The CEP must be dissolved and its report made public

AUDREY VIJAINDREN

KULA LUMPUR: Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said findings made by the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) should be made public and also tabled in parliament. He said the council should also be immediately disbanded now that it had concluded its 100-day term and fulfilled the mandate given to it by the government. The Ketereh member of parliament said the council had courted controversy since it was formed and its continued existence should no longer be an option. “It’s time for the CEP to be dissolved now that everything has been established...the CEP was established to advise the government but now we already have a Cabinet comprising of senior leaders from five Pakatan Harapan component parties. “Furthermore, the CEP has no legal or constitutional legitimacy. It is also not part of the three legislative, executive and judicial branches. Its existence may thwart the existing parliamentary democratic system,” he said in a statement. Annuar said some may argue on the merits of retaining the CEP as it cost the government nothing because the council members worked on a voluntary basis. However, he said the issue was not about costs but governing the country based on the constitution. He added that the matter became all the more pressing as the council members also had interests in the government and this created a clear conflict of interest of their roles. “Maintaining the council would also challenge the integrity of the cabinet. “The CEC makes it look like the government cannot rely on its own cabinet members,” he said, adding some of the cabinet members had previously attacked several of the CEC members with all kinds of allegations. However, he said, they were now bowing to the same individuals in the CEC. CEP chairperson Tun Daim Zainuddin yesterday said the council’s initial term had come to an end and the council’s work was done. Daim said he will be meeting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss the future of the advisory council. "Our mandate is 100 days. Our last day was yesterday (Monday). 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," Daim was quoted as saying. Dr Mahathir had previously indicated that the CEP’s tenure might be extended as he still required its services. Aside Daim, the other CEP members include former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas president Tan Sri Hassan Merican, economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram and business tycoon Robert Kuok. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd