114 NGOs back Dr Mahathir’s recovery council

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic by TMR FILE PIX

A total of 114 Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have agreed that an executive National Recovery Council (NRC) be established to lead Malaysia in its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press conference after handing over a memorandum to Istana Negara today, Reset Malaysia director Dr Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin said the NGOs also agreed that the NRC should be chaired by former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture).

The activist group pointed out that it is important for a council, which is independent and reports straight to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah without interference by politicians.

“The council should have its own jurisdiction and resources to tackle four aspects related to the Covid-19 crisis which are health, education, social and economy without significant interference by politicians,” he told the press in Kuala Lumpur today.

Also present was Reset Malaysia head secretariat Dr Nurul Ashikin Mabahwi.

The memorandum was handed over to the palace officer.

Dr Mahathir first initiated the NRC in June before former PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin formed the same type of council, but was placed under the purview of his administration.

Dr Mahathir did not agree on the council’s reporting line, and instead went ahead with his own version of NRC comprising some 20 members, mostly independent experts in the health, economy and education sectors.

On Monday, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his first address as the new PM invited Opposition leaders to be part of the government’s NRC under his administration.

In response, Dr Mahathir told the press in Langkawi today that he agreed with Ismail Sabri’s offer, provided that the government will execute NRC proposals for the sake of tackling Covid-19 issues, and not merely score political points.