Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dr Mahathir to lead people’s movement to oust Najib, says source

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will lead a movement against the prime minister, after spending the past few days meeting a number of politicians and activists in a final assault to pressure Datuk Seri Najib Razak to step down, a source says. The source told The Malaysian Insider, the 90-year former prime minister has been meeting these individuals separately to shore up support for the core group which he said would be formed to depose Najib. Frustrated by an Umno which he called "Najib's party", Dr Mahathir resigned from the party on Monday, where he had also said he would form the core group. It is learnt that Dr Mahathir will lead some 40 leaders to sign a declaration tomorrow, seeking the removal of Najib who has been prime minister since April 2009. The declaration will be symbolically presented to a people's representative which will be followed by a news conference. The source said the longest-serving prime minister for 22 years, until 2003, has been advised to act within the law in whatever measures this core group was going to take to pressure Najib to step down. He said Dr Mahathir has been warned that there would be a clampdown on the group if its members acted outside the perimeters of the law. "We have advised Dr Mahathir to be mindful of this as the government will seize the opportunity to break up the group and the movement," he said. Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu and his deputy, Salahudin Ayub, have confirmed they will sign the declaration. Former PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, who launched the "Save Malaysia" campaign in Kulai, Johor last week, also confirmed his participation. "I will be there on Friday," he said, adding that his Islamic party has yet to make an official stand whether to participate. PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has also been invited but it is unclear whether he will be present because of a lack of consensus in the party. However, former PAS information chief and incumbent Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar has confirmed his participation. Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) acting president Abdullah Sani, who is also Kuala Langat MP, has also confirmed his participation. "I have yet to get the mandate from MTUC executive council but will do it in my capacity as elected representative," he said. Sources said this declaration would be explained to the people far and wide to gather further support to pressure Najib to step down.  "Call it a people's movement," the source added. The source said this declaration would be followed up with a closed-door meeting on March 27 by former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. Over the past one year, Dr Mahathir had been critical of Najib's leadership, especially after The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported last July that US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) was found in the private accounts of the prime minister. It is widely believed that the source of the funds was from a government-linked company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), of which Najib was the chairman of its advisory board. Former deputy prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and rural development minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, both critical of Najib over the 1MDB scandal, were also sacked from the Cabinet. Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was also removed from office on medical grounds. In October, the Malay rulers advised Putrajaya to complete the investigation into 1MDB as soon as possible and take "the appropriate stern action" against those implicated. Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali on January 26 said there was "insufficient evidence" to charge Najib with criminal wrongdoing over the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International Sdn Bhd. – March 3, 2016.]]>

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