PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has hit out at critics who have called former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a traitor to the Umno cause.
The suspended Umno deputy president said there are some who are uneasy with Dr Mahathir's success in bringing together Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan, PAS and civil society leaders in calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Muhyiddin also said that it is unfortunate that some critics have used the presence of DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang to paint the Citizens' Declaration as a DAP agenda aimed at destroying Umno.
"This accusation is not true at all," he said.
Muhyiddin said the declaration is not an agenda of any political party, but rose from the awareness of individuals from various social and political backgrounds.
"The Citizens' Declaration represents the rakyat's struggle that crosses political ideology, race and religion to save Malaysia from disgrace and redeem the country's dignity," he said.
Muhyiddin said that if Najib, who is also Umno president, could sit next to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on stage in the name of working together politically, why could Dr Mahathir and other leaders not sit together to save Malaysia.
"Why must different standards be applied?" he said.
Muhyiddin added that the declaration has not only received the support of political leaders from various backgrounds but also citizens from different levels of society.
"I believe that even more rakyat will come forward to state their support of the Citizens' Declaration in the near future. This development is sure to worry Najib and those around him," he said.
Muhyiddin said that in a democracy, the right of the citizens to express their opinion is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.
"Asking the Prime Minister to resign because of his involvement in a financial scandal is part of the rakyat's right in a democratic country," he said.
He also said that the move to ask the Prime Minister to resign before an election is not new because it happened during the time of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"In all these instances, the BN government was not affected," said Muhyiddin.
On March 5, Dr Mahathir along with key political figures and civil society leaders initiated the Citizens' Declaration demanding the removal of Najib as Prime Minister.
The move came just four days after Dr Mahathir quit Umno for the second time.