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Motion to limit Penang CM’s term binned after failing to get support

DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu says he will try to submit the motion again next sitting. ― Picture by Opalyn Mok
DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu says he will try to submit the motion again next sitting. ― Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 19 ― A DAP assemblyman today failed his bid to limit the Penang chief minister’s term after his motion, submitted without notice to the state assembly, received no support from the House.

In his motion, Teh Yee Cheu (DAP ― Tanjung Bungah) sought for studies to be conducted on introducing a better check and balance system in the Penang administration by limiting a sitting chief minister to only serve for two terms.

He also sought a fixed election date for the state every five years.

“I feel that we should have a research done on this to amend the state Constitution and I leave it to the state assembly members' conscience to decide,” he said when submitting the motion today.

State assembly Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang said Teh's motion without notice is in accordance with the state assembly’s Order 34 (iv) but he will first need at least 10 lawmakers to support it for it to be debated.

Law then called for those in support of Teh's motion to rise but the Tanjung Bungah assemblyman remained the only lawmaker standing.

“As his motion did not fulfill conditions as it was not a matter of urgency and there was no support for it, it is hereby dismissed,” Law said.

Outside the chambers later, Teh said he was merely suggesting a research to see if it is viable to limit the chief minister's term to only two terms and to have a fixed general election date every five years.

“I wasn't submitting a motion to amend the Constitution yet, only for research to be done to determine the viability of this proposal,” he said.

Teh had in the past mentioned these suggestions during debate but this is the first such motion he has submitted.

“Today, I am raising it as a fresh issue for reformation and separation of power and I only wanted to put this issue in the state Constitution committee to conduct the research and come out with a report on it,” he said.

He added that he wanted Penang to take the lead in the matter, pointing out that the policy should later be extended to all other mentri besar posts, as well as that of the prime minister’s.

Noting his failure today, Teh said he may attempt to resubmit the motion next year, but this time by giving notice to the assembly.

“Even though I know it will be rejected, I will still submit it so that it showed on record that I tried,” he said.

State Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid had in May submitted a similar motion to limit the chief minister's term to only two terms.

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