PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan presidential council has spurned Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suggestion to set up a Majlis Gerakan Negara (Mageran) to temporarily administer the country in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a party that upholds the principles of parliamentary democracy, Pakatan Harapan rejects the proposal to set up Mageran based on our consistent stand that the emergency should end immediately and Parliament should reopen now,” said the council in a statement.
“The solution to the people’s problems such as Covid-19, the economy, and even politics, requires a well-functioning democracy. The best space to listen to the voice of the rakyat and find a solution is in Parliament.”
The statement was signed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Mahathir said yesterday he had proposed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, during an audience with him that a National Operations Council, or Mageran, be established like in 1969. He also offered to lead the council.
Mageran was formed on May 15, 1969, after a state of emergency was declared and a curfew imposed following the May 13 race riots, which erupted after a general election.
Mageran, which was dissolved in 1971, functioned as a caretaker government and sought to restore the rule of law and steer the country towards national reconciliation.
This morning, Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi also rejected Mahathir’s proposal, saying if the former prime minister became its director, “I’m sure it will be hard to end Mageran”.