Sunday, August 19, 2018

CEP unelected unrepresentative unwanted

Malaysiakini letter - PM must formalise the terms of CEP:

by Mark Lall Shimpi

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has explained that the term of the Council of Eminent Persons (“the Council”) could very well extend beyond the current government’s first 100 days in office.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “They think they have come to the end […] but I haven’t decided. I never said it is 100 days […] no, I still need their services.”

First, let us call a spade a spade: Mahathir had, in fact, stated on May 12 that the term of the council would be for 100 days: “This council will only be around for 100 days,” he said at a press conference after chairing Pakatan Harapan's presidential council meeting.

Dr M’s statement at the time was also in-line with the press release issued, which read: “The team will assist in shaping up policies and programmes to achieve the 100-day promises that Pakatan Harapan had made to the people. Thus the lifespan of this team will be 100 days."

Given the above, Dr M, let's not mince words; the truth of the matter is you did announce a time horizon for the council. To today claim otherwise is at best a failure of memory and at worst, a bald-faced lie.

Neither is it particularly becoming, particularly so as Malaysians have entrusted you, along with your esteemed colleagues in Harapan, to chart a new path forward for the country. To take on such a task - and discharge it well - requires as much eminence and storied prior expertise as it does a sense of responsibility and accountability.

In an era of resurgent, demagogic and unbecoming leadership across many nations, vigilance and transparency remain the antidotes to such mockery of the people’s rights and their intelligence. See also the prior government’s tactics, which the current government is always eager to put itself in contrast to.

Having dispensed with the factual record, let me state categorically - I have little interest in questioning the possibility of prerogative of the prime minister.

I also acknowledge that compared to other arrangements, at least we have the formal construct of a council, rather than unnamed and shadowy advisers to the prime minister that are otherwise unknown to the Malaysian public.

All the same, we know that prerogative, even for the head of state, is not infinite and must instead be exercised in dialogue with other norms and principles.

The record to-date shows we have been met with we have a hodgepodge of explanations as to the council's role - a vacuous initial press statement and a smattering of replies and commentaries from esteemed ministers and members of Parliament. Yet we still lack a canonical terms of reference or similar document that sets out, for the record and for all to see, the remit and limits of the council's role - much less howsoever long the body intends to remain constituted.

Such practice is far from professional, and instead suggests a mockery of good, responsible governance. Malaysians of 2018 are owed respect, through clarity of actions, not obfuscation. The people deserve to know the limits of the council's authority and manner in which members of the council are to conduct their business, regardless of how important and esteemed their prior or current positions and service to society were.

The concern is all the more pressing in the light of the prior government's failings and inconsistencies that today’s government continues to have no issue dredging up and deploying in the absence of firmer political capital; if ever there was a case of the pot calling the teapot black, it is now.

Pakatan Harapan versus Barisan Nasional

All of the above in mind, I therefore call upon Dr M, the council and those in a position to speak wise counsel to both, to formalise this institution of the council, including its temporal limitations, so as to preserve and re-affirm the importance of rule of law, amidst what all of us will readily acknowledge is a monumental transition for our beloved nation — and to do so for the generations to come, which we are always laying the groundwork for.

Whether you see it fit to decide this by decree or subject it to Parliamentary oversight, at the very least, hold the actions of the council accountable to something more tangible and fleshed out than has been the case to-date.

Some will argue my concerns are pedantic. They will argue that to focus on codification would rob the Council and its supporters of time spent getting on with its work. If you are in this camp, I put it to you: what concerns you so much about putting pen to paper and formalising—if not institutionalising—a body that to date has operated in the proverbial twilight zone?

Eminent persons they may be; angels they are not, and accordingly, such "auxiliary" precautions, the least of which may be codifying the council's terms of reference, is simply the responsible thing to do. If the council and Dr M to take such an affirmative step, it will hardly be looked upon unfavourably, even if it is not the path most easily taken. The good times are an opportunity to strengthen adherence to rule of law and institutions; do not take them for granted.

Still others will contend that were anything formalised regarding the council’s duties, it would prove problematic if somehow necessary to contravene; that the uniqueness of this watershed moment in Malaysian politics dictates that we cannot know ahead of time what duties the council may need to perform. To then circumscribe their remit, through a terms of reference or similar formal document, may create unnecessary future headaches.

To this, I say simply we need not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Choose to operate in a realm of accountability, over one that is beyond reproach. The latter is not always a slippery slope, but the logic of prerogative is an insufficient mechanism to explain and justify it. Operate instead on the principle that it is always the right time to claim the mantle of accountability and professionalism— and frankly, responsibility.

At worst, if such action is taken and there remain those that take issue with your practice (which there certainly will be!), at least then you can argue on the basis of a written principles which is not the case now.

And thus, to the Pakatan leaders, I say unequivocally: Thank you for your services to date which is by many measures proving a test of your ideals and desires for our nation.

You may not be able to accomplish everything in your manifesto, much less the promises for the first 100 days: but please do not sacrifice accountability and professionalism in the process. Those watching expect better of you, and we hope that you can continue to rise to the occasion.


  1. Ha ha ha. Suckers.
    Wrong decimal place.
    It is a 1000.0 days and not
    Life n lies go on in wonderful M'sia.
    Continue fr BN's period.

  2. So far the CEP seems to be giving good advise to the PM, is that not so? And looking at the composition of the CEP members, most would not doubt the expertise and experience these advisors have which are non-political and bipartisan..

    Or do you think the PM should rely only on his own or PH or party's Supreme Council or Cabinet members for advise , deliberation and decision making?

    Or appoint permanent advisers based on individual expertise like before where it is his sole prerogative to choose and appoint?

    Why harp on the CEP which only gives advice to the PM but the decision still lies with the PM to implement any advise given. And formalising it with clear terms for accountability and authority is limiting the scope of the advise given, would it not?

    In other words, the CEP is part of the PM's thinking cap and workhorse on National matters of importance where there is a big trust deficit in others and helps to prevent Trojan horses from friend or foe from intrusion and hoodwinking the PM to a different agenda.

    The CEP also helps to reduce the workload of the PM in handling everything by himself to meet the PH manifestos demands and reforming the Govt. when he is in a hurry to do it all as time is not on his side at age 93 and with a 2 year term limit in agreement.

    Even as a Superman PM, would it be better without the CEP and he only have time to do perhaps 30% due to of what he intends to do or as close to 90%% before he hands over the reigns of Govt. to another PM and expecting the next PM to complete all the reforms.

    Would the next PM be more party centric in decision making like UMNO/BN before or more consultative in decision making without party's interest but National interest in mind?

    Currently, the CEP is just a group of patriotic advisers who are not paid, non-political, experienced and knowledgeable individuals helping the oldest PM in the world in carrying out his reform agenda in the shortest time possible.

    Why scuttle it or restrict it when so far everyone could see that the decisions made by the PM towards reforms seem to be moving along nicely with many and much thinking going on behind the scenes. It definitely is impossible for an individual PM however Superhuman to think and act alone on just undoing all the wrongs of the past decades in so short a time given to him.

    Why must some see the current CEP as a Monster in the making?

    Who is more patriotic and really serving the Nation currently?

    The CEP or critics?

    1. Without a doubt, Ktemoc and his Sifu the white bontot MOM are fine examples of the more patriotic and really, really serving the Nation currently, wakakakakaka.

      Check out how hard at work Ktemoc is....4 to 6 postings a day and with such diligence too, mostly cheong hei with fantastic illustrations and carefully selected pictures to drum home his patriotic messages and teguran. No less too is his Sifu who is unsurpassed in his breathtaking takes in all sopo matters in a foreign land Malaysia thousands of miles away. Have to admire that the chap...he is now a British citizen (?) and yet he took to heart mucho much the affairs touching and adorable is our baldy, wakakakaka.

    2. That mom dreams of coming back to bolihland for his piece of 'royally' glamour, which the blur-sotongs r so enticed to uphold to keep their slavery!

      Back in Manchester, he IS nobody, living on dedak via voluminous of fake news - cleverly cut&paste & living sufficient room for uneducated imaginations so commonly found amongst his choirboys.

      Perhaps, kt is trying the same act here le!

  3. When will people wake up that M never keeps his promises. He does even know what comes out from his mouth.

  4. Najib had his shadowy, unknown , unaccountable, and ultimately Mega-Crooked Chief Investment Officer.

    Who turned out to be Ktemoc's Fei Sok.

    Apart from a few possible misteps, I think the CEP has carried out its fact-finding and consultative work quite openly, and all its members are known individuals.

  5. I am beginning to suspect Fei Sok and cheebye motherfucker kaytee are related

    Counsins? Right, Cheebye kaytee?

    1. I did NOT fCk your mother so stop calling me your motherfucker; I am not your father so stop demanding for my credentials to prove you are my son

    2. hahaha...looes...he's related to quite famous or rather infamous personalities la...Sifu Liar is his mentor teacher in traitorous writings, his sista Joceline Tan the bodek star writer, his Ah Sok the super yatch owner but somehow cannot claim ownership, wakakakakakka.

      As of now, let's put the hexes on him and his gang....nah, a million billion hexes...may you all be hexed to oblivion together with the doomed Umno party too, LOL. Lega nya after hexing !