet.
They had been a thorn in Najib’s flesh over their stinging criticism on the handling of 1MDB, and Muhyiddin’s fate in UMNO was sealed when he was suspended last week from his No. 2 position in the party that has ruled the country along with its coalition partners since Independence.
In no uncertain terms, Najib himself has described the move by Dr Mahathir, who recently yet again quit UMNO, and Muhyiddin to align themselves with opposition leaders as a “very big mistake”.
After losing his Deputy President’s position with the suspension, Muhyiddin now faces the real possibility of being sacked from UMNO amid growing calls for such action to be taken fast and furious.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak is spot on when he asked: “Dr Mahathir said the alliance (with the opposition) is merely to oust Najib so that Malaysia can be saved. Saved from what?”
Yes, this writer would like to repeat: Saved from what?
If those trying to oust Najib had searched their conscience that their chances of success are practically zero, then what are they up to?
Don’t they realise that the last thing a multi-racial country like Malaysia with all its sensitivities could afford right now is political instability?
It’s worse at this time when the nation’s economy is being dragged down by the collapse in the crude oil price that likewise had a negative impact on the ringgit.
Coupled with this, things look gloomy with media reports of rather rampant laying off of employees in the private sector as the economic slowdown bites into their business.
Malaysians at large want to get on with their daily lives without a new round of man-made crises. Please spare a thought for this. Enough is enough.
Tan Sri Dr James Masing, president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak and senior state minister, was livid when he said: “The group which gathered around Dr Mahathir is a sorry sight. They are almost pathetic. It has nothing to do with saving the country.”
He said this unholy alliance would be short-lived. As he put it: “When anger subsides and reason takes over, they will see the truth about Dr Mahathir and his agenda and he will be left to nurse his wounds alone”.
Let’s all hope that it would not come to this stage. For to avoid this, the earlier Dr Mahathir realises the futility of it all, the better.