CEP report kept under wraps to prevent defamation suits, says Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) report will not be made public yet in order to prevent defamation suits, although it may be revealed in the future after action has been taken on highlighted cases.

“A lot has been implemented based on the findings of the CEP. But it is not time yet (to make the report public).

“Maybe in the future, after action has been taken,” he said during question time in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) who asked whether the government would consider publishing an edited version of the report.

Calls for the report to be made public grew following deputy minister Hanipa Maidin’s statement in the Dewan Rakyat last week that it would remain under the Official Secrets Act as it contains confidential information.

CEP chairman Daim Zainuddin also backed the release of the report but admitted that this was up to the government.

The council, set up to advise the government during the initial stage of its formation, completed its report in August last year.

Mahathir said following the change of government last year, Pakatan Harapan had to make sure that the country was administered smoothly without any negative impact on the economy and investor confidence.

He added that the change in political landscape would have been cause for concern among foreign investors.

“(Due to that), I made the decision to set up the CEP to advise the government on the economy and other matters during its first 100 days.”

He said the CEP was entrusted with helping in matters related to the East Coast Rail Link and Trans-Sabah pipeline projects.

The final CEP report was presented to him, and then given to the Global Infrastructure Anti-Corruption Centre and the Prime Minister’s Department, he said.

“The CEP report is under the official business of the government. Due to that, all CEP officers are under the Official Secrets Act.”

Adding that the CEP’s role was advisory in nature, he said the government must exercise caution in revealing any of the information in its report.