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COMMENT | Just a translation - or a new Constitution? Part 1
COMMENT | On Jan 9, Attorney-General Idrus Harun in his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year 2023 proposed, among other things, placing the Malay translation of the Federal Constitution to the King for his approval.

Following such approval, the Malay version of the Constitution would become the authoritative version of the Constitution. This is pursuant to Article 160B of the Federal Constitution.

Validity of Article 160B

Article 160B was introduced in 2001 by way of a constitutional amendment. It was surprisingly passed In Parliament without much debate. The legality of such an amendment is very much in doubt.

A translated constitution will not be the agreed document. The Constitution established the basic scheme or structure of our society. It sets up the three branches of government, the duties, responsibilities and authority of the Malay Rulers, the relationship between the federal government and the states and the rights, and responsibilities of citizens. Sabah and Sarawak joined us on the basis of the English text of the Constitution

A translated Constitution is in effect a new Constitution. It is impossible to capture in exact terms the...

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