Former PM Mahathir chairs alternative national recovery council

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Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that a meeting with the alternative national recovery council has been held for the discussion of the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

He said that the virtual meeting was held along with the 18 members that involves Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and a number of the so-called Council of Eminent Persons’ members which he established following the 2018 general election victory of the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

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The photos posted on Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page also shows Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to be one of the featured attendees in the meeting although he is not listed as a member.

According to the former PM, he and the other members of the council were forced to act since it would be irresponsible to do nothing while the country’s Covid-19 crisis worsened, as demonstrated by the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases recorded.

He also said that he met online with 18 leaders and specialists in the area of health, economy, law and politics whom he had earlier recommended to be part of the National Recovery Council, adding that he believes they consented to join because they, too, think that it is essential to support the country amid this global crisis.

Dr. Mahathir emphasized that the council will be nonpolitical, with the sole goal of establishing Covid-19 recommendations and responses to help the people and work towards Malaysia’s recovery.

He added that this strategy would be more fruitful than relentlessly criticizing the administration.

He said that the convened group has a lot of expertise and experience that might be beneficial to the country and said that if their group efforts benefit the people as well as the country, then they have fulfilled their obligation as Malaysian citizens.

After his idea to create a National Operations Council (Mageran) raised concerns that it might be used to usurp the government’s authority, Dr Mahathir proposed a national recovery council.

The federal government announced last month the creation of the National Recovery Council, chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to supervise the execution of the National Recovery Plan.

Dr. Mahathir earlier rejected the government’s council, claiming that it was tantamount to expecting the problem to solve itself.

Apart from Azalina, other members of Dr Mahathir’s council include Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Dr Jomo K Sundaram, Tan Sri Lin See Yan, former Danaharta chief Tan Sri Azman Yahya, and former Petronas chief Tan Sri Hassan Marican. Also included were Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Datuk Lam Sai Kit, Datuk Dr Amar Singh HSS, Tan Sri Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, Dr Kumitaa Theva Das, Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim, Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi, Datuk Salleh Buang, Samuel Isaiah, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.

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