PAS sec-gen claims DPM Zahid’s proposal for ‘fixed term’ govt unconstitutional

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s suggestion for a new law that will keep the government of the day in office for a full five-year term to be against the Federal Constitution, according to PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.

The Opposition lawmaker criticised the idea as one borne from desperation to the point of absurdity.

“PAS wonders what factors pushed a senior and veteran leader like Zahid to make such a novice suggestion, especially after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim repeatedly claimed that his government had the support of more than two-thirds in Parliament?

“Is Zahid not convinced by the claim or is he so desperate to remain in power that he is ready to turn his back on the Constitution and democracy just as he did to defend his position as Umno President despite going against the decision of the majority of members and grassroots of the party?” Takiyuddin asked in a statement today.

He further questioned if Zahid, who is also Umno president, was using the pretext of public interest to drag the rest of the country into his party’s internal leadership conflicts.

Takiyuddin, who is Kota Baru MP, said a change of government is allowed under the Federal Constitution.

“It is a settled law and practice that the change of government outside the general election is allowed under the Federal Constitution and in line with the principles of democracy practised not only in this country, but in all other countries on the condition that the parties challenging the position of the existing government can prove the majority support he received either in Parliament or through other channels permitted by law.

“The Constitution is very clear in this regard and it has been made known to all that this condition of majority support is the basis for the formation of a government legally either following the general election or at any other time,” he said.

“It is also a basic condition to obtain the consent of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to appoint at His Majesty’s discretion a Member of the Dewan Rakyat who in his opinion may gain the trust of the majority of members of the Dewan Rakyat as Prime Minister to chair the Council of Ministers as provided in Article 43(2) )(a) Constitution,” he added.

The Perikatan Nasional chief whip stressed that when an appointed prime minister loses the support of the majority of MPs, he and his entire Cabinet must resign unless the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong accedes to the PM’s request to dissolve Parliament as provided under Article 43(4) of the Constitution.

“So in that situation the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong should replace the prime minister with a party that is proven to have the support of the majority of Dewan Rakyat members,” he added.

Takiyuddin said PAS believes that the provisions of the Constitution regarding this matter and related practices around the world are in line with the idea of democracy itself, that is, a government will only be considered legitimate as long as it enjoys the support of the majority.

“Therefore any effort to restrict or nullify that core principle, whether through new laws as proposed or other undemocratic actions is rejected and nullified in the end,” he said.

Yesterday, Zahid mooted the enactment of a policy or law for a fixed term government to prevent political turmoil that would destabilise the country.

His suggestion follows persistent rumours of a backdoor deal between the Opposition and certain members of the ruling parties in Anwar’s “unity government”, the latest dubbed the “Dubai Move”.

A rapid succession of governments from February 2020 following the “Sheraton Move” at the start of the Covid-19 global outbreak has been blamed for flagging foreign investor confidence in Malaysia, impeding its post economic pandemic recovery.

 

 

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