PH criticises govt for ‘U-turn’ on bill to limit PM’s term

Pakatan Harapan says Perikatan Nasional has squandered an opportunity to implement a meaningful reform.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has slammed the decision by the government to withdraw the proposed legislation that would have limited the prime minister’s tenure to two terms.

In a statement today, it said Perikatan Nasional (PN) had squandered the precious opportunity to implement a meaningful reform.

PH said the sudden U-turn proved the government has no “fighting philosophy” and was only interested in gaining power.

“PH worked on this amendment to ensure no one will be able to hold the prime minister’s position for too long that (in turn) will allow the individual to take advantage of the position. This includes the ability to cover up the misconduct he commits,” it said.

It said the law reform would also provide an opportunity for new political leaders to serve as prime ministers and stop the culture of deifying a leader.

The Federal Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2019 was tabled last December when PH had proposed to limit the tenure of the prime minister to two terms.

Yesterday, Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the Cabinet’s decision to withdraw the bill was made unanimously.

Asked why he would support the withdrawal of the bill as he was part of the government that had pushed for it previously, Saifuddin said it was because PN was a “different ruling government”.

“I think it is because of a different philosophy, different government and a different way of looking at certain things,” he said.

However, he gave an assurance the decision would not derail the law reform agenda.

Earlier today, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan said the government did not have to give reasons for withdrawing a bill.

Replying to Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru) in the Dewan Rakyat, he said the government had no intention to set term limits for the prime minister’s post.