Cover image via Azlan Zamhari

HAVING failed to convince the King to act on the Citizen’s Declaration, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is now moving to appeal to the Council of Rulers.

The petition seeking Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak’s resignation over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal was initiated by the former leader in early March and had managed to garner 1.2 million signatures before the end of the year. Tun Dr. Mahathir had hoped that by getting over 1 million signatures he would be able to persuade the King to take action against the prime minister.


But alas his wishes did not materialize. Now the Council of Rulers are scheduled to hold a meeting on 11 October. In view of this, Tun Dr. Mahathir has sent out a letter to the respective Rulers in the hopes of appealing to them on behalf of citizens for the prime minister’s removal. Tun Dr. Mahathir has stated that if this appeal fails then the movement will decided on the next course of action for the Citizen’s Declaration.

Little information has been divulge of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s meeting with the King. But it is apparent that he was not satisfied with the response given by the King thus the decision to push forward his cause to the Council of Rulers. However this step may also face an impediment as many of the sultans’ most likely still harbor resentment towards Tun Dr. Mahathir, who had significantly curtailed their powers during his tenure.

Under the circumstances, the former prime minister will not be able to obtain the much needed support from Malaysia’s royalty. Markedly, Tun Dr. Mahathir had taken it upon himself to advice and instruct the King of what he can and should do, including the King’s right to appoint and dismiss a prime minister. Ironically the former strongman believes he has the right to impose his views and expect the King to follow suit. Sadly not much has changed in Tun Dr. Mahathir’s conduct.


Tun Dr. Mahathir is not one to easily retreat from a complicated situation. A man of strong convictions, he will often pursue a matter until it is dealt with to his satisfaction. Presently Tun Dr. Mahathir’s other viable option is to use the newly created Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) or Bersatu to try to influence change in Malaysia’s political scene.

With the next general elections looming on the horizon, Bersatu like all other opposition parties are more than welcome to challenge the current incumbent. Perhaps Tun Dr. Mahathir should refrain from harassing the Rulers and instead channel his efforts elsewhere.

Eddy Liow is an independent analyst and Malaysian Access reader. Article written is strictly his personal view. Malaysian Access does not necessarily endorse the opinions given by any third party content provider.