When the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled last month that the British Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament for five weeks was unlawful, many Malaysians must have asked when the Malaysian judiciary would demonstrate similar independence to uphold the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers in Malaysia.
As the Chief Justice, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said at the Lawasia Constitutional & Rule of Law Conference 2019 on the theme “Constitutional Government: The Importance of Constitutional Structures and Institutions”, any attempt to undermine the strict separation of powers is an affront to democracy specifically and to constitutionalism generally.
Although she declared that “No particular branch in this country is superior to one another. Only the Federal Constitution reigns supreme”, Malaysians needs to be convinced that institutional reforms are in place to uphold this important constitutional principle.
This is why it is timely that the Reports of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) and the Institutional Reform Committee (IRC) should be tabled as a White Paper in Parliament and the Reports should be referred to the Caucus on Institutional Reform and Governance chaired by PKR President and MP for Port Dickson Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which should submit recommendations to Parliament within six weeks on the actions which should be taken on the CEP and IRC Reports.
This is to ensure that the Parliamentary meeting starting tomorrow will be able to debate proposals for institutional and political reforms which is one of the five pillar-promises in the Pakatan Harapan 2018 General Election manifesto before it adjourns on December 5, 2019.