An elected prime minister can be removed through legal means, says former Umno supremo Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as he continues to defend his grassroots campaign to oust Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Dr Mahathir, who had put down a people’s movement to oust him in the late 1990s, said today it was legitimate to call for a prime minister to resign before the end of his term.
“The fact that the PM is elected does not mean he cannot be removed before his term (ends).
“Elected people have been removed or terminated from office for various reasons all over the democratic world,” Dr Mahathir, the fourth prime minister, said in the latest posting of his blog chedet.cc.
He then proceeded to list in point form all the reasons Najib had to go, including the prime minister’s role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal and the RM2.6 billion donation channelled into his bank accounts.
Dr Mahathir is leading a campaign called “Save Malaysia” aimed at getting Najib out of office.
The campaign, which started with a citizen’s declaration that got the support of some opposition leaders, had also included a demand for institutional reforms.
Najib’s supporters, however, have pushed back against the demands by saying that a prime minister can only be changed through the general election.
In his blog post, Dr Mahathir also accused Najib of getting permission from the Singaporean Prime Minister for projects that are supposed to be within the government’s purview, such as the crooked bridge and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed train.
Dr Mahathir also said Najib led a lavish lifestyle and spent way beyond a prime minister’s means for his daughter’s weeding.
The European consultants that Najib employed in the Prime Minister’s Department had cost the tax payer RM7 billion and their policies had increased tensions between the country’s ethnic communities.
“He actually employed Europeans to work in the PM’s department. Their influence over him led to his becoming insensitive to local conditions,” said Dr Mahathir.
He also said Najib had set up agencies outside the government such as Pemandu (The Government Performance and Delivery Unit) and paid its staff salaries and perks that are not in accordance with civil service standards. – March 14, 2016.