Friday, September 7, 2007

Civics 3: The M'sian Constutution

The year is sometime in the 1970s... and the hip groovy hippy revolution was ongoing in some cities around the world and winding down in some others. The disco revolution was just beginning... The Bee Gees, The Venga Boys, Aqua, Abba and many other talented bands and artistes were HOT!

The subject called 'Civics' was introduced to students in all secondary schools Though many found it rather dry and boring with no exam requirement, Mission schools ensured few students missed the lessons.

Many years later, the lessons would be appreciated as Malaysians would be more aware about democratic principles and Malaysian politics.

Brother Cool: The constitution is the 'supreme law' of the nation; and, in the main, deals with the rights that are accorded citizens and defines the powers of the legislature and the executive, regulating the relationship between them. Though it is very specific in some matters, it does not pretend to comprehend all instances of change in a society. Only the basic principles are established. However, neither parliament nor the courts may interfere with its provisions.

Indiana Jones; So the government has really not touched any of the provisions so far?

Brother Cool: Not that I am aware of. It is stated in our government-authorized text here that and I quote: 'Any enactment by Parliament which is incompatible with these provisions is invalid. As such this authoritative body of law is upheld by both Parliament and the Judiciary".

Frankinstein: Wow! That sounds cool! we Malaysians can sleep soundly at night, knowing there' re checks and balances in our democracy! We won't fear the government will abuse their powers and utilize its many powerful instruments to coerce or intimidate us... and abuse like corruption and inhuman rights violations will be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand!

Cat Girl: What a brilliant constitution!

Brother Cool: It is, isn't it? It can't be any better than that. Some of the most brilliant jurists of the early founding days of Malaysia dedicated themselves to draft and to come up with it. The first Prime Minister and founding father-that is, Tunk Abdul Rahman himself was a lawyer and was careful in how it was framed. Alright, in our next class, we'll talk about the powers of the judiciary.

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