Isham Jalil: Fixed Term Bill proposed by Zahid curbs the Agong’s discretionary power

FORMER UMNO information chief Isham Jalil has hit out at the Fixed Term Bill for undermining the power and discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) to replace the Prime Minister (PM) whom in his opinion has lost the support of the MPs in the middle term.

At present, the Federal Constitution allows a change of PM and government in the middle of the term at the discretion of the Agong if the existing PM no longer commands the support of the majority of Dewan Rakyat members.

“If the PM and the government fail to govern and spark misery among the people, it can be disastrous if the people and the Agong have to wait until the end of the (five-year) term to change the PM and the government,” Isham penned in a recent Facebook post.

“The people can’t wait five years if they are already struggling and starving because of the government’s failure.”

In this regard, the former UMNO Supreme Council member prior to his sacking from the party on Dec 7 stressed the need for continuous check the balance of the government by the people and their MPs instead of waiting for five years to coincide with the general election.

“That’s why there are provisions in the Federal Constitution to allow the change of PM and the government in the middle of the term,” asserted Isham. “Bills enacted in Parliament should take into consideration the interests of the people and not to save the necks of a few politicians in the government.”

Earlier, Isham claimed that the Fixed Term Bill is only serving the self-interest of a few politicians in the government, including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is fearful of losing their power and position should a government change ensue thus facing the bleak prospect of being charged in court again or face imprisonment.

In this regard, he further expressed concern that the Bill can lead to a situation whereby the PM and the government become complacent to carry out their responsibilities in an efficient and trustworthy manner.

“This can also create space for abuse of power by the PM and the government given they know they will remain in power until the end of their term even if they fail to deliver their work or are involved in corrupt practices,” he justified.

“Moreover, the Bill will also prevent MPs to have a free hand to change the PM and the government in the middle of the term should the PM and the existing government fail to govern the country well or have lost the support of the people or the MPs in Parliament.” – Jan 16, 2024

Main pic credit: Bernama

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