Malaysiakini News

Najib welcomes news of 'unelected' CEP's mandate over

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Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak has welcomed the announcement that the Council of Eminent Persons' (CEP) mandate has ended.

He said the council's members are not elected nor have the five taken an oath of office in terms of having access to government secrets and so forth.

“That is part and parcel of being a cabinet minister,” he told FMT in an interview.

Najib said the curtain falling on the CEP marked a return to governance based on the Federal Constitution.

“They (the government) are coming back to a system of government that has been provided under the constitution. That's the way we should govern the country, based on the constitution,” he added.

Yesterday, former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, who heads the CEP, announced that the council's mandate is officially over.

"Our mandate is 100 days. Our last day was yesterday. When he (the prime minister) comes back (from China), I will make an appointment to consult him, what he has in mind.

"As far as I am concerned we have finished our 100 days and everybody (CEP members) have gone back to their respective jobs. These are all volunteers," he had said.

Last week, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad indicated that the council's tenure might be extended and denied stating that it would only function for 100 days.

Apart from Daim, the CEP comprises former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas president Hassan Merican, economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram and business tycoon Robert Kuok.

Zeti has since been appointed to head Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) while Hassan now sits on the Khazanah board of directors.

Setting up the council was among the first few decisions made by Mahathir after he was sworn in as prime minister following the 14th general election on May 10.


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