NGO wants apolitical body to take over if no stable govt formed

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by TMR FILE

A MALAY non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as Gabungan Melayu is appealing to the King to dissolve the parliament and establish a national recovery council (NRC) to lead the country out of the ongoing health and political crisis.

Its coordinator Ahmad Yazid Othman (picture) said the group, which claimed to  represent more than 100 Malay associations, is of the view that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah should use his Majesty’s executive power to establish the NRC, called Pulih, if appointment of new prime minister (PM) could not resolve the latest political turmoil.

He said this should be the final chance for political parties and leaders to solve the political deadlock after Umno lawmakers pulled its support from Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who held his premiership for just less than 18 months.

“The installation of the ninth PM is vital. If it could not stop political parties from ceasing fire, we worry it will affect the country’s well being.

“As we are expecting to reach herd immunity by October, a new post-pandemic plan must be mobilised by the new PM,” he said in a statement today.

Following Muhyiddin’s resignation on Monday, Sultan Abdullah had summoned all party leaders to the Palace.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Sultan Abdullah has requested for a stable government to be established where the Opposition and the new government should work closely to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin’s predecessor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had requested the Agong to form an executive NRC, which will be empowered to execute matters related to Covid-19 and economic recovery like a Mageran body of 1969’s emergency.

While waiting for the body to be formally established, Dr Mahathir’s NRC met early this month. Members in the group were health, education and economy experts and five politicians, including himself.

As for Pulih, Ahmad Yazid said Gabungan Melayu proposed the body to be fully free from politics and political agenda.

He said to make this successful, it must not comprise individuals who wish to contest in the next General Election, which will be held before 2023.

“To ensure no advantage taken by any political party or individuals (in the decision making process), elected Pulih members will not be allowed to contest in the 15th General Election.

“Pulih membership is also limited to former civil servants, professionals or statesmen who have clean and commendable records and personalities,” he said.

The political leaders, however, can take part at the Pulih Advisory Council which represents all political parties and is chaired by the Agong, or someone he agreed to appoint, Ahmad Yazid said.

Earlier, 65 registered NGOs led by activist group Reset Malaysia have called for the establishment of Dr Mahathir’s NRC.

“The National Recovery Council is needed to restore Malaysia to a competent and responsible administration.

“It will focus on economic sustainability, empowering education, stabilising the current political climate and restoring the health sector which has been deteriorating as a result of the failure of Perikatan Nasional (PN) in managing the Covid-19 cases, which is increasing day by day,” said Reset Malaysia head secretariat Dr Nurul Ashikin Mabahwi.

Sultan Abdullah is expected to make the PM appointment this week, with the MPs’ statutory declarations sent to the Palace yesterday.

A special Malay ruler conference is also expected to take place on Friday.