PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional leaders were standing firmly behind Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after the citizens' declaration effort led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the new movement was against legal ethics as Najib was elected via a democratic process.
"Any bid to remove Najib without following the same democratic process is against legal ethics," he told reporters in Malacca yesterday.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said: "The MCA's stance remains clear. We fully support Najib's leadership."
Speaking after chairing MCA's central committee meeting yesterday, Liow said Najib was legitimately elected and people should not resort to undemocratic means to topple him.
He said the presence of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik at the event had nothing to do with the party and Ling had been there in his personal capacity.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said those who signed the declaration should be honest and not take the people for a ride.
"They realise their move to oust Najib has failed and this is just a face-saving exercise. It is a sideshow to give an impression that the effort has not ended when in fact it ended months ago," he added.
Barisan strategic communications chief Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan added that Dr Mahathir's collaboration with the Opposition showed that his fight was no longer against Najib but against Umno.
"The response I got from Umno grassroots leaders on my WhatsApp and Telegram groups was unequivocal - which is to stand behind the president!" said Abdul Rahman on his Twitter account.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the Government could not stop a group of "disappointed and immature" politicians from signing the declaration.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's offer of support to Dr Mahathir could be taken to mean that the former Opposition leader admits to all the accusations levelled against him.
"By supporting Dr Mahathir, he (Anwar) admits to whatever allegations Dr Mahathir made against him in 1998."
A statement from the Prime Minister's office said Dr Mahathir must follow the democratic process and await the next general election, if he wanted to change the government and prime minister.