by AZREEN HANI/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
FORMER Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his proposal of establishing an Emergency administrative body is not meant to replace the government.
Instead, this body, or named as National Recovery Council will be tasked to reduce new Covid-19 cases, until herd immunity is achieved in the country.
Dr Mahathir added that the council will also find solutions for the economic and financial downturns due to the pandemic.
“The council will not replace the Government. The council is tasked with reducing new cases until herd immunity is achieved,” he wrote on his blog post today.
“For politics, Parliament will sit and the actions of the Council will be presented to Parliament. Attempts to abolish this Council will not be pursued by Parliament,” he added
The 95 year old statesman also said the Government can deal with normal affairs as long as it does not involve matters under the purview of this proposed council.
The Langkawi MP said any political move will perpetuate the current problems plaguing the nation today. He added that even if the government is changed, it will not be stable due to the slim majority.
Dr Mahathir had said in a press conference last Thursday that such an Emergency administrative body, called Mageran 52 years ago, would govern and steer the country better through the Covid-19 pandemic-induced calamity with greater participation from external parties to the government — not only for ideas, but execution.
He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who met with him in a series of meetings with political leaders, “did not reject” the idea of a special council establishment.
The Langkawi MP also said Sultan Abdullah is not against Parliament sitting during the current Emergency period.
But according to Dr Mahathir, the King had said that the establishment of a Mageran-like body and reconvening of Parliament come with one proviso: The government must be the one to propose it.
Meanwhile, the former PM further said that the Council is not placed under the government but will report directly to Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“The existence of the Council will end when the country achieves herd immunity or before GE15,” he said, adding that this council is needed to ensure that action plan decisions to help the people can be made immediately and implemented without going through too much bureaucratic process.
Their names will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his approval. Council members will serve voluntarily, without pay unless given the necessary allowances. They need to consider their appointment as a national service, said Dr Mahathir.