KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA) - The council set up to advise the new Malaysian government on economic and financial issues will not be disbanded this weekend, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Aug 16).
The five-man Council of Eminent Persons was established on May 12, three days after the Pakatan Harapan government swept to power in the general election.
It was tasked with helping the government fulfil its 100-day election pledges and advising on major issues affecting the economy including the goods and services tax, national debt and state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
At the time, council chairman and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin had said he wanted to complete the council's mandate within the first 100 days of the new government, which falls on Friday.
"No, it will not (be disbanded). They think they have come to the end but I haven't decided. I never said this (CEP's tenure is) 100 days; I still need their services," Tun Dr Mahathir told reporters on Thursday.
Also referred to as the Council of Elders, the team helmed by Tun Daim comprises former central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former CEO of state oil company Petronas Hassan Marican, business tycoon Robert Kuok and prominent economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram.
Asked how long the council would continue to function, Dr Mahathir said he did not know yet.
He added that it would not be until many of the country's problems were resolved.
"I, myself, cannot do that kind of work," he said.