Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has proposed that a gathering be held on March 27 to call for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s resignation.
In an acerbic blog posting, the ex-Umno lawmaker said the current situation cannot be allowed to prolong and urged Malaysians to rally behind Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
For too long, Zaid pointed out, Malaysians have been overcome with the fears that Najib has imposed on the public.
Zaid accused Najib of dismantling public institutions by appointing only yes-men to bodies such as the Public Accounts Committee.
“His ministers and top civil servants are closing their eyes to his misdeeds because they think he will not last long. Little do they realise that this is doing great damage to the country.
“We must not allow the situation to continue one minute longer... We must collectively show Najib that we are not afraid of him,” he added.
According to Zaid, the favourite response to the 1MDB scandal is that Mahathir lost more than RM42 billion through financial mismanagement while he was prime minister and he therefore has no business criticising Najib.
Apart from this, he said, the prime minister’s supporters also accused Mahathir of unfairly helping his friends and sons to secure contracts and concessions.
'Living like king and queen'
Claiming that Najib has done the same, Zaid argued that the former prime minister and current prime minister are miles apart.
“Mahathir never stole government money, whether through companies registered in the British Virgin Islands or by other devious means. Not one sen.
“He has in fact challenged Najib to ‘open the books’ on him.
“Najib, on the other hand, has been involved in all sorts of financial scandals, whether the submarine purchase, 1MDB and ‘donations’ he has received as prime minister.
“Najib and his wife are supremely wealthy and their lifestyles equal those of kings and queens. On the other hand, Mahathir and (his wife) Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali live simple and almost austere lives.
“While Mahathir asked Najib and the police to open the books on him, Najib has been busy closing his books. Do you see the difference?” he added.
Referring to attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali as the prime minister’s “sidekick”, Zaid noted that the former suggested more serious sentences under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
“We need to tell them that we are not afraid of them. We must show them that we are prepared to make our sacrifices to keep this country clean and honourable.
“If you are with me on this, let’s meet on March 27 (Sunday), at a venue to be decided, so we can put our hearts and minds together and declare in unison that Najib must immediately resign, and that the inspector-general of police and the AG must also resign .
“We must declare our wish and desire to rid the country of leaders who are corrupt, including those civil servants who have helped cover up any misdeeds.
“Let this gathering be our message to Najib and his friends that we will not abandon the country, and will not let corruption and those who abuse their power to rule any longer,” he added.
Najib has denied abusing public funds for personal gain and blamed such allegations on those conspiring to topple him.