KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 21 — Chairman of the National Recovery Council (NRC) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said that he has been given the same amount of authority as when he was prime minister to make decisions for the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
In his first interview since stepping down as prime minister, the Pagoh MP said that in a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last week, the latter had agreed to let Muhyiddin be the decision maker in all matters pertaining to the NRP, except when it involves money.
“I had a discussion with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last week on the NRC’s areas of authority. Will it be like before, when I was prime minister? Now I chair it as a former prime minister. There is a difference in the perspective of power and authority. But luckily for me, the prime minister told me to do as I did before.
“Meaning if there is a decision made by the NRC, it will be implemented immediately — especially when it comes to policy — unless it involves money. If we want to take out RM10 billion or RM100 billion, this must be brought to the government and Cabinet,” he said during the Agenda Awani programme on Astro Awani.
The former prime minister then thanked Ismail Sabri and his government for selecting him to lead the NRC, adding that he is glad to be given the chance to continue initiatives that he began during his tenure as prime minister.
“I feel this is a responsibility that has been thrust upon me to help the country return to a sense of normalcy, as it was before. This requires smart decision-making, with all angles and sectors covered.
“For example, we made the decision to open up Langkawi a month ago, and only now it’s being implemented. That’s why, to me, this is a huge responsibility, and hopefully, with the support of the other members of the council, as well as the whole-of-society, I hope it will be smooth sailing from here on for the NRP,” he said.
On September 4, it was announced that Muhyiddin had been appointed as the NRC chairman, a role with the same status as that of a minister.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali had said the appointment was made as the government had confidence in Muhyiddin’s ability to spearhead the national recovery strategy.
Later, Ismail Sabri said he appointed his predecessor as the NRC chairman because it is a position the latter has held since its inception.
“Pagoh has chaired the council since its creation, so we place our trust in Pagoh to continue his duties (in the council),” Ismail Sabri said during a recent question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.
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