Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad maintained that a state of emergency should be declared even though a new government is expected to be sworn in soon.
Mahathir said there was no time to wait for the government to be constituted as the Covid-19 pandemic could worsen.
“Believe me that this pandemic won’t be easy to control and it will not just go away on its own.
“The situation is already very serious and could become more serious in the near future. We need to act now.
“Do not prioritise politics or even the law. Now is the time to declare an emergency because extraordinary actions are required.
“We cannot wait for the government to be organised before acting,” he said in a statement.
Mahathir had lobbied for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint a National Operations Council-style entity to govern the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, this would require an emergency to suspend normal democratic practices and it can only be done on the advice of a prime minister.
Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob is expected to be sworn in as the new prime minister later today.
He emerged as the MP with majority support after Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin lost his majority and resigned.
The National Operations Council was an entity that governed the country by decree after the 1969 riots until 1971.
Mahathir noted the Economist magazine ranked Malaysia as the worst performing country in its normalcy index to measure how well countries are doing in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country registered another record high of 23,564 new Covid-19 cases yesterday.
He said the pandemic was putting tremendous pressure on the people who have lost loved ones and are driving some to suicide.
The Langkawi MP said several experts have offered their services on a voluntary basis but said the previous Muhyiddin government was not interested.
“They comprise medical, economic, sociology experts and also those from other fields. They have the experience to manage the crisis. They can help in the effort to combat the pandemic,” he said.
He called on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint them into a committee to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If they are under the government, politics will interfere in their actions,” he said.