PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the services of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) are still needed, but in a different role.
He explained that the council is needed because "many of our cabinet ministers are new and without experience."
Dr Mahathir said he will be speaking to the members of the council soon on the new role they will be playing.
"The council will still be headed by Tun Daim Zainuddin, but I am finding a new role for them. I also need constant analysis of what's happening in our economy," he said.
Speaking to reporters after the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) townhall with the party's division leaders at the Sheraton Hotel, here, the Prime Minister was asked to comment on why he still needed the CEP as he already has a full cabinet.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that he needed to work fast and this meant he required the help of the CEP, as many of his cabinet minister are new.
"Some of the CEP members have experience and the cabinet ministers are new and without experience.
"So, I need people with experience to solve things," he said.
"The new ministers do not really know their responsibilities at their respective ministries yet. They are finding their way," Dr Mahathir added.
The CEP concluded its 100-days mandate last Friday.
Earlier this week, Daim said the council held its final meeting on Aug 17 after fulfilling the mandate given to it within the specified period.
“Our work is done. All the mandates given have been completed. All suggestions will be presented in a report to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad upon his return from China,” Daim had said.
However, prior to that, Dr Mahathir had said that the CEP may yet continue.
The council was set up by Dr Mahathir on May 12 with the objective of advising the prime minister on socio-economic and financial matters.
Its members include former Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former president and CEO of Petronas Tan Sri Hassan Merican, billionaire Tan Sri Robert Kuok and prominent economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd