Unease in KL over power of council led by Mahathir loyalist Daim Zainuddin

Malaysia’s new government adviser Daim Zainuddin meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing last week. The extent of the cull and restructuring overseen by Tun Daim, who leads the five-man Council of Eminent Persons, has led to a pushback from ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition leaders. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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Just two days after they were sworn in and at their first meeting on July 4, Malaysia's full 27-member Cabinet sought and gained an assurance that an advisory council led by long-time Mahathir Mohamad lieutenant Daim Zainuddin was merely tasked to make recommendations, and not decisions.

The assurance provided by Prime Minister Mahathir reflected growing concern - both in and out of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition - over the implicit power of the five-man Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), which has effected important personnel changes in government, officials told The Straits Times.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2018, with the headline Unease in KL over power of council led by Mahathir loyalist Daim Zainuddin. Subscribe