KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 ― The newly set up Team of Eminent Persons meant business and wasted no time as they convened their first meeting soon after the announcement of its formation by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
No honeymoon period and prolonged post-election euphoria as the government is determined to restore the confidence of the people and investors after Pakatan Harapan’s unprecedented win in the 14th general election on May 9.
Chaired by former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, the meeting, which went late into the night, was also attended by three other members of the team, namely former Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas President and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican and economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram.
Billionaire tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok was not present as he is currently overseas.
Speaking to Bernama after the meeting, Daim said the five-member team was briefed and deliberated on current economic situation, the national debt, the ringgit, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and fuel subsidies, amongst others.
“These are the major things. We are making the recommendations to the government. At the end they will decide,” he said.
Daim said the council would be calling the Public Private Partnership Unit (under the Prime Minister’s Department), related ministries and government-linked companies (GLCs) to brief them on various mega projects and the governance of GLCs, including Lembaga Tabung Haji, Majlis Amanah Rakyat and the Federal Land Development Authority.
“As for 1MDB, there will a special task force, I have identify those who can assist the probe into 1MDB. It would be under the purview of the Team which will submit the report to the government,” Daim said.
He said another pertinent issue that needed to be addressed quickly was the oversupply of office space and housing.
“Another example is the cost of security for schools. It cost more than the assets they’re guarding,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Daim said the team would hold meetings daily for 100 days, and in fact on some days, it would be a few times a day.
“I want this to finish this within 100 days. After that I want to sleep,” he quipped. ― Bernama