Loke: Fixed-term Parliament law can reduce problems, political issues if done right

THE enactment of the Fixed-Term Parliament Act (FTPA) can reduce problems and political issues if successfully implemented, said DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

“We agree (if FTPA is created) because it is good, in principle, and can reduce the problems or political issues during the parliament term.

“However, it must be seen in terms of its implementation,” he said at a media conference in Butterworth when asked about DAP’s views on the enactment of the FTPA today.

Loke said this parliamentary system, which had been implemented in the United Kingdom when FTPA was created, meant parliament could not be arbitrarily dissolved by the prime minister within five years and must be brought to the Dewan Negara to be decided by lawmakers.

However, he said he is confident that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Azalina Othman Said, who is studying the matter, would bring the proposal to the cabinet.

When asked about the implementation of the light rail transit project in Penang, Loke, who is also the Transport Minister, said he held a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday and was instructed to prepare a cabinet ministers’ memorandum to be tabled to the cabinet.

“We are trying to finalise the matter soon and the prime minister has proposed that a Cabinet Ministers’ Memorandum be prepared for the project implementation to be approved.

Earlier, Loke witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Railway Assets Corporation (RAC) chief executive officer Azhar Ahmad and Penang State Housing Board (LPNPP) general manager ‘Ainul Fadhilah Samsudi.

Through the MOU, LPNPP, as the state government agency tasked with housing affairs for low- and middle-income groups, is crucial as it will help the RAC in relocating squatters in Kampung Manis to ensure no one is left out.

Following the signing ceremony, the 14.82ha squatter settlement, which is situated on railway land owned by RAC, is set to undergo a facelift, turning it into a modern and developed area soon.

In his speech at the function, Loke said the development concept planned for the settlement will not just showcase the commercial aspects, but also other components like a transport hub, retail, educational institutions and, most importantly, housing.

“Kampung Manis’ potential has been highlighted in the RAC Property Showcase 2023, held on Aug 24.

“As a result of the showcase, eight railway land sites attracted the attention of developers to be developed via Request for Proposal, with two of the sites situated in the state, namely in Kampung Manis and Bukit Tengah,” he said. – Jan 16, 2024


Main pic credit: The Merdeka Times

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