The Malaysian Constitution

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In a democractic parliament, rules were set and governed regardless of any country in the world. Malaysia itself is also governed by a a set of rules. The rules assigned to a country is called the constituition. Also called the bill of rights, the constituition of rights is a body of basic principles a state is to be governed with. The Malayan Union first drafted the constitution in 1946 but it was opposed by the indigenous Malay community so it was cancelled. The current Malaysian Constitution was drafted instead on the basis of a report from the Reid Commission before the independence of the nation. The Reid Commission was formed because of the urge of the then Malaya to claim independence and was lead by Lord Reid with many experts from commonwealth nations to assist him. The reason why the Malaysian Constitution exists is to ensure political stability, preventing abuse of power, to ensure equality to the people of the country, maintaining the fundamental rights of freedom as a democractic country, and to maintain special rights for the indigenous communities. 

The supremacy of the constitution is derived from the third principle of Rukun Negara. It is the only source of law that is permanently supreme and it overrides the power of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the parliament and any court. The Malaysian Constitution covers all the legislative, executive and judiciary aspects and has special provision to apply in a country with a diversity of races and religions. The Malaysian Constitution also defines how a government actually operates and how its power and authority are limited. In Malaysia, there is only one federal constitution and thirteen state constitutions, one each for each state in Malaysia. The main features of the Malaysian Constitution is a federation, a constitutional monarchy, practice of parliamentary democracy, religious freedom but with Islam as the national religion, supremacy of the constitution and the rule of the law, doctrine of the separation of power, validity and transparency of the Judiciary, the national language, citizenship and the special rights.

The Malaysian Constitution can be amended by fulfilling certain criteria such as a two-third majority agreeing to the amendment is required in both the houses of parliament and provisions pertaining to the Rulers and the Conference of Rulers and the special privileges of the indigenous cannot be amended without the Conference of Rulers. Provisions related to the matters of citizenships, the forms of oaths and affirmation, admission of a state into the federation and the alteration of the composition of the Dewan Negara can be amended by a simple majority. Provisions that affect the operation of the constitution to the Borneo State in such matters of citizenship, immigration, the Federal-State Financial arrangements and the State Legislative List cannot be amended without the concurrence of the governor of Sabah and Sarawak. The reason for the amendments is to imply change within the country and to keep up with the outside world that is constantly undergoing various changes. It also helps to maintain an efficient management of the country’s administration and the country’s peace. Furthermore the amendments of the constitutions help protect the people’s interests if it is found that the present laws are not satisfactory.

The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the country and it maintains the national interests. However each state possesses its own constitution to regulate the government of the state. In the constitution the Common List, also known as the Concurrent or Joint List applies to both Federal and State government. In the Federal Constitution, matters like foreign affairs, defense and internal security, legal and civil agendas, crime and administration of justice, federal citizenship, finance, trade and commerce, the local industry, shipping, sailing, fishery, communication and transport, federal works, study, investigation...
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