PM: EAC was not set up earlier because new Government was busy with legacy issues

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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 12): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Government could have set up the Economic Action Council (EAC) earlier but Pakatan Harapan was busy dealing with legacy issues left over by the previous regime.

Dr Mahathir, who is the chairman of the council, said the EAC was not set up due to the underperformance of appointed Cabinet Ministers but instead it was created as a channel for the Government to listen to and address the economic concerns of the people.

"We could have set it up right after we won the election but we were busy. We were preoccupied by the issues left by the previous Government and the loans that they had taken and we have not had the time to consider the issues faced by the investors and others. Now we have the time.

"It is important that the Government listens to the people and this is the role of the EAC. Things will go wrong when the Government does not listen to the people," Dr Mahathir said during a press conference at Perdana Leadership Foundation this afternoon.

Asked on the immediate steps to be taken by the EAC following its establishment, Dr Mahathir said the council will focus on economic matters without revealing details.

Members of the council include Dr Mahathir as chairman, along with Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking and the Prime Minister’s economic adviser Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid.

Other members of the council include former International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Permodalan Nasional Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and Council of Eminent Persons member Professor Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

A list of corporate leaders are also members of the EAC such as Public Bank Bhd managing director Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, Majlis Amanah Rakyat chairman Dr Hasnita Hashim and Bursa Malaysia chairman Datuk Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudeen.

Asean Business Advisory council chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Paul Selvaraj, lawyer Bah Tony @ Amani William Hunt Abdullah and Masa Depan Malaysia (Masa) Institute board of trustees member Nizam Mahshar are also in the EAC.