KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 ― Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued pushing for a National Operations Council (Mageran) but suggested it be named the National Rehabilitation Council for neutrality.
He said that the council would be apolitical, come directly under the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and expire once Malaysia achieves herd immunity against Covid-19.
“Council members will consist of medical experts including psychiatrists, non-partisan economists and experienced in helping the country overcome the crisis, experienced investment experts, social mobilisers who have proven ability to help the people during pandemics, figures non -partisan legislation and some political figures who did not act on behalf of the party.
“Membership will not be more than 20 members. There is no politics in the Majlis Pemulihan Negara,” he said in a blog post today.
Dr Mahathir said the original Mageran formed after the 1969 riots by Tun Abdul Razak Hussein had been supported by the Opposition and helped to stabilise the country for the next 40 years.
He said this time, the situation was worse as the Emergency declared in January has failed to solve the problem.
The president of the unregistered Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) added his proposed council would only focus on four things: the pandemic, economic actions, chaotic politics and education problems.
“The council will not replace the government. The council is tasked with reducing new cases until herd immunity is reached.
“In addition, the problems of economic and financial downturn will be remedied by the council,” he said.
Dr Mahathir then added that with no political interference, attempts to abolish the National Rehabilitation Council will not be pursued by Parliament.
“What is a political problem is the attempt to seize power.
“Unfortunately if the government is changed, the new government will also be weak because of the slim majority. Political action will only perpetuate the problem,” he said.
On June 10, Dr Mahathir said he proposed a Mageran to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during an audience, as a potential solution to the issues Malaysia is currently facing.
He said he proposed the idea to the Agong as a way to consider suggestions from those not in government in addressing the social, economic, political and other issues brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking in a virtual press conference, he said the party has some solutions of its own which could address these issues, although these solutions cannot come to light unless the party has an avenue to voice its proposals.