Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today his national recovery council (NRC) would be capped at 20 members so that it can function quickly.
Writing on his blog, the former prime minister said it would comprise four politicians, five people for economic matters, six doctors, two individuals on legal issues and three on education.
For the economic slots, the 96-year-old suggested former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz, businessmen Mohamed Azman Yahya and Mohd Hassan Marican, and economists Lin See Yan and Prof Dr Jomo K Sundram.
For the healthcare slots, Dr Mahathir proposed Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Prof Dr Lam Sai Kit, Dr Musa Nordin, Dr Amar Singh HSS and Dr Kumitaa Theva Das.
For education, the Pejuang chairman proposed Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz, Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid and Samuel Isaiah while for legal matters, he suggested Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi and Prof Salleh Buang.
He also proposed four politicians based on their efforts throughout the pandemic, including deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Azalina Othman Said, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, Lembah Pantai MP Ahmad Fahmi Fadzil and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
He said the politicians proposed to be part of the council should not carry out their work in the interests of their political parties.
He also suggested that the armed forces chief, the inspector-general of police, the health director-general and all secretaries-general of ministries as well as state secretaries be appointed as ex-officio members. They could be invited during council discussions involving their roles.
He further added that council members should be able to set up their own sub-committees and come up with proposals.
Mahathir added that his suggestions were made without the candidates’ prior knowledge or agreement.
“When I suggested the Mageran or NRC idea to the king on June 10, I did not give any name. The people named here also do not know about it,” said Dr Mahathir.
“If the council is given power to handle the crisis with organisation and focus, I am sure it will be able to help the country through this crisis.”
But the Perikatan Nasional government has instead set its own NRC, which is headed by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
“But asking the same people who failed when they are in government to repair their failures is not a good move,” said Dr Mahathir.
“Appointing more ministers from the failed government is equally unwise.”
He said a smaller group of not more than 20 would allow the NRC to decide on matters faster.
“Had my NRC proposal been taken up, this body would be able to function immediately and hit the ground running,” said the Langkawi MP.