Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Deklarasi Rakyat of the 58 ‘Wakil Rakyat’ 

Salleh Said Keruak 

Yesterday, 58 individuals who claim to be representing the rakyat signed what they call a Citizens’ Declaration or Deklarasi Rakyat. Amongst those 58 were also some retired politicians, police officers and government officers, plus some who call themselves civil society leaders. 

In truth, this event was all hype and nothing more. The so-called Citizens’ Declaration is merely a recycled document from the one done in 1998 and the second one done in 2008. No doubt they may say this a blueprint for reforms, but it is not really a blueprint or masterplan as it is a list of aspirations and desires. 

This Citizens’ Declaration is what they would like to see rather than a plan on how to achieve these aspirations. In other words, they offer us no solutions. Furthermore, these aspirations differ depending on who you talk to, with one person saying one thing and another saying the opposite. 

While they have attempted to make it look like yesterday’s event was a platform to seek reforms and change, in reality it was a union of all those opposed to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. And what they really wanted was to create the impression that the move to oust the Prime Minister is being backed by the majority of the rakyat. 

This, of course, is not true. The 58 individuals are not representative of 30 million Malaysians. It is not even representative of 15 million Malaysian voters. Yes, we do have Wakil Rakyat, almost 800 Members of Parliament and State Assemblypersons to be exact. These are the legitimate representatives who were voted into office by the people during the general and state elections. 

What we saw yesterday was merely a movement to oust the Prime Minister. The so-called Citizens’ Declaration is the excuse they are hiding behind to justify what they are doing. They seem to forget that there is a mechanism to do something like that. And that mechanism is called general elections.

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