Daim, a one-man show at Council of Eminent Persons (CEP)?

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Tun Daim Zainuddin. Photo Credit: Tun Daim Zainuddin Fan Club Facebook Page

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 – Does the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) now comprise a membership of one?

The seemingly all-powerful Tun Daim Zainuddin implied this when saying that the other members “have all gone back to their own work”, Malaysiakini reported.

He was asked if the CEP were still having regular meetings.

This was despite Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent assurance that the CEP was still in existence, and much needed well after the first 100 days of the new Pakatan Harapan government.

The formation of the five-member CEP on May 12 was among Mahathir’s first tasks as prime minister.

Aside from Daim, who led the council, the other members were former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas president Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram and tycoon Robert Kuok.

The CEP report to the government, following meetings with more than 350 people from 200 organisations, including GLCs, had been presented to the prime minister last month, about 100 days after its formation.

However, Mahathir said that the CEP report would not be made public as it contained information that was “too sensitive”.

He had added that though the initial plan was for the CEP to be disbanded after 100 days, but it was still needed to advise the government.

Daim was the finance minister on two different occasions during Mahathir’s 22-year reign as prime minister between 1981 and 2003. On both occasions, he came in to replace rivals to Mahathir’s presidency in Umno, namely Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in the 1980s and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the late 90s.