Azalina dismisses ‘desperate’ claim over Fixed-term Parliament Act

The law and institutional reform minister says the Act will reflect the government’s commitment to honouring the electoral mandate as well as the democratic process.

(FMT) – Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said has rubbished claims that the government’s plan to introduce the Fixed-term Parliament Act (FTPA) was out of desperation.

She said such legislation would only reflect the government’s commitment to honouring the electoral mandate as well as the democratic process at a time of geopolitical uncertainty.

Azalina said the legal affairs department will continue to study the possible enactment of the FTPA, including having impact studies and seeking public opinion, before presenting the findings to the Cabinet for policy consideration.

“In addition, stakeholder engagements with all interest groups will be held soon,” she said in a statement.

She was responding to PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan who earlier today described the FTPA, proposed by deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as “undemocratic”.

Takiyuddin asked if Zahid was desperate to stay in power and willing to turn his back on the Federal Constitution by wanting to prevent a change of government outside of a general election.

He said it is a “settled law and practice” that changing a government outside of a general election was allowed by the Federal Constitution, on the condition that those challenging the government can prove that they have majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

Meanwhile, Umno Supreme Council member Ahmad Maslan said the FTPA was necessary to ensure uninterrupted governance by a federal government for its full term, Bernama reported.

He said such legislation would empower the party that had secured a mandate in the general election to lead the nation and advance its development agenda without being vulnerable to attempts to overthrow it.

“This (legal) proposal is crucial to provide stability to future governments and to prevent situations where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has four prime ministers during his term, leading to instability,” he was quoted as saying.