KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he has no interest in becoming prime minister for a third time and was only keen on leading the National Operations Council (Mageran) he proposed.
In an interview with Bernama TV tonight, the twice former prime minister said he also did not want any Cabinet position.
“I am not interested in the Cabinet. I just want to have power to address the Covid-19 problem,” he said when asked if he would join the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Plus coalition, if it formed the government.
“No. Not to become prime minister, just want to be the head of Mageran, or the National Rehabilitation Council.
“However, whatever we decide, the government has to accept them. Give us the power. Only that,” Dr Mahathir said when asked to explain what type of power he is seeking, and if he wants to become prime minister again.
He said he was worried as many were dying from Covid-19 while suicides were also on the rise.
“The question of becoming prime minister is not important. What is important is to handle the problems we are facing, that is this Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
When asked as to how long he would want the council he proposed to operate, Dr Mahathir said; “Until we are all safe from this Covid-19.”
He added that he could not give a specific timeframe as Covid-19 was an evolving pandemic.
Dr Mahathir lamented that he had proposed the idea when the number of infection cases were hovering around 2,000 a day, but was ignored.
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.
He continued pushing for Mageran, but later 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.