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Almost by stealth, the government has quietly introduced a constitutional amendment that will have an important impact on the course of history.

On Nov 20, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz tabled for first reading the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2007 that seeks to extend the retirement age of members of Election Commission (EC) from 65 to 66. This bill will be tabled for second and third reading on Dec 11.

This lightning move to amend the constitution is obviously to enable current EC chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman - due for mandatory retirement on Dec 31 when he reaches 65 - to preside over a critical general election that may take place soon.

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