Dr Mahathir’s National Recovery Council proposes ways to fight Covid-19

The proposal will be shared with the govt and published for the public, so the rakyat know why they should follow the SOPs

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) has proceeded with his own version of the National Recovery Council (NRC) to provide insights on effective Covid-19 management to the government.

In his first meeting of NRC yesterday morning, Dr Mahathir said the members of the council were briefed by the Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on the worrying Covid-19 status and the progress in handling the health crisis.

He said all of the attendees were actively involved in the discussion to provide Dr Noor Hisham with viable plans to curb the pandemic.

“Although we are not being acknowledged, we decided to proceed and discuss things that we can propose to the government,” Dr Mahathir told a virtual press conference after chairing the meeting yesterday.

On Saturday, the former PM revealed a suggested list of members who could be appointed to the NRC.

The idea of the NRC, which Dr Mahathir said alike the National Operations Council in 1969, was presented to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in June when the King summoned head of political parties to the Palace to discuss the health and political crisis ahead of the end of the Emergency proclamation on Aug 1.

Among the 20 names in the NRC include former Cabinet Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, six health experts, educationists and constitutional experts.

Dr Mahathir, however, named four present MPs Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Hannah Yeoh, Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman which he said was attributed to their work performance.

On the first NRC meeting, all members were present except four absentees. The discussion, he said, centred around the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and vaccination rate, which are crucial to ensure Malaysia recover from the disease.

Dr Mahathir said although the SOPs are there and in force, it has not been practiced accordingly.

For instance, he said, when the government announced a lockdown, people would be confused about the law enforced and subsequently get fined.

He said it is more important to explain to the people the seriousness of the SOPs which could save their lives.

“We will propose today’s outcome with the government and will also publish it to the public, so they know why they should follow the SOPs,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the paper would be presented to the government through relevant officials or even the PM.

The 96-year-old statesman said he found out the government had followed some of the recommendations he had made before, thus he hopes the discussions between the council and Dr Noor Hisham would be useful to help the country to exit the Covid-19 crisis.

Dr Mahathir stressed that his move to present the report to the government is not an indication that he acknowledged the legitimacy of the current government.

“This government is not legal,” he said, adding, “(but) if we present these to those who are not able to execute, it will be useless.”