I AM shocked by the revelation of Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a member of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) appointed by the prime minister (PM) of the Pakatan Harapan government formed after the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018 that the CEP never produced a report.
A report was prepared by the secretariat under former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin but there was no report on the entire CEP.
I had all along been under the impression the that the CEP which besides Jomo and Daim, had former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former PETRONAS president and CEO Hassan Marican and corporate tycoon Robert Kuok as members, had produced a report.
When Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was PM a second time, I had urged him to make public the CEP report.
Nevertheless, I reiterate my call for the Report of the Secretariat of the CEP and that of the Institutional Reform Committee (IRC) to be tabled as a White Paper in Parliament before it adjourns next week on April 4.
Both reports should be referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee which should submit recommendations to the May/June meeting of Parliament starting on May 22 on the actions which should be taken on the CEP and IRC Reports.
The CEP chairman Daim had called on the government to make the CEP’s recommendations available to the public.
He said that as part of the CEP’s efforts to look into the government finances, it had interviewed more than 300 individuals, including bankers, businessmen, civil servants, civil society members and union officials and that those interviewed had revealed a culture of turning a blind eye towards corruption.
It is time for Daim to clarify this report and to state whether he agrees that the report of the CEP secretariat and IRC should be made public.
In a talk organised by Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia, Jomo said he had advised Dr Mahathir about seven months ago to become an elder statesman for the developing world instead of being involved in politics.
I had also advised the two-time PM not to take part in the 15th General Election (GE15) as a candidate or he would have spared the embarrassment and ignominy of losing his deposit in the parliamentary contest in Langkawi. – March 28, 2023
Veteran lawmaker and retired DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang is the incumbent MP for Iskandar Puteri.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.