Saturday, March 12, 2016

Maria Chin signed Citizens’ Declaration on own capacity, says Bersih

The majority of Bersih 2.0 endorsing non-governmental organisations agreed that chairman Maria Chin Abdullah signed the Citizens' Declaration initiated by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but only in her personal capacity, the electoral reform group's steering committee said. However, several NGOs among them did not agree with her doing so, it added. But it said that based on respect for the people's right to dissent, Bersih respected Maria's decision as well as others who chose to sign the declaration calling for reforms and for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's resignation. Bersih also added that while it would not sign the declaration, the two demands for institutional reforms and Najib's removal were "consistent with demands in the Bersih 4 rally" that was held in August last year. Maria was among a few civil society activists who signed the declaration and attended a press conference by Dr Mahathir on March 4. She has drawn criticism for doing so, because of Dr Mahathir's involvement as a former prime minister who is blamed for eroding Malaysia's institutions and curbing freedoms. Bersih's steering committee, however, reiterated that Maria did not sign it on behalf of the movement, and that she had also consulted committee members and Bersih's endorsing NGOs beforehand. "It should be noted that several NGOs did not agree with Maria signing a declaration that was initiated by Dr Mahathir. "However, majority of the NGOs at the Endorsing NGO meeting were supportive of Maria signing as an individual. "Just as we respect people's right to dissent, we also respect the decision of Maria and the others who chose to sign the Citizens' Declaration," it said. It reiterated that Bersih would not be involved in activities following the signing and would not use its funds for any of the declaration group's activities. – March 12, 2016.]]>

No comments:

Post a Comment