Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed that he has suggested the formation of a National Operations Council during his audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong earlier today.
The 95-year-old explained that forming the council, better known by its Malay abbreviation Mageran, could potentially steer the country towards the right direction and help solve the health, economic, and social issues currently plaguing the country.
He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah did not dismiss his suggestion outright, but pointed out that such a call must come from the government.
“I raised the issue with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong where we could form a special body, a Mageran, like how it was done during the last Emergency during 1969.
“But I am not confident the current government will form a Mageran, because right from the start they did not want to have a Mageran.
“But the reality is that the people have rejected this government. They have lost confidence in the government. They want a new government, a new power in place,” he said in a virtual press conference this afternoon.
Dr Mahathir also said he had not discussed with the king on who would lead the NOC but said he was ready “if the government wanted it”.
However, he doubts this would be accepted as well.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s principal private secretary Datuk Dr Marzuki Mohammad, in a video on social media, slammed those wanting the NOC.
He said such a proposal was a step backward, which will hamper the efforts of the government and all parties in addressing the crisis facing the country.
Dr Mahathir also said holding an election without achieving Covid-19 herd immunity will put the country in danger.
The Pejuang chairman said that was his reply to the King when he was asked if election could be held next year or anytime soon
“When we have given vaccines to 80% of the people in the country, at that stage we are quite safe,” the Langkawi MP said.
He said lessons should be taken from the Sabah state election, held September last year, which caused the cases in the country to spiral upwards
Dr Mahathir also said he had suggested to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that they write to the king about the country’s problems after the opposition leader called him.
He said the PKR president did not have any suggestions on how to solve the situation being faced by the country.
The former prime minister said he then told Anwar that they should write to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“He was unable to suggest anything we can do to solve the problems we face now.
“So, I suggested that maybe we should write to the Agong,” he said.
He did not say when the call from Anwar took place but according to Sin Chew Daily, the tele-conversation between the two took place on the night of May 28.
Dr Mahathir claimed that Anwar had contacted him through his son, Mukhriz.
The nonagenarian said upon advising Anwar, he had subsequently written to Yang di-Pertuan Agong explaining the current critical situation.
Dr Mahathir said he did receive a reply from the king, which he believes also led to the current meeting with other political leaders.
He also said that he had not discussed with the King on when the nationwide state of Emergency should be lifted.