KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced today that the term of office of the Prime Minister, Menteri Besar and Chief Minister will be limited to two terms only as an immediate measure to reform the political system.
Dr Mahathir when presenting a motion on the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) said the Prime Minister would also not be allowed to hold another portfolio.
The move was part of a new priority and emphasis to reform the governance towards enhancing transparency and efficiency of public services.
Dr Mahathir said the role of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor would also be managed by two different individuals to improve the check and balance mechanism at all levels.
To improve the electoral system, the prime minister said the age limit for voting would be reduced to 18 years and the law on political financing would be introduced.
“Improvements in the electoral system will be implemented by clearing up the electoral roll, improving the postal voting process and providing fair access to the media,” he said.
He said the Parliament’s autonomous power would be enhanced by reintroducing the Parliamentary Service Act 1963.
“A selection committee system will be created. This committee will recognise the appointment of major posts at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Election Commission (EC), the National Audit Department and the Judicial Appointment Commission. Certain commissions such as the MACC and the EC will also be directly responsible to Parliament," he said.
Dr Mahathir said the relationship between the federal, state and local governments would be improved by restoring the spirit of federalism.
In terms of integrity and accountability, Dr Mahathir said Ombudsman Malaysia would be set up to investigate and report freely any complaints against the government agencies while the MACC would be made into an independent body.
“The MACC 2009 Act will be thoroughly reviewed. The anti-corruption law will also be strengthened by reviewing the Witness Protection Act 2009 and the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the government procurement procedure would be improved by introducing a more comprehensive and effective relevant legal framework and the enforcement of open tender, as well as reviewing the framework of public-private partnership projects to optimise resources.
In strengthening the delivery system of public services, he said, a special task force would be established to evaluate the roles and functions of various entities including statutory bodies and government-owned companies.
He also said the public service machinery would be streamlined towards improving efficiency and productivity through the adaptation of the business excellence model as an instrument of performance analysis of the ministries and agencies.
“The local authority (PBT), as the closest party to the people, will be strengthened in line with the people's needs and technological developments. This will be implemented through the PBT rating based on the level of service delivery excellence.
“The mandate given by the people is for us to make changes. Hence, carrying out reform on the governance becomes a priority. We have implemented this by replacing leaders of critical institutions such as the judiciary and legislative institution, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the MACC and the EC. Governance in the government needs to be improved. Transparency will be enhanced to prevent corruption and eradicate power abuse,” he said.