Govt not bound by CEP's decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is not bound by the views or decisions made by the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), the Dewan Rakyat sitting was told today.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk VK Liew said this was because the role of CEP was only in an advisory capacity and did not have any executive powers.

"The previous government (Barisan Nasional) had also appointed many advisory bodies such as those on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and special advisory on many other bodies. But the question of accountability or locus standi of this CEP does not arise as It is only acting as an advisory council that is not bound by any legislation.

"The issue of accountability lies with the Cabinet. Reports given to the government are not necessarily binding on the government," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) during the question-and-answer session today.

Prior to this, the sitting became slightly rowdy when Khairy queried the role of CEP which he claimed not only acted as an advisor but also to give orders to the government.

When earlier replying to a question from Khairy on the visit of CEP chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin to China, Liew said the visit was at the instructions of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"If directed, it is alright to go and visit to get views as well as issues concerning the two countries," he said.

Liew said the existence of CEP was only for 100 days after Pakatan Harapan took over the government's administration following its victory in the 14th General Election on May 9.

The CEP, established on May 12 after the new government succeeded in forming a new government, acts as a government advisory relating to the country's economy and finances during the power transition period.

He said so far 340 individuals from 220 organisations were invited to present their briefings or views so that CEP's proposals also took into account the actual views at the grassroots level.

Meanwhile, Khairy, when met at the Parliament lobby, suggested that the government dissolves CEP immediately as it not only acted as an advisor but also interfered with the administration of the government. — Bernama