KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council has rejected former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s proposal to form a National Operations Council or Mageran as it is known by its Malay abbreviation.

In a statement, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said they felt the state of Emergency and restoring Parliament should take priority over the formation of another council.

“The presidential council takes note of Dr Mahathir’s suggestion to form a Mageran to help with tackling issues pertaining to Covid-19.

“However, as a party that respects the principles of a parliamentary democracy, PH rejects Mageran based on our consistent stance that the Emergency needs to end immediately and Parliament must be reinstated.

“The solution to the people’s issues with Covid-19, the economy and politics is to reinstate Parliament. In order to do that, we need democracy to function well so that we can provide space for the people’s gripes and troubles to be heard, for which we can then find the solution in Parliament,” they said in the statement.

Dr Mahathir said yesterday that he had suggested to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah the establishment of a Mageran. He said forming the council could potentially steer the country in the right direction and help solve the health, economic and social issues currently plaguing the country.

He said the King did not dismiss his suggestion outright, but pointed out that such a call must come from the government.

Dr Mahathir said the last Mageran formed back in 1969 by then deputy prime minister Tun Abdul Razak had managed to solve the political and social issues during that time.

He said he offered himself and his party’s services to the proposed Mageran, but stopped short of admitting if he was volunteering to be its leader.