'Proposed law for government continuity may foster dictatorship and corruption'

15 Jan 2024 09:45am
Dewan Rakyat - FILE PIX
Dewan Rakyat - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim and Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal have rejected Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's proposal for a law guaranteeing a government's full term.

They argued such a system is unsuitable for Malaysia's parliamentary democracy.

According to the PKR leader, the country does not have direct elections for the prime minister as in a presidential system.

He expressed concern about the potential drawbacks of a fixed government term until completion, which might lead to dictatorship and the continuity of a corrupt government.

"We do not want the Malaysian Parliament and the government to be controlled as is happening to Umno now under its President, (Datuk Seri) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi," he said.

Hassan made these remarks when commenting on Zahid's proposal to introduce a bill to sustain a government until the end of its term, presented in Parliament.

Zahid said that this step aimed to prevent events like the three changes in prime ministers during the 14th Parliament from recurring in the future.

In response, Hassan suggested amending Article 43(4) in the Federal Constitution to clearly state in writing that the determination of whether the prime minister has a majority or not should be made in the Dewan Rakyat through either a vote of confidence from the government or a vote of no confidence from the opposition.

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"It is also necessary to state that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker has no power to reject any motion to determine the legitimacy of the Prime Minister in terms of support in the Dewan Rakyat," he added.

Meanwhile, Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayhsal concurred, viewing Zahid's proposal as a "personal ploy" motivated by past legal troubles.

The Bersatu representative argued that Zahid's proposal was a personal ploy to maintain power, fearing a resurgence of the 47 charges he faced earlier.

"Previously, he urged (former Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament before the end of the term, even when the country was facing floods.

"At that time, there were no issues (about stability, etc.). It is clear that he (Zahid) is hypocritical.

"His ploy is evident. So, I do not agree with this proposal (to sustain the government bill)," Wan Ahmad Fayshal said.

He stressed that in the parliamentary democracy system practiced in the country, a government could be changed at any time, as long as the stipulated conditions were met.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal hoped that the proposed bill would ensure the preservation of political stability in the country.

He supported any provision to prevent the gathering of statutory declarations (SD) as a means to overthrow the government, as it could create a healthy perception and impede the government's efforts to strengthen the country's economy.

"If there is a provision to prevent the gathering of SD in the proposed bill, then I strongly agree and see it as a good suggestion.

"Even if no party obtains a majority, with the current coalition, the unity government, the government is already formed.

"Therefore, the existing government should be maintained because the mandate has been given to the winning parties forming the government," he said.

He also argued that the proposed bill should also ensure that the process of issuing a vote of no confidence to the prime minister in the Dewan Rakyat, as stipulated at present, should be maintained.