FTPA might jeopardise democracy

THE government should not rush to introduce the bill aimed at maintaining an elected government until the end of its term or Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) without first doing a comprehensive study of it.

The proposal for the bill should be discussed with experts in the field like legal academicians, lawyers, judges, and civil society organisations. 

While such a bill could ensure the long-term stability of the Anwar Ibrahim administration so that the government could then focus on improving the country’s economy, it could also lead to overconfidence, laziness, and arrogance on the part of the existing elected government.

Furthermore, it could violate the democratic spirit of the Federal Constitution. We already have a law that ensures political stability – the anti-party hopping law passed in 2022. The government could make improvements by amending this law instead of creating more unnecessary laws. 

What is preferable is that the government should legislate a bill to limit the term of service of the prime minister and elected representatives in parliament and state assembly to at least two terms. This would prevent the politicians from having a monopoly on power for a very long time and allow new faces to come forward. 

The above suggestion should be seen as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen our democratic process and values. – January 17, 2024.  

* Muzaffar Syah Mallow reads The Malaysian Insight.  

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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