Tan Sri Robert Kuok (L) walks hand-in-hand with former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin as they attend a meeting of the Council of Eminent Persons today, May 22, 2018. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Kong-based business magnate Robert Kuok has called on Malaysians to have faith in the capability of the Council of Eminent Persons in bringing the country back on the right track.
Kuok, who spoke to the media for the first time since Pakatan Harapan (PH) formed the government, said that members of the council comprised of those whom he considered as “very fine Malaysians”.
The 94-year-old, who is also a member of the council, made his first personal presence in the meeting since being appointed.
Kuok was named as council member alongside former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Zeti Aktar Aziz, former Petronas chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Merican and economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram.
Kuok said he was not able to attend the meetings too often as he did not live here in Malaysia.
“But Tun Daim, Tan Sri Zeti, Tan Sri Hassan and Jomo, they are excellent people. Trust them. Trust them,” he told reporters when met after attending the council’s meeting at Menara Ilham.
On his take on the new administration, Kuok said he hoped that the PH government would be able to ensure that the well-being of the rakyat is taken care of.
“All of us wish our country well. We hope the people are taken care of,” he said.
Asked on his role on the council, Kuok said his presence was due to the invitation of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The soft-spoken Kuok appeared frail as he was escorted by his personal bodyguards to his vehicle.
He, however, remained calm when attending to questions posed by dozens of media personnel, who had been waiting since early morning to get his comment.
“I am sorry if I had kept all of you waiting for so long. ‘Minta maaf’,” he said while joining his hands together in a gesture of apology.
Kuok, who is dubbed the “Sugar King”, is the richest man in Malaysia with a wealth estimated at RM58 billion.
Kuok was in the news earlier this year following allegations from controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that the billionaire had been funding DAP to overthrow the Barisan Nasional government.