Fundamental reforms better than FTPA, says Zaid

PETALING JAYA: The government should look into implementing fundamental reforms and forget about a Fixed-term Parliament Act (FTPA), says former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Zaid said the proposed FTPA might have its advantages but will have its own set of challenges for the unity government, which comprises some 19 component parties.

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"A large single party like the Conservatives or Labour controls the British government, and the fixed term is working because stability is assured, not by the fixed term but by the strength of the ruling party.

"Here, the coalition is large and porous. Movements of members are inevitable. Democracy here takes time to mature.

ALSO READ: In-depth study on FTPA idea

"Those in power must not be too anxious to rule for long periods by artificial means. When you are good and well-liked by the people, that’s the fixed term you will get. No need to legislate," he said in a posting on X on Monday (Jan 15).

"Here we are trying to strengthen a weak party by a fixed-term method. It’s like a party president who wants to rule by having no election. It’s an artificial stability," Zaid added.

He suggested that the unity government come up instead with fundamental reforms such as repealing the Sedition Act 1948 and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

"Do not weaponise institutions like the MACC. Make them independent," he urged.

ALSO READ: Fixed term may be unconstitutional, say some MPs

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who is the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reforms), said on Sunday (Jan 14) that an in-depth study will be made on the proposal for the FTPA.

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

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