Despite spectre of ‘Dubai Move’, Anwar says no urgency for fixed term Parliament law

SERDANG, Jan 16 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said there was no need to quickly enact a law to set fixed dates for general elections in Malaysia despite a new plot to allegedly trigger another takeover of the government via defections.

However, Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said the government will investigate the suggestion.

“They have not discussed this. I look forward to any discussion, but it is too premature for us to decide otherwise.

“We have not even obtained any comments from the attorney general. There is no consensus yet among the leaders of the Madani government. There has been a suggestion, we will look at it, but to me it’s not a priority,” he told reporters after launching the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Programme For The People at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), here.

Anwar said his priority is to transform Malaysia into a great nation.

He also said the issue was being exagerrated by the Perikatan Nasional coalition that did not have the ability to pull off such a move given its inferior numbers in Parliament now.

Anwar pointed out that he currently commanded supermajority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

“So why do we need to question this? My priority, as I said, is how do you transform this country in terms of governance, in terms of digital transformation, into a great nation again and that is my priority,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Zahidi floated the idea last Saturday, saying it would allow an elected government to serve for its full five-year tenure and at the same time prevent usurping the government.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan disagreed and called Ahmad Zahid’s suggestion unconstitutional.

The 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.

On Sunday, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said Azalina confirmed that the government is considering a fixed term parliament law and will be conducting an in-depth study, an impact study and obtaining public opinion for the Cabinet to assess its implementation.

 

 

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