PM may wish to limit the term of prime minister to two terms, but, what is the purpose of limiting the term of office of prime minister? Is it to prevent an incompetent prime minister to sit in office for too long or to prevent or reduce corruption and abuse of power by the prime minister if he is in office for too long?
It makes not difference whether the term of the prime minister is limited to one, two or three terms, but, if the prime minister is incompetent, abuses his office, is corrupt, lacks ideas, mismanaged 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.
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. Lee Wan-koo who became prime minister of South Korea in February, 2015 when two months into his job was accused by Sung Wan-jong, a construction tycoon of corruption. Le Wan-koo was forced to resigned as prime minister.
What we need are prime ministers and politicians in the persons of Mahatma Ghandi of India and Jose Mujica, the one term president of Uruguay who drove his old Volkswagen to work and not tempted with money. China made Xi Zinping as president for life because he was able to develop China to a very powerful nation in the world in a span of few years only.
Lee Kuan Yew was prime minister of Singapore for 31 years from 1959 to 1990 but, could Singapore develop to one of the best managed countries in the world without Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister?
Therefore, to limit the term of prime minster may not necessarily work for Malaysia and also will not necessarily work for Sarawak or for any country.
A too short term of office enjoyed by the prime minister and chief ministers under our parliamentary system may cause instability of the government and will cause an ineffective implementation of policies. A succeeding prime minister or chief minister may change the policies that had went well with his own. This will disrupt short and long term planning. Too short a term 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 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.
VOON LEE SHAN
Parti Bumi Kenyalang
14 August, 2021