Implement fixed-term parliaments to avoid ‘guessing games’ in calling for elections says Bandar Kuching MP
By:Sarah Hafizah Chandra

KUCHING: The country should stop the ‘election guessing game’ and implement a fixed-term parliament (FTP) instead, opines Dr Kelvin Yii.

The Bandar Kuching MP stated that the ‘election guessing’ game was not only causing much uncertainty but also detrimental to the interest of the country.

“It seems like the election date and future of the country is held ransom to the internal politics of a single party.

“Elections are ‘very political’ in the country, with those in power-making ‘political decisions’ that might not necessarily be in the best interests of the country. Thus, the country’s interests will usually play a secondary role.

“This is more evident with the recent announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the meeting of the top five leaders of Umno to discuss the 15th General Election (GE15) scheduled on Saturday (Sept 17) has been postponed to a date to be announced later.

“This has prolonged the biggest question in our country for the past two years by almost everyone about the possible dates of the next general election,” Dr Yii said on Thursday (Sept 15).

The Dapsy national chief reiterated that such uncertainty was detrimental to the country as the decision of millions – from investors and fund managers planning their portfolios to policemen and teachers planning their family holidays hinged on the decision of one man or even party.

“Even Cabinet ministers of any government may find it difficult to plan out and carry out their portfolios if they themselves may not know how long they have in their ministry, especially in current uncertainty.

“Since election is so uncertain, decisions made by ministers may be more ‘political’ for their own survival rather than put forth long-term reform plans within their ministry.”

As such, Dr Yii said any government should be allowed to serve a full term unless in extraordinary circumstances.

He said FTP should be made a priority and even on long term for it to take the form of a constitutional amendment to guarantee some permanency.
“This has been done in other countries, not just in countries with presidential systems, but also done for parliamentary governments, such as Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and others.

“With the country and world at large facing a triple-E crisis of economy, endemicity and environment, we should not allow our ‘election dates’ be used as ransom by any political party at the expense of our economy and society,” he stressed.

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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