De-classify as white papers CEP, Institutional Reforms Committee’s reports

THE eight-week meeting of the opening of the 15th Parliament will end with a big bang if reports of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) and the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) are declassified and tabled as white papers in the last two days of Dewan Rakyat next week.

This is one of the five proposals I had made in January this year to make meeting of the 15th Parliament the most memorable one in Malaysia’s history by initiating institutional reforms for the country to achieve the twin goals of uniting the plural society in Malaysia and to reset and restore Malaysia as a first-rate world-class nation.

If it is too late to declassify the CEP and IRC Reports for tabling as white papers in last two days the Dewan Rakyat meeting next Monday (April 3) and Tuesday (April 4), then Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government should table both reports in the Dewan Negara as the Senate is slated to meet until next Thursday (April 6).

The CEP and IRC reports should then be studied by the relevant Parliamentary Select Committees which had been set up and for reports to be submitted to the May/June meeting of Dewan Rakyat.

Lim Kit Siang

I was shocked a few days ago by the revelation of Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a member of the CEP, that the council never produced a report as it was the secretariat under former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin which prepared the CEP report.

This make the de-classification of the CEP and IRC reports by Anwar’s unity government more urgent and necessary as it was never the original intention to classify both the CEP and IRC reports under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and keep them away from public debate and discussion.

A strong case can be made that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the PM of the short-lived Pakatan Harapan (PH) government which came to power in 2018 has betrayed the wishes of the people for institutional reforms by locking the CEP and IRC reports under the OSA.

I had made numerous calls for the publication of the CEP and IRC Reports – the first time as far back as Oct 13, 2018 – when I cited the CEP chairman Daim as calling on the government to make the CEP recommendations available to the public.

What reasons have Anwar’s unity Government to continue to place the CEP and IRC Reports under the OSA?

I had always been mystified as to why Dr Mahathir had refused to ask the Cabinet and the PH presidential council to de-classify the CEP and IRC reports, unless he had always been a “closet” enemy of institutional reforms in Malaysia.

Why should there be such secrecy on matters of clear public interest with regard to the hundreds of recommendations related to governance, integrity and corruption prevention in the CEP and IRC reports?

Although the Perikatan Nasional (PN) leaders and MPs had tried their level best to create political instability by further polarising the racial and religious situation in Malaysia, Anwar’s unity government has survived these threats so far.

I am more confident than before the opening of the 15th Parliament on Feb 13 that the Anwar’s unity government will last five years although this cannot be taken for granted as a second Sheraton Move political conspiracy lies in every nook and corner.

Anwar who is the 10th PM must keep his promise when he was appointed PM that he would not compromise on good governance, the anti-corruption drive, judicial independence, and the welfare of ordinary Malaysians which is why he should de-classify the CEP and IRC reports of 2018. – March 31, 2023


Retired DAP supremo and former Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, 81, has a colourful political career spanning 57 years.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main pic credit: New Straits Times

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