Report: Post CEP, Daim tipped to be government advisor

  • Aug 9, 2018
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A media report has suggested that Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairperson Daim Zainuddin could be considered for the role of government advisor after the possible disbandment of the CEP.

The Star, quoting sources, reported that the former finance minister was tipped for the role in light of his experience in the civil service and private sector.

A source stated he would be helping new ministers in matters relating to civil administration.

”Many of the ministers are new and have not held big positions in the government before. Managing ministries is difficult, especially handling a civil service that has senior officers with long service,” the source was quoted saying.

The daily also quoted a top retired civil servant, whom it did not name, as saying Daim's expertise as former finance minister, under then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, could also come in handy should the country undergo a recession.

“In 1985, Daim was the finance minister when the country went through an economic crisis due to a global recession. In 1998, Dr Mahathir recalled Daim to assist him when the country was going through its worst ever recession,” said person said.

When contacted, Bersatu's strategist Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff (photo) said that it was up to Mahathir to decide to extend the tenure of the CEP and the future roles of its members.

He said: "For Daim, there are many variations of his future role, some say he is going to be appointed as an advisor to the government, some say that maybe the mandate of CEP will be renewed... We must remember that Daim's oasis of knowledge and experience in administration, especially in dealing with the civil servants and all that, is a big asset."

Even so, Rais said, the decision was still very much "on the table".

"The prime minister will be doing it (deciding on the CEP members' roles) in consultation with the cabinet and Harapan presidential council to determine the way forward for the CEP," he said.

The CEP was formed by Mahathir upon assuming office as prime minister. The council is tasked with advising the prime minister and the Pakatan Harapan government up to 100 days of the new government taking office.

It has been speculated that the CEP's term may be extended.

However, its member and former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz recently stated that the council was in the midst of wrapping up its task and was finalising its report. 

Aside from Daim and Zeti, its other members are former Petronas chairperson Hassan Marican, Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Hong Kong-based tycoon Robert Kuok.

Zeti has since been appointed Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) Group chairperson and Hassan a Khazanah Nasional Bhd board member.