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Najib Could Still Be PM Again Despite The Proposed 2-Term Limit Bill

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 will be prospective, not retrospective.

Cover image via World Politics Review Official Portal of The Parliament of Malaysia

Past prime ministers can still run for premiership as a proposed bill to limit the post of Prime Minister's (PM) tenure to two terms is not retrospective, revealed a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong explained that the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, if passed, would come into effect on a date gazetted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, reported New Straits Times.

"This amendment would not affect the previous terms of past prime ministers, including (Prime Minister Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad's past tenure," Liew told reporters at Parliament lobby yesterday, 3 December.

"This bill is prospective, not retrospective. If (any past prime minister) makes a comeback (after the bill is passed), the most he can hold is two terms."

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

Image via Bernama via New Straits Times

When asked that if former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could run for premiership, Liew said the bill will allow it

"It is prospective. So if he comes back, he can still hold (the premiership) for two terms," theSundaily quoted Liew as saying.

Najib served two terms as PM in the past between 2009 and 2018, before being unseated by Dr Mahathir in the 14th General Election.

Dr Mahathir is currently in his second year of serving as PM under the Pakatan Harapan coalition and had previously served four terms as the PM from 1981 until 2003 under the Barisan Nasional coalition.

The bill to limit a PM's tenure to two terms was tabled for the first reading in Parliament on Tuesday, 3 December

Image via theSundaily

The motion is part of Pakatan Harapan's manifesto.

In October last year, Dr Mahathir announced Putrajaya's intention to push for the bill to limit a PM and chief ministers' tenure to two terms, reported New Straits Times.

He said that the amendment to the Federal Constitution is necessary to reform the political system, curb excessive powers, and enhance integrity.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Dr Mahathir responded positively and joked that he will not want to be PM again

"I am 94 now. Do you want me to be PM when I am 100 years old?" he said in jest.

Image via KiniTV

The bill is scheduled to be debated during the next Parliament seating in March 2020

The bill needs a two-thirds majority vote from Parliamentarians in order to pass.

However, the Pakatan Harapa coalition only holds 129 seats in the Parliament, 19 seats away to form a two-thirds majority out of 222 total seats.

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