Introduce fixed-term parliament act

CSO Platform for Reform urges the government to expedite the implementation of a fixed-term parliament law to address the pressing need for institutional reforms that strengthen the democratic foundations of our nation. It is a critical piece of legislation that will establish a fixed duration for parliamentary terms, providing stability and some degree of certainty for the election cycle. By setting a specific time frame between elections, this act aims to curb arbitrary dissolution of parliament, promote accountability and ensure the smooth functioning of our democratic institutions.

The act will discourage opportunistic calls for snap elections and foster an environment conducive to long-term policy planning, promoting effective governance and economic investments by locals and foreigners for the benefit of all Malaysians. It will empower citizens by instilling confidence in the electoral process and providing a more level playing field for political parties. It will contribute to a political landscape where elected representatives can focus on addressing the nation’s challenges without distractions by frequent talks of a change of government.

CSO Platform for Reform also welcomes the Prime Minister’s Department’s Legal Affairs Division’s commitment to conduct a detailed and comprehensive study, including an impact study and public consultations, on the introduction of fixed-term parliament law.

We believe such thorough examination is crucial for informed decision-making and policy consideration by the babinet. As advocates for institutional reform values, we express our readiness to collaborate with the Legal Affairs Division and other stakeholders in this endeavour. We appreciate the unity government’s commitment, led by the prime minister, in respecting the electoral mandate, upholding the democratic process, and ensuring political stability amid uncertain geopolitics.

CSO Platform for Reform is prepared to engage strategically in the upcoming stakeholder sessions, to offer our expertise and insights to facilitate robust and inclusive discussions. We believe a collaborative approach involving civil society, government agencies and political parties will contribute to the successful enactment of a fixed-term parliament act in Malaysia. – January 17, 2024.

* CSO Platform for Reform is a coalition of over 60 Malaysia-based civil society groups.

* 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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