PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 Chairman Maria Chin Abdullah today revealed that the first draft of the Citizens’ Declaration only had the demand that Prime Minister Najib Razak quit as prime minister.
Only after her input was the demand for institutional reforms added to the declaration.
“We called an emergency meeting with NGOs at that time.
“The first draft was actually all about Najib resigning and very little mention of institutional reforms.
“So we inserted those few demands,” she told FMT during an exclusive interview at Bersih 2.0 headquarters.
Bersih 2.0 is set to conduct a town hall meeting to educate Malaysians nationwide about the Citizens’ Declaration.
“It’s not just about Klang Valley. We have to spread this declaration around the country. It must be owned by the people.
“We invite every Malaysian to talk to us and give us some ideas on what we should do.”
Chin said that the group was currently in the midst of searching for a venue and she would announce the official details regarding the event after finalising the location.
Last Friday, 58 politicians from both sides of the political divide, as well as civil society leaders, signed the declaration.
Besides demanding the removal of Najib as PM, the declaration also called for the removal of those who have acted in concert with him and for the repeal of all recent laws that violate fundamental human rights.
The group has also demanded for the restoration of integrity of the institutions that have been undermined under Najib’s leadership.
On former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Chin said it was impossible to disregard the clampdown on democracy during the 1998 Reformasi movement.
“I was involved with the family support group for detainees under the Internal Security Act (ISA),
“We also cannot forget the repressive laws and corruption that have happened in our country.”
However, Chin remained positive and said the declaration was one of the best methods to improve the current system.
“It actually helps to move the nation forward by recognising what we have done and what we have not.
“We are recognising the mistakes committed and correcting it with the institutional reforms demanded in the declaration.”