It is with regret that I announce my disassociation from the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, otherwise known as MCLM.
Though I have at no point in time been a member of MCLM, I had committed to working with the movement to further the reform agenda.
For the sake of clarity, I note here that at all times my agreement to stand as an independent candidate hinged on my being satisfied that there was cause for it. In this I firmly believed, and still do, that the Pakatan Rakyat was pivotal in any campaign for reform, though it was not necessarily the only actor of relevance. In that light, I had resolved to stand only where my doing so would not result in a three-corner fight or where it was strictly necessary to do so.
Much has occurred since the announcement of the initiative. For one, the Pakatan Rakyat appeared to commit to a sustained effort to identify and field quality candidates. For another, Raja Petra Kamaruddin felt it necessary to state his personal views as he did, in an interview with TV3 last year and recently in interviews published in the New Straits Times and the Utusan Malaysia.
I will not delve into the matters spoken of save to say that they cast a less than positive light on the MCLM in so far as its commitment to principle is concerned. Furthermore, I do not share his views.
As I understand things those views were entirely personal to him and are not the views of the MCLM. Raja Petra had however allowed the impression that he spoke on behalf of MCLM and in his capacity as the chairman of the movement. That is regrettable as it is an impression that has undermined the credibility of the MCLM and its efforts. It has also undermined the tremendous efforts of a number of highly committed and selfless individuals in their untiring efforts to develop various civil society initiatives under the banner of MCLM.
In having done what he did, as well intentioned as he may have been, Raja Petra has seriously undermined the cause. It is my belief that no one person is larger than the cause.
It is for this reason that I must disassociate from the movement and withdraw from the independent candidate initiative. I have discussed the matter with Mr Sreekant Pillai who has asked me to state that he shares my views and is similarly dissociating.
I wish to state that my decisions to remain independent of any political parties and to stand as a candidate were mine and mine alone. It has been some years since Raja Petra and I have spoken and he has not in any way influenced any of my decisions.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar