Analysts: PM should be worried over declaration

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Source: FMT News

Political scientist Andrew Aeria says Najib’s supporters might want to rethink their positions due to the broad-based movement against the Prime Minister

Citizen's Declaration, 4 March 2016 - Pic taken from The Star Online

Citizen’s Declaration, 4 March 2016 – Pic taken from The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Razak should be worried that his political opponents have now banded together to sign the Citizens’ Declaration, say political observers.

Political scientist Dr Andrew Aeria said the signing of the declaration by 58 politicians from across the political divide and leaders of civil society groups was a very significant statement against Najib.

“People across the political spectrum and former foes have come together and put aside their differences and former conflicts because they realise the threat facing the country is extremely serious,” said the Associate Professor at Universiti Sarawak Malaysia’s Department of Politics and International Relations.

“Najib should be worried because the international community has been watching the situation for a very long time.
“They can now see that his political rivals and civil society leaders have come together to remove him at a time when the economy is diving and people are suffering.”

He also said Najib’s supporters and backers might now want to rethink their positions in view of the broad-based movement against him.

Aeria said Friday’s declaration meant there was a new equation in Malaysian politics and it was a good thing as it showed Malaysia had a group of leaders who cared more for the country’s interests rather than a political elite concerned more about their own fortunes.

Another political analyst, Dr Denison Jayasooria, echoed Aeria’s sentiment that Najib and the Cabinet should be concerned over the unprecedented declaration, which he felt was a reflection of citizens’ need for change.

“The voices and citizen movements are going to grow larger and larger. If BN is not careful, this force of citizens might finally usher in change.

“BN leaders should review this situation and they must respond to all the matters raised in the declaration.”
Jayasooria said at this stage, it was best for Najib to consider calling for early elections.

This, he said, was because there were many issues plaguing the administration and people were unhappy about.

“I feel it is best that we go to the polls so the people can decide the direction of the country,” he said, adding it would also be an indication of whether the people supported Najib.

He also praised the declaration’s call for institutional reform which many civil societies have been advocating for.

Earlier Friday, 58 influential leaders, led by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad signed the Citizens’ Declaration calling for Najib’s removal as Prime Minister, the removal of those who have acted in concert with him, a repeal of all recent laws which violated fundamental human rights and the restoration of integrity of institutions that had allegedly been undermined.