Voon: No point limiting PM’s term of office, corruption and power abuse can still occur

Voon Lee Shan

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KUCHING, Aug 14: Limiting the term of prime minister may not necessarily work for Malaysia because corruption and abuse of power could occur even during the shortest term of office.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan said it makes no difference whether the term of the prime minister is limited to one, two or three terms.

“If the prime minister is incompetent, abuses his office, is corrupt, lacks ideas, mismanages or unable to steer the country out of political, security, social, religious and economic problems faced by the country, then he is a useless prime minister and ought to be removed or replaced immediately,” he said in a statement today.

He mentioned that corruption and abuse of power in political office could occur even during the shortest term of office because opportunities are there from the first day in office.

“This could be seen in South Korea, where Park Guen-hye, when as president from 2013 to 2017 faced corruption related charges quite early in office.

“Additionally, Lee Wan-koo who became prime minister of South Korea in February, 2015 was forced to resigned from his post after being accused of corruption by a construction tycoon Sung Wan-jong just two months into office.

“Therefore, to limit the term of prime minister may not necessarily work for Malaysia and also will not necessarily work for Sarawak or for any country,” he added.

At the same time, Voon explained that a too short term of office enjoyed by the prime minister and chief ministers under the current parliamentary system may cause instability of the government and will cause an ineffective implementation of policies.

He said a succeeding prime minister or chief minister may change the policies that had gone well with his own. This will subsequently disrupt short and long term planning.

Too short a term, he said, will also make it difficult for the prime minister or the chief minister to groom a successor.

“Prime ministers and chief ministers are tasked to find solutions to societal problems, which are often complex with huge likelihoods of unintended consequences.

“Crafting out solutions need skills which could only be learned over the years, in which, a new prime minister or chief minister may not have and difficult to adjust and learn. The public and country will not be best served if an inexperienced person is on the job.

“If Malaysia wants to progress to a first-class nation, we need leaders who are God fearing, incorruptible and who has the heart of gold to help people. He must have the brain and vision to move the country to prosperity.

“At the same time, the country has to get rid of her protectionism policy of protecting the welfare and happiness of one race and religion to the detriment of other races and religions,” he emphasised.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a special televised speech titled ‘Together in National Recovery’ yesterday announced that a Constitutional Amendment Bill to limit the term of office of the Prime Minister to two terms will be tabled in Parliament, if the motion of confidence vote is passed.

This was among the proposals made by Muhyiddin in hopes to secure bipartisan support in the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara in excess for a two-thirds majority. — DayakDaily