Friday, March 4, 2016

No need to harp on Dr Mahathir’s past mistakes, says Bersih chief

Harping on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed's mistakes does not help Malaysia out of its present rut, says noted civil society activist Maria Chin Abdullah. She said this in response to calls for the former prime minister to apologise or to acknowledge his role in ruining Malaysia's institutions, and in concentrating power in the prime minister's hands during his 22-year rule. Such demands had been voiced by activists as a pre-condition for joining Dr Mahathir's new movement to remove Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The "Citizens Declaration" was announced and signed today by Dr Mahathir and 57 others, including Maria and other activists. "His willingness to say that we need institutional reforms means that he has recognised that something is wrong. And I think that is good enough that he says there is something wrong with the system and he actually spelt it out. "It means mistakes were made previously and we are here now to move forward by correcting them," Maria told The Malaysian Insider after signing the declaration in Kuala Lumpur. The declaration among others calls for institutional reforms, including restoring integrity to "undermined institutions" such as the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and the Public Accounts Committee. Maria, who heads the Bersih 2.0 coalition for electoral reforms, said she attended Dr Mahathir's press conference and signed the declaration today in her individual capacity. – March 4, 2016. MORE TO COME]]>

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