KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the authority to call for the formation of a body like the National Operations Council (Mageran) if it is dissatisfied with the current administration.
In a virtual interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian ahead of the Conference of Rulers meeting tomorrow, the Langkawi MP said his proposal for a national recovery council was never aimed at toppling or changing the government.
“Once an Emergency is declared, the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong are enhanced. The Agong is assumed as the head of the executive and can handle several problems and give to anyone he wishes the duty to make sure the decision is successful,” he was quoted saying.
“It is never mentioned that advice must come from the government. In fact, when the first time the government had requested for an Emergency to be declared, the Agong rejected it. So it appears Sultan Abdullah has powers to accept or reject advice from the government of prime minister.
“Surely in this case, the formation of a Mageran appears to demote the position of the Prime Minister even though within this proposal for a Mageran, we never suggested for a change in government,” he added.
Over the past week, the King has received leaders of political parties to discuss and get their views on the current state of affairs regarding healthcare, social issues, and the economy.
However, Dr Mahathir reiterated how he remains pessimistic over the government going through with the formation of the Mageran, saying it would have to come at a cost of their political priorities taking a back seat.
But he said this approach would bring benefits as those in power would be able to focus on the pressing health, economic, and social issues at hand.
Additionally, Dr Mahathir had also during the interview, offered his services to the would-be Mageran, saying his experience from two tenures as prime minister could assist in making decisions to benefit the country in a time of crisis.
“I’ve been the prime minister for 22 years and again for 22 months and that is enough. What other high up position could I be eyeing at anyway?
“All I am saying is make use of all the experience I have had throughout the years. I’ve handled financial and political crises as well as attacks on our currency.
“I won’t be around long, who knows if I get to reach 100 years old but I love this country very much and I do possess the experience needed in times of crises, so make use of it,” he said.
“You can reject me, that is not a problem. I just want to say that I am ever ready to provide my services to my country,” he added.