Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
No. 2007, Lorong Sidang Omar, off Jalan Penghulu Abbas, Bukit Baru, Hang Tuah Jaya, 75100 Melaka

Tel : 06-2347011
& 06-2347012
Fax: 06-2347022


Monday, August 13, 2007

People Power

This is still fresh in my mind since the 2004 general election. Malaysian heard from our BN election candidates saying "We are your servants and the Voters are Masters" and we also hear the PM saying "I am the No. 1 Civil Servant". Well I'm not denying that those words are true. I must say AMEN as to that. Immediately after that the BN won a landslide victory wiping out PAS in Terengganu regaining the state and almost took over Kelantan by a sit or so in the Assembly. In toto the BN won almost 94% of the seats in Parliament. That was Malaysia Books of Record achievement.

Over the years after many bills were passed affecting us greatly but then again what ta' hack they (BN) are currently the majority. So I now pause and think for awhile, what happen if there is a change on our constitution declaring that Malaysia is an Islamic State? Amending the constitution only needs the minimum of two-thirds. Wait a minute. Surely that is possible. However, amendments pertaining to the powers of sultans and their respective states, the status of Islam in the Federation, the status and rights of Bumiputra, the status of the Malay language as the official language, to name a few examples, shall require the assent of the Conference of Rulers.

Amending the Constitution in our country is liken to buying a new piece of chinese new year clothes as it had been amended 42 times over the 49 years since independence. Prof Shad Faruqi, a constitutional expert did say that "there is no doubt" that "the spirit of the original document has been diluted". This sentiment has been echoed by other legal scholars, who argue that important parts of the original Constitution, such as jus soli (right of birth) citizenship, a limitation on the variation of the number of electors in constituencies, and Parliamentary control of emergency powers have been so modified or altered by amendments that "the present Federal Constitution bears only a superficial resemblance to its original model".It has been estimated that between 1957 and 2003, "almost thirty articles have been added and repealed" as a consequence of the frequent amendments.

Having said that, now compare that with the United States Constitution which only had 27 amendments since 1787. Now maybe is time to allow the Rakyat to decide as to what is what is not in our Constitution like a Referendum, typically refers to a popular vote to overturn a piece of legislation or the constitution at the federal levels. Like the United States or the European Union it allows the public having a say in their respective laws and proposals. Why not?

This allowed the people to decide what is best for them. This is important because the Rakyat are stakeholders of this country and that the future of this country is depended upon the people.

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