Fixed-term parliament law will not clash with Agong’s constitutional powers, says Bersih

PETALING JAYA: A fixed-term Parliament act (FTPA), if enacted, will not clash with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's constitutional powers to consent to the dissolution of Parliament if requested by the prime minister, says electoral watchdog Bersih.

"The FTPA will not withhold the King's prerogative to consent to the dissolution of Parliament if requested by the prime minister as stated in Article 40(2)(b) of the Constitution," it said.

Bersih added that through the proposed law, any practices involving a no-confidence motion in Parliament based on Article 43(4) of the Constitution must be stated clearly so that any backdoor moves against the principles of parliamentary democracy will not happen again.

It said the FTPA has to be introduced with a "constituency development fund act" that provides equal allocations for all MPs regardless of the political party they are in.

"Bersih is of the opinion that the FTPA is important to ensure political stability that will help in reform efforts for the people," it added.

Meanwhile, Bersih also said there should be a "confidence mechanism" introduced in Parliament through a constructive vote of no-confidence that allows an incumbent prime minister to be replaced if an eligible candidate is determined via a confirmatory vote of confidence.

"Bersih suggests all political blocs work towards efforts that will benefit the people and stop all political games that are detrimental to the future of the country," it said.

"It is time for the government and the Opposition to sit at the same table and sign a memorandum of understanding of political reforms for the people," added Bersih.

Bersih added that such an agreement is not anything out of the ordinary as it was last practised during the tenure of former premier Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

It added that these reforms are important and that Bersih is ready to be the middleman between the government and the Opposition.

On Saturday (Jan 13), Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a law should be introduced to allow any government to complete its full five-year term.

According to Ahmad Zahid, this would end constant plots to topple the government.

Ahmad Zahid's remarks were met with mixed views by politicians, with some saying that such a law could ensure political stability, while others described it as efforts to curb democracy.

Ahmad Zahid's comments came in the wake of the alleged "Dubai Move" where certain Opposition leaders allegedly attempted to buy over government MPs to deny the current administration a parliamentary majority.

Top Opposition leaders have described such allegations as "nonsensical defamation".

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