Malaysiakini News

Make CEP's report public to address suspicion - Umno leader

Published:  |  Modified:

The Council of Eminent Persons' (CEP) report should be made public and presented in the next Parliament sitting to address the suspicion surrounding the scope of its powers, said Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa.

“There has already been suspicion over the role of the CEP, which is known to have been involved in the highest levels of political manoeuvring,” he added in a media statement this morning.

Previously, there were reports claiming that the Daim Zainuddin-led council was at odds with Pakatan Harapan leaders over certain decisions. 

Yesterday, Daim, who announced that the council's mandate is officially over, said its report which contains recommendations would be submitted to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former finance minister revealed that the council met with over 350 individuals from more than 200 organisations, which included regulatory enforcement agencies, bankers, trade associations, chambers of commerce, corporations, SMEs, and consumers, among others.

Daim said he would meet Mahathir with regard to the latter's statement last week that the CEP's tenure might be extended beyond the 100-day mark.  

'CEP challenges cabinet's authority'

However, Annuar warned that retaining the CEP would “challenge” the authority of the cabinet since the council was set up to assist Mahathir before he appointed his ministers. 

“Now, everything has been completed and the PM has capable cabinet ministers, among them top leaders from Harapan component parties who have struggled for so long.

“[...] We feel that the CEP should not exist anymore to allow the cabinet to function properly,” he added.

Annuar pointed out that the council is not provided for in the Federal Constitution nor is it part of the legislative, executive or judiciary.

“The CEP's continued existence will affect the parliamentary democracy system,” he added.

Therefore, the Ketereh MP called for the council to be disbanded and its members removed from dealing with government affairs.

Failing which, Annuar said there would be a “cabinet behind the cabinet”.

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

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

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