KUALA LUMPUR: Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) described the economy of Malaysia as a multitude of problems and that there was no quick solution.
Chairman of the board Tun Daim Zainuddin said that the government and the rakyat must stand ready to make difficult decisions and to accept for the long-term benefits of the nation.
"There are no quick solutions to the problems that the council has identified and there are still many challenges ahead," Daim said.
The CEP was established on May 12, three days after Pakanan Harapan overthrew the Barisan Nasional government, which ruled the country for 61 years, commissioned by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
His primary role was to help the government achieve the promises of Pakatan Harapan in the first 100 days after its ruling. Dr. Mahathir said that the CEP would continue to function after 100 days to help him manage the government.
In view of the fact that the domestic economy is weakened by a significant reduction in public spending and uncertainties of the external sector, the extension of the term of office to the existence of the CEP is not a surprise.
During Dr. Mahathir as prime minister from 1981 to 2003, he counted on Daim as his confidant in steering the economy through the difficult times.
Daim was the Minister of Finance in the 1985 recession and returned to serve the government as an advisor in the economic crisis of 1998.
Daim, who was with the previous Minister of Finance in the government of Dr. Mahathir in the nineties, said that the Ministry of Finance is at the top of the list that the board should improve.
"Number one is the Ministry of Finance, it has to generate income and money for the country and ensure that expenses are not wasted.
"And there must be no corruption," he told reporters yesterday.
"And do not politicize the civil service," he added.
In a press conference, nearly an hour lasted, Daim pointed out that the board had completed its 100-day task and would submit its recommendations based on its findings to the government.
In the 100 days the CEP met more than 200 organizations to get a boost from the Malaysian economy.
He said it was up to the government to share CEP's recommendations, which highlighted three key areas. These are measures to improve governance, the well-being of the rakyat and the need to ensure that the economy is inclusive and sustainable.
Over the toll road elimination, Daim estimated that it was not the right time to carry out the move, which is one of the promises of Pakatan Harapan, due to the country's financial position.
"We had submitted our proposal, and although the intention is to completely remove the toll, but in the current financial position it is not wise to do it at this stage.
"There are ways to do it, I think it needs more time because the majority of highway concessions belong to GLCs, in another word it's owned by the government." It's a matter of carefully studying and analyze the numbers, "he said.
Daim said that CEP has also made many proposals on the abolition of tolls by the concession holders.
However, we believe that the proposals require more attention.
"Some proposals are incomplete and everyone seems to have their own ideas," Daim said.
When asked about CEP's recommendations to help Pakatan Harapan meet its budgetary targets for federal public finances, Daim said only that the stock market would do well in two years.
"If I can predict well in two years, I think we can all go to the stock market and earn a lot of money."
He said that people should remember that the economy is facing unpredictable external headwinds and that the next budget will be a crucial piece of policy document.
"We can follow and closely monitor and monitor and take action to ensure that our goals are achieved," he said.
Daim said the CEP recommendations for now would not be made public and would be presented to Dr. Mahathir on his return from China, where he is currently on a five-day state visit.
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