Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today proposed that the power to choose who will be the next prime minister be put in the hands of ordinary Malaysians, instead of leaving it to political parties to decide.
The senior Umno leader said it is high time the country explores “other systems of government” and see if Malaysia can perform better.
“(Maybe) we should have an elected prime minister rather than someone who is pushed up by the party,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini at an event today.
Malaysia currently uses an adaptation of the Westminster system, where the prime minister is chosen by the winning party in a general election.
Later at a news conference, Razaleigh said the country is also not helped by continued interference by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in national politics.
Razaleigh, who is also known as Ku Li, said Dr Mahathir’s meddling has potentially made things worse for the country.
“Will (forcing Najib out) solve the problem? He (Dr Mahathir) stepped down also, but that didn’t solve the problem.
“He (Mahathir) had said Dollah was a problem. Dollah stepped down and now there are more problems,” Razaleigh added, referring to Najib’s immediate predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Dr Mahathir, the country’s longest serving prime minister, handpicked Abdullah to take over the helm in 2003 but very quickly became his successor’s biggest critic over disagreements over policy decisions.
The situation came to a head in 2008 – when the opposition won an unprecedented 82 out of 222 parliamentary seats ― giving all the levarage needed to boot Abdullah out and replace him with Najib, who at that time was Dr Mahathir’s preferred choice.