KUALA LUMPUR: Several Opposition MPs have questioned the need to put a limit to a prime minister’s term in office, saying that the leader’s tenure should be judged on his performance and merit.
Padang Rengas Barisan Nasional MP and former minister in charge of law Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the move to limit the term of office of the prime minister was unconstitutional as it would limit the democratic rights of voters of whom they wanted as prime minister.
“The amendments would limit the rights of voters to choose their favourite party and their candidate for prime minister, ” he told reporters at Parliament lobby yesterday.
He said it would be tough for Pakatan Harapan to win the support of the Opposition bloc as such constitutional amendments required a two-thirds majority approval.Nazri was referring to the Constitutional Amendment Bill in April to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with the Federation of Malaya as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
But the Pakatan-sponsored Bill failed to get the required two-thirds majority support in the Dewan Rakyat. It was shy of 10 votes to meet the threshold of 148 votes in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.
Awang Hashim (PAS-Pendang) said the amendments to put a limit to the prime minister’s tenure should be looked at thoroughly.
“Malaysia is a developing country, we need to see if we need such limits. There may come a time when we will elect a visionary leader as prime minister, and perhaps it will be not enough for him to stay for just one or two terms to implement his plans for the country, ” he said.
Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) said as long as the prime minister could deliver and was supported by the people, he should be allowed to lead.“This is all about the welfare and development of the country. The prime minister will have his or her own strategy to improve the economy, social development or education, ” he added.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang) said the amendment was a good idea as it would let new generations lead with fresh ideas.
“Especially in Asian countries, leaders tend to stay in power for so long. Nobody would dare to ask their bosses to leave, ” he said.
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