Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairperson Daim Zainuddin has opined that the CEP report should be made public but it is up to the government to make the call.
“I would release it. Release it to the public but that is not for me to decide. I was asked to chair the meetings and get the information, facts, analyse and make the recommendations. That is my role and I shouldn’t go beyond that," he said in an interview with The Star.
He said he preferred to share the recommendations made in the CEP report to encourage further feedback and debate.
However, Daim also noted that some information contained in the report should rightly remain covered under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
The former finance minister said the CEP report contained recommendations on about 70 topics.
De Facto Deputy Law Minister Hanipa Maidin said on Thursday that CEP report would remain under OSA to protect confidential information in it.
Jomo changes his mind
Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, however, disagreed with such a decision as he felt the report merely contained CEP's recommendations on how the government can move Malaysia's economy forward.
The CEP was formed on May 12 last year, three days after Pakatan Harapan came into power by defeating BN in the 14th general election.
The formation of the five-member council was among Dr Mahathir Mohamad's first tasks as prime minister.
The CEP interviewed some 350 people from 200 organisations – many from government and GLCs – to help formulate a report on economic and financial reform policies for the prime minister.
The report was submitted 100 days after the CEP was formed.
Meanwhile, CEP member Jomo Kwame Sundram, who had previously stated that the report should remain classified has now changed his mind about it.
“I agree to it being published. My earlier concerns were because of legally or diplomatically sensitive matters, which are not there anymore,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.
In August 2018, he said the report had content which was "very delicate" and "sensitive" and might affect not just Malaysia but other countries as well.