Why a 2-term limit for the Premiership is good for democracy

The Malaysian Government intends to introduce legislation to limit the tenure of a Premiership to 2 Parliamentary terms (i.e. 10 years).

All are aware that the Americans have a 8-year, 2 -term limit for the President. The French have a 2-term limit for their President too, as do the Indonesians who introduced it in 2003.

It is unusual for Western leaders to serve more than 10 years. Although Britain does not have term limits, her 2 longest serving PMs since the 2nd World War have been Margaret Thatcher (11 years) and Tony Blair (10 years).

In such cases, they appear to have a self-correcting mechanism. John Howard (the longest serving Australian PM of the modern era) served only 11 years after winning 4 terms in office before he lost his seat and his party lost power in the 5th election he led. [In Australia, they have a 3-year parliamentary term whereas our term is 5 years].

The greatest lesson the Greek Historian Thucydides gave the world was this: Human nature never changes.  No matter how good a person is, a long period in power inevitably results in hubris. Still water becomes stagnant, and all around it decay foments. Ultimately, society requires change for progress and prosperity.

The greatest danger to democracy is the nonsensical claim by some, including Goh Chok Tong’s “ownself check ownself”. No one is capable of checking himself.

As Benjamin Disraeli once said: “Change is constant; in a Progressive country, change is inevitable”!


Lim Tean




12 Responses to “Why a 2-term limit for the Premiership is good for democracy”

  • oxygen:

    POLITICAL HEGEMONY AND LONGEVITY are our cancer – we can’t even surgically removed cancer cells detected very early in its incubation.

    GD Star Rating
  • Art of Deception:

    What is the use if the “2-term” limit can pass down from father to son?

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  • most uselss:

    In a dictatorship, they want to rule forever, it is difficult to see Singapore wanting it as dictator wants to be in full control.

    Same for China, the dictator also removed the 2 term limit set by Deng Xiao,he is now defacto King of China, untouchable.

    GD Star Rating
  • built into the system:

    //In such cases, they appear to have a self-correcting mechanism.//

    for usa and france, 2-term limit is built into the system ?

    for britain or other advanced countries, perhaps the people are not so politically daft as to continue voting the same party when they have been given democracy ?

    why vote in a ‘dynasty’ (> the % of garvorning seats which allows power to change constitution especially for own party interest) when you are given a chance on democracy unlike daft sinkies who keep fearing the white idiotic party / white monkey idiots; and having some mental block (through years of indoctrination) that whole sinkie land may sink without the white monkey idiots’ ruling hand – until the white idiots can suka suka change constitution (4 = 5 and selected = elected) to ‘protect’ their own one-curry-party-function interest ?

    all this term limit (either built into the constitution of the country OR by voluntary smart voting efforts of the electorates) allows regular spring cleaning and counter-checking of what is going on at the most important level ?

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  • TruBlu:

    Walans 2 TERM$ IS A BIT TOO * LOONG *,ya?

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  • Neporism $300,000.00 per day:

    End of MIWs. History book will be logged with all unearthed skeletons.

    New Fresh breath of lives and Horizons for all local borne Singaporeans.

    Its only logical that “crookats” will resist to the very end, all dirty tricks, arrest, lock-up, sue until you bankrupt, stir up troubles, incriminate, discredit and deride, new oppressive laws etc… will be utilized. After all, it’s live or be diminished to non-existent for them.

    Opposition and good citizens to be wary of any Erection Fraud & Tricks.

    BIG-SLAM coming.

    GD Star Rating
  • opposition dude:

    The kiasee dafts will ensure that PAP governs for a while more. You know it, I know it and we all as hell know it.

    Only when the kiasees become the minority of voters will we see a change. Don’t worry too much about the new citizens voting for PAP because eventually they too will be retrenched and have to make a decision whether to stay here or balek. And it’s not an easy decision when one has children to factor in.

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  • Myopic politician:

    We are different.
    Why ?
    If we just capitalise on our strategic location we only have port related jobs .
    Almost all other jobs and business opportunities have to be created,they don’t come naturally. We have to create conditions to attract investment.
    Like our financial center,pharmaceutical,tourism and so on …….all this we need to have long term planning.Investors don’t invest their billions here if we change government every 4 or 5 years. So If there is political risk or policies risk they don’t invest.
    Worse if we have myopic politician who don’t understand the importance of saving to a small country like ours.(spend away our reserves spend away all our saving ,withdraw CPF at 55 years old and live until 84 years old many will go bankrupt before they reach 84 years old) and almost all our daily necessities are imported so if there is a crisis we will suffer.(no money)

    Remember almost all jobs and opportunities have to be created so we need long term planning in orders to survive.
    Can we afford to keep changing leadership?

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  • Spore is ready for malay PM:

    More than ready.

    As ready as when pap selected INDIAN as president.

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  • VTO no other way:

    im all for it..and each term shouldnt be more than 5 years.
    only countries with dictators stay on and on …
    see a resemblance??

    GD Star Rating
  • want to deplete the reserves:

    //Worse if we have myopic politician who don’t understand the importance of saving to a small country like ours.(spend away our reserves spend away all our saving ,withdraw CPF at 55 years old and live until 84 years old many will go bankrupt before they reach 84 years old) and almost all our daily necessities are imported so if there is a crisis we will suffer.(no money)//

    alamak. maybe 6.9m or 10m open-leg policy can make all the problems mentioned better and go away ? does anyone think so or it will make it worst in a more squeezy expensive country (where many things may be slowly priced out of reach for the average daft sinkies ?

    yar lor, it makes it sound that people want to deplete the reserves just the sake of it ? people are just concerned what the white monkey idiots may think of next in coming with some wayang reasons to transfer your savings to theirs lar (in short, either via direct or indirect taxes or raising of fees like education / health care / or other services provided by the white idiotic team etc, etc) ?

    GD Star Rating
  • everyone is different:

    //We are different.//

    aiyoh. everyone is different lar ? in sinkie land, even everyone is different, white idiots also have rules and regulations which apply to all lar – of course, some privileged ownself-check-ownself gang will want to have it differently when it comes to themselves lar ?

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