PM term limit alone won’t curb corruption, power abuse, analysts say

Raevathi Supramaniam

Political analysts say efforts to prevent corruption and power abuse should include decentralisation of power. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 13, 2021.

LIMITING the tenure of the prime minister to 10 years can restrict the influence and power of the office holder, signalling a step towards good governance in the country, political analysts said.

However, the imposition of a term limit alone is insufficient to contain the culture of corruption and abuse of power, they said.
To stop bad practices, critics said the government should consider decentralising the power of the federal government.
International Islamic University of Malaysia’s Dr Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar said that limiting the tenure can stop politicians from personalising power in the administration of the country.
“We can see that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for example, who was a prime minister for more than 22 years, still thinks that nobody else is capable of leading the country’s administration,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
He said it is odd to limit the PM’s time in office to 10 years instead of two terms.
Malaysia holds a general election every five years. But it is common practice for an election to be called before the five years are up.
“In crafting the wording this way, it may mean that a new prime minister will be appointed mid-term, or at least before a particular prime minister’s term ends.
“The better alternative is to have the limit by two parliamentary terms so that the person to be prime minister reflects people’s choice in a general election,” Tunku Mohar said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob offered the opposition seven parliamentary and governance reforms, which included limiting the tenure of the prime minister to 10 years.
The history of prime ministers in Malaysia

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