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NGOs, concerned citizens reject 'birds of a feather' Najib, Dr M as PM
Published:  Jan 4, 2018 4:58 AM
Updated: 9:17 AM

Seventeen NGOs and 107 concerned citizens have endorsed an initiative calling on BN and Pakatan Harapan to remove Najib Abdul Razak and Dr Mahathir Mohamad as their respective prime ministerial candidates in the next general election.

The signatories warned Harapan that it risked losing its moral authority to champion issues like social justice, human rights and accountability if it nominated Mahathir for the top post.

“The biggest failure of Harapan lies in the fact that, while pursuing relentlessly BN's wrongdoings, it has simultaneously been turning a blind eye to the former prime minister's appalling records on democratic values, giving the general public the impression that it has succumbed to the culture of impunity and now puts partisan interests above democratic principles and the people's well-being.

“This political expediency certainly does not augur well for Malaysians yearning for change.

“In our opinion, wrongdoings of national significance committed by the current or the previous administrations are equally severe, and these include 1MDB, the crackdown on the Bersih rallies, the murder of Teoh Beng Hock, Bank Negara’s forex scandal in the early 1990s, Operasi Lalang in 1987, Project IC, the sackings of the former Supreme Court judges in 1988, among many others.

“By absolving Mahathir of his responsibility, Harapan has lost the moral authority to demand for the removal and prosecution of Najib,” they added in a media statement.

In view of this, the signatories urged BN and Harapan to drop Najib and Mahathir and pick those with high integrity to ensure good governance and well-functioning public institutions.

The NGOs and concerned citizen also condemned the use of race as a political ploy with regard to key leadership positions.

“In particular, the oft-repeated claim by Umno leaders that the Malay community would be marginalised under a government dominated by the "Chinese" DAP is abhorrent.

“Furthermore, PAS president (Abdul) Hadi Awang has openly suggested that only Muslims and members of the 'influential race' should be allowed to assume national leadership and form a cabinet (Islam meletakkan mestilah ketua negara dan anggota kabinetnya yang beraqidah Islam daripada bangsa yang paling berpengaruh), effectively denying non-Muslims their constitutional rights in this respect,” they said.

The signatories urged all political parties to respect every citizen's democratic right to run for office, including the office of prime minister and the cabinet, regardless of their gender, age and ethnic or religious background, because the suitability of public office holders should be determined by integrity and competency.

“In closing, we would like to reiterate that democratic struggle must not be reduced to a competition merely between political elites for state power, since democracy can only take root with a vibrant civil society as well as with an empowered citizenry ready to stand up for its rights.

“We would like to encourage Malaysians to be an active citizen by participating in community activism and social movement in daily life, and be involved in the decision- making process at the community, local and national levels.

“This is because democracy is much more than just casting one’s vote at the ballot box or pinning one’s faith on individuals, as it entails one’s participation in effecting real change throughout the political process.

“Most important of all, Malaysian civil society has made tremendous progress since 2008. In appealing to personality politics in a desperate attempt at regime change instead of building on past successes, there is a strong likelihood that the hitherto achievements may go down the drain,” they added.

Below are the names of the NGOs and individuals who have endorsed the initiative:

1. Malaysia Free of Corruptor and Dictator

2. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia

3. Tenaganita

4. North South Initiative

5. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)

6. Community Development Centre (CDC)

7. Malaysia Youth And Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)

8. Malaysian Election Observers Network (Meonet)

9. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy

10. Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM)

11. Johor Yellow Flame (JYF)

12. Perak Civic Forum

13. Sunflower Electoral Education (SEED)

14. Thinking Society

15. Imagined Malaysia

16. Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia

17. Mamas Bersih

Individual Endorsement

1. Lim Yi Hui

2. Josh Hong

3. Chan Wei See

4. Ngeow Chow Ying

5. Show Ying Xin

6. Ng Yap Hwa

7. Chang Teck Peng

8. Kua Kia Soong

9. Haris Ibrahim

10. Ivy Josiah

11. Gayathry Venkiteswaran

12. S Arutchelvan

13. Benz Ali

14. Teh Hon Seng

15. Ong Boon Keong

16. Ngeo Boon Lin

17. Toh Chin Hong

18. Cheng Fui Lien

19. Chong Yee Shan

20. Chong Yee chin

21. Wong Kee Tat

22. Liew Thin Choy

23. Tam Foon Meng

24. Lim Kwong Wee

25. Kassim Muhamad

26. Zikri Rahman

27. Anis Syafiqah

28. Lim Chee Han

29. Ng Boon Hui

30. Patrick Goh

31. Catherine Choon

32. Wong Tay Sy

33. Fredah Ti Binti Abdullah

34. Farida Jivamala Ibrahim

35. Yasmin Masidi

36. Adrian Pereira

37. Tong Wai Yee

38. Ng Xiang Yi

39. Ng Lee Yen

40. Chew Siew Fong

41. Puah Sze Ning

42. Mah Wei Li

43. Chong Kok Bon

44. Yip sau kam

45. Tsang Zhi Hao

46. Lee Chen Kang

47. Chin Siew Chien

48. Wong Siew Yun

49. Lee Suk Pei

50. Fion Lee

51. Lainie Yeoh

52. Chan Yit Fei

53. Bonnie Chiew

54. Choo Chon Kai

55. Choo Shinn Chei

56. Hue Yuet Ngan

57. Tan Choon Joo

58. Abdul Razak Ismail

59. Badrul Hisham Shaharin

60. Edy Noor Reduan

61. Muhammad Shamin bin Norisham

62. Yap Kuan Har

63. Loke Chee Hoo

64. Lew Yung Lin

65. Pow Kiew An

66. Aw Swee Sian

67. Aw Swee Hwa

68. Wong Han Choo

69. Hue Shieh Lee

70. Jenifer Tiong Ming Chen

71. Leong May San

72. Lee Chung Lun

73. Liang Tian Shen

74. Ahmad Anwar Asyraf

75. Saidin Muslimin Ismail

76. Kunasekaran Krishnan

77. Mohd Eussouff Mansor

78. Mohd Shafiq Iqram Abdullah @ Polo

79. Lam Kah Hon

80. Pablo Wong Poh Keong

81. Chang Teck Chee

82. Oung Kang Wei

83. Chong Kok Siong

84. Goh Ke JIng

85. Joshua Pang

86. Tan Ean Nee

87. Ng Kim Fong

88. Chong Mun Yee

89. Fong Chong Meng

90. Yap Onn Sang

91. Lee Hui Hui

92. Christine Loi Bih Ju

93. Lim Huey Chyi

94. Sydney Yap Xi Ni

95. Khoo Jeun Fun

96. Koong Hui Yein

97. Nik Aziz Afiq

98. Sharan Raj

99. Paranjothi Joma

100. Vennusha Priyaa

101. Faisal Mustaffa

102. Cheng Lee Whee

103. Sam Lee

104. Wong Jye Mei

105. Tung Wan Qing

106. Chang Keng Fuh

107. Chia Wei Loon

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