KUCHING: Malaysians should have a say over whether or not the tenure of Prime Minister (PM), Menteri Besar (MB) and Chief Minister (CM) should be limited to two terms.
In pointing this out, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government should let the people decide.
“Let the ‘rakyat’ (citizens) decide whether the PM, the MB or the CM should be (in office for) two terms or not,” he told Utusan Borneo on Friday when asked to comment on the recent proposal by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of limiting the term of office of the PM, MB and CM to a maximum of two terms.
The proposal was announced last Thursday as a measure to reform the nation’s political system.
Dr Mahathir said the move was part of a new priority and emphasis to reform the governance towards enhancing transparency and efficiency of public services.
In his remarks, Abdul Karim pointed out that Dr Mahathir ‘has had his share’ given that the latter had served as prime minister for 22 years, beginning from 1981 – before being sworn in as the seventh prime minister after the 14th general election in May this year.
He said Dr Mahathir held five terms in office – now, he is into another term.
“Why didn’t he (Dr Mahathir) come up with this idea before? Is he worried that someone might hold it (position of prime minister) longer than he did?” Abdul Karim argued.
When met by reporters on Friday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg viewed the move to limit the term of office as ‘good in principle’, but he also said Sarawak would exercise its autonomy over this matter.
He said Sarawak would have to amend its Constitution if it were to limit the term of office of the CM.