Dr M root cause of rot, says DAP MP on "Save Malaysia" declaration

PETALING JAYA: A DAP lawmaker has poured cold water over the unity call for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's ouster, calling the declaration a "rushed document".

Klang MP Charles Santiago said the declaration, dubbed "Save Malaysia" signed by a group of politicians and activists did not clearly spell out the aspirations of the people.

Moreover, he said, the declaration was led by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the same man whom he said had single-handedly "ruined Malaysia's economy and tarnished the nation through autocratic means.

"I agree that Najib must go for the better of the country and her people. But in this quest for justice one must not also forget that Dr Mahathir is the root cause of the rot that is affecting every Malaysian today.

"One cannot deny that his 22 years in power was made possible by the use of draconian laws to jail dissidents and critics," he said.

"Dr Mahathir introduced money politics in Umno, robbed the judiciary of its independence, clamped down on street protests and kept a heavy lid on freedom of the media," added Santiago.

On Friday, Mahathir together with the opposition leaders including DAP national advisor Lim Kit Siang signed a declaration, calling for Najib's ouster.

"The Save Malaysia coalition has ironically only made a passing reference to reforming national institutions, which are crucial to ensure the next government would be accountable and transparent.

"This declaration, therefore, is a rushed document that did not think through these pertinent issues," he said.

Santiago seemingly likened the current situation with a popular American TV series, House of Cards, which centres around a politician's elaborate plan to make himself the president of the US.

"Kevin Spacey plays the ruthless politician who makes pacts with his nemesis and teams up with strange bedfellows to become the most powerful man on earth.

"The point here is that everyone who comes on board his bandwagon have a personal agenda, simmering vengeance, need for revenge: in short, an axe to grind," he said.

And the question would still remain if the move was merely an act of revenge by Dr Mahathir.

"As for Mahathir critics, the question would still remain if this is an act of revenge because Najib had flatly refused to continue Dr Mahathir's policies, setting in motion the crumbling of his legacy.

"The onus is now on civil society representatives and political parties to ensure Dr Mahathir does not hijack the movement," he said.