Former minister clarifies it is not a street gathering but a peaceful coming together of citizens concerned that the police have abandoned the rule of law and that the PM is above the law.
PETALING JAYA: In answer to the many questions that have arisen this past week over a March 27 gathering he called for, former law minister Zaid Ibrahim took to his blog explaining in question-answer format the objective of the gathering as well as his support of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He however first clarified that the gathering this weekend, called “Sayangi Negara Kita” (Love Our Country) was “not a street gathering of anti-Najib (Razak) or pro-Mahathir forces” as misconstrued by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
“27 March will be a peaceful gathering of citizens who want those who abuse the law to be punished and who want those who harbour these criminals to be made accountable and responsible.”
He said that instead of warning him against holding the gathering, the IGP should instead come clean about whether he did indeed investigate all the reports lodged against Prime Minister Najib Razak and added, “We the people have our constitutional right to gather peacefully and express our views about Najib, just like Najib fans have the right to praise him.”
Addressing the issue that some NGOs had turned down his invitation due to it being seen as a pro-Mahathir Mohamad event, Zaid said it was more about promoting the concept of change, and the desire to transform the way government was being managed, something the former premier was sincere about.
“I have received overwhelming support from those who know they are supporting change. Change has to start with complete and thorough investigations on Najib and the role of the Attorney-General and the IGP on 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) and SRC (International).”
While unsure if PAS and PKR would join the gathering, Zaid did say he was “encouraged” by the tremendous support he has already received from the leaderships of Amanah and DAP. “They too want to see real change because whatever policies they think are useful for Malays cannot be implemented if leaders are stealing money from government coffers.”
He was also confident Umno dissidents like Muhyiddin Yassin, Shafie Apal and Mukhriz Mahathir would support the gathering and added, “They are top leaders in Umno, so it’s unthinkable that they will just let Najib off the hook.
“With the unity of Umno dissidents, Amanah and others, we have a great chance to have a “people’s government” — and it will be a government that is honest with the people.
On what the March 27 gathering hoped to achieve, Zaid said simply “unity” across the nation. “Unity will ensure we have a new system of government after the next election where laws are observed, where corrupt leaders cannot escape punishment, and where civil servants would not dare harbour criminals.
“We must go down to the people and have a thousand ceramah.”