Will Mahathir continue feeding Guan Eng free lunches?

Mahathir announces Guan Eng’s appointment as Finance Minister. Source: The Straits Times

TTF: On the 2nd of January 2018, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spoke of Lim Guan Eng and Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali and why he appointed the duo to their respective positions in the Malaysian Cabinet.

According to him, should he have let Guan Eng be in charge of everything (finance and economic affairs), the Malays would not have been happy.

On the other hand, if he had let Azmin take care of everything, Guan Eng would not have been happy.

What this means, is that Mahathir deliberately created the Minister of Economic Affairs post just to keep two people happy – the son of the man who put him in office, and the ‘real’ Prime Minister in waiting, Azmin Ali.

As a result, the country now has an abundance of resources to handle both financial and economic concerns.

Yet, the Prime Minister is talking about forming another entity to make decisions on issues involving the economy (see news item below).

Question is, has the old man finally gone off his rocker?

Perhaps he’s forgotten that the country also has a non-constitutional, non-elected Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) tasked with ‘advising’ him and the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government on economic and financial related matters.

On the 12th of May 2018, just three days after the 14th general election (GE14), Mahathir put it to media that the CEP would stay only for a hundred days until his pick for Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng, could clear corruption charges and be sworn into office.

This council will only be around for 100 days

Mahathir Mohamad, 12/05/2018

Now, read between the lines.

Notice how the announcement turned the CEP into an “either-or” thing, meaning, the council was meant to expire either a hundred days after its inception or the day Guan Eng became Finance Minister, whichever came first.

On the 21st of May 2018, just eight days after the announcement, the son of Lim Kit Siang was finally sworn in as Minister of Finance.

But was the CEP ever dissolved?

No.

Instead, we were told that the council would make recommendations on how to resolve the so-called ‘US4.5 billion’ financial scandal involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Every other day, it was every other reason.

On the 18th of May 2018, Tun Daim Zainuddin told Malaysians that the CEP would only advise government in policy-making and help review existing business deals.

However, on the 10th of June 2018, Dato’ Seri Gopal Sri Ram revealed that the CEP chair had stuck his oars in judiciary by demanding the resignations of both former Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif and former Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.

Still, Daim gave his assurance that the CEP wouldn’t be around forever as it’s goal was to wrap operations up within a 100-day period.

But when the 100th day finally came, he gave no indication whatsoever that the CEP would be dissolved.

When pressed, Mahathir denied ever saying that the CEP would expire and argued that the council’s services were very much needed to “solve the country’s problems.”

Ia tak akan dibubarkan. Mereka kata tempoh mereka semakin hampir tetapi saya masih tidak membuat sebarang keputusan kerana saya tak pernah cakap tempoh khidmat mereka hanya selama 100 hari

Mahathir Mohamad, 16/08/2018

The CEP still exists to this day despite it being 267 days since its inception.

Its continued existence means that we now have three platforms to help address the country’s financial and economic concerns, two among them being under the purview of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, and the third, a non-constitutional, non-elected council of very controversial figures.

So tell me, why on earth would we need yet another entity to do what Guan Eng was meant to do?

Why, is Mahathir planning to keep on feeding the Minister of Finance free lunches?


PUTRAJAYA: The government will form a central body aimed at making decisions on issues involving the economy, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said the body would have similar functions as the National Economic Action Council, which was formed on Jan 7, 1998, for the purpose of identifying the basic economic problems and appropriate policies to respond to them.

“But, it will have a different name. It will look into all economic matters and make decisions on them as fast as possible,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after chairing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council meeting.


Dr Mahathir, who is also PH chairman, said currently there were “too many cooks” dealing with economic and investment matters, which could lead to delays and lack of understanding.

On claims that the ringgit had weakened further especially against the Thai baht under PH government, Dr Mahathir said the local currency had strengthened against the green bag at RM4.10.

“It is not the ringgit that has weakened. It is because of the US dollar has strengthened, causing the ringgit to fall.

“We need to factor in other aspects as well to make accurate conclusions about the country’s economic performance (including about the ringgit).” he said.

Source: NST Online


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