Malaysiakini News

The trusted lieutenant: A look at Daim Zainuddin

Published:  |  Modified:

When Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad returned to power following the 14th general election, many of his former lieutenants also returned to prominence – perhaps none more so Daim Zainuddin.

One of Mahathir’s first acts in office was to form the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) – an influential five-member advisory body with Daim at the helm.

“Many of us have little or no experience in running a government. We need some expertise on this.

“Of course, expertise must come from people with knowledge or previous knowledge of administration, or being in the government, or having held some responsible post.

“(That is why) we have decided to set up a council of elders, or rather a council of eminent persons,” the prime minister said at the time.

Daim had previously retired from politics in 2001.

In the years leading up to the election, he had largely kept a low profile until he joined Pakatan Harapan on the campaign trail, although he had previously been openly critical of then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration.

However, the relationship between Daim and Mahathir is close, and goes back decades...

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