Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that he does not see the possibility of any new government under the present circumstances, adding that he prefers a council similar to the National Operations Council (Mageran) set up decades ago to restore law and order in the aftermath of the 1969 riots.
The former leader said he had suggested this during his audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today, adding that it was better than having an election during the pandemic.
“I pointed out that elections would be dangerous because we had seen what happened in Sabah, so that’s what I told him,” Mahathir said.
He said he believed a Mageran such as the one formed in 1969, led by then-prime minister Razak Hussein, would be effective, and that it would empower opposition leaders to be part of the administration.
“We have ideas, but if we are outside the government and have no power, it’s difficult for us to implement them,” he said.
Mahathir said he had also offered to lead any Mageran if one is formed.
“Since I was there, I offered my services,” he added.
However, he said the idea was shot down by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Anwar’s phone call
Meanwhile, he confirmed that Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim had contacted him prior to the royal audiences granted to political party leaders this week.
“Anwar rang me up. He seemed unable to suggest anything that we can do to solve the problem that we face now,” he said.
Mahathir also said they should write to the Agong to follow up on the joint memorandum to the palace seeking an audience on the emergency.
“So I wrote (to the Agong). I don’t know whether Anwar wrote or not. The Agong actually replied to my letter, and at the same time expressed his desire to see me and other political leaders as well,” he said.
Mahathir added that his conversation with Anwar had not been on anything substantial.