Fixed-Term Parliament systems common globally, not undemocratic - Wan Junaidi

Dewan Negara president supports Fixed-Term Parliament Act, dismisses notion of undemocratic

19 Jan 2024 05:56pm
Dewan Rakyat - FILE PIX
Dewan Rakyat - FILE PIX

KAJANG - It is not "undemocratic" if the country plans to introduce a Fixed-Term Parliament Act in the future.

Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this is because many countries in the world have implemented such a system that maintains the government within a specific term.

"If we look at this (Fixed-Term Parliament) as undemocratic, many countries in the world are then undemocratic because their terms of government are fixed.

"... (this also) means that a fixed-term president (implemented) in the United States, the Philippines or Indonesia will also (be considered) undemocratic because their term (president) is fixed," he said.

He said this in a question-and-answer session on the Bicara Tokoh programme organised by the National Council of Professors (MPN) with the topic "Anti-Party Hopping Act and Government Stability" here, today.

However, Wan Junaidi said if the government plans to enact the Fixed-Term Parliament Act, then it will drop the Prime Minister's power to determine the date of the general election (GE).

He said this was because it would affect the Prime Minister's discretion to seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Dewan Rakyat.

"If we set the date for the general election within five years, it means that the power of the Prime Minister to determine when we have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to request His Majesty to dissolve the Dewan Rakyat has been removed.

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"Although the Constitution says that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power, the second power, to dissolve the Dewan Rakyat when requested by the Prime Minister, but for how long can the Yang di-Pertuan Agong delay the dissolution is not mentioned," he said.

On January 13, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi proposed that a bill to keep a government running the country until the end of the term be tabled in Parliament.

The proposal was put forward to ensure that previous events such as changing the Prime Minister three times in the 14th Parliament term are not repeated in the future. - BERNAMA