Beijing: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) to function, even though the body has reached the end of its 100-day mandate.
The Prime Minister said that he also needed CEP Chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin to continue serving in the Council, saying that he had not dismissed the group of advisors.
Asked by the media to respond to Daim, who had said Monday that the CEP had completed his task and had completed his 100-day mandate, the prime minister said: "No, no, he (Daim) said it (CEP mandate) is for 100 days, I have never mentioned 100 days.
"I want him (Daim) to be there to do part of my work, to interview people and to trace where the money is," said Dr. Mahathir.
The CEP was established on 12 May – three days after the last general election – to help shape policies and programs to meet the 100-day promises of Pakatan Harapan.
The council also had to advise the government on economic and financial matters.
Dr. Mahathir said there are currently four instances under his jurisdiction that deal with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal and other cases.
"Daim has access to a lot of information that I think is useful for him to continue his work, and I have not fired him," he said.
Besides Daim, the other members are former governor of Bank Negara, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas CEO Tan Sri Hassan Marican, Hong Kong-based Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok and economics expert Prof. Jomo Kwame Sundaram.
The secretariat of the CEP was led by economist dr. Muhammed Abdul Khalid.
There are also two committees under the CEP: the Institutional Reforms Committee and the 1MDB Committee.
Meanwhile, Tan Sri Annuar Musa said that the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) should be dissolved and that his report be made available to Parliament and the rakyat.
The Secretary-General of Umno thanked the CEP who fulfilled her term of office and will hand over her report to the Prime Minister next week.
"The council was formed to advise the government in its infancy, especially before the cabinet was fully appointed and prior to the first meeting of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.
"Now, everything has been formed and the Prime Minister has a large cabinet consisting of five senior party leaders, some Pakistani Harapan MPs have even fought longer for their fight than the CEP members," he said in a statement.
"CEP does not have the legitimacy of the law or the Constitution.
"It is not part of the Legislature, executive or judiciary, and the continued existence of the CEP will only endanger the current parliamentary democratic system," he said.
Annuar said while there were some who felt that the CEP had been set up on a voluntary basis without any cost to the government, it was not about the issue of costs, but more about the issue of power.
"Furthermore, the CEP members have great interests in the government, so there is clear conflict of interest," he said.