Rules of separation of Power in Malaysia

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By : Kaantha Rooban Subramaniam
Subject: Law and Ethics in Mass Communication

What is rules of separation of power and to what extent it is observed in Malaysia?

As we all know, Malaysia is a country that practices Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy since achieving independence from British rule on August 31, 1957. The structure of government in Malaysia is very similar to what is practiced in Great Britain. This is due to the fact that the Malay Peninsula, as Malaysia was formerly known, was a former British Colony and prior to its independence a commission was appointed to draft the Federal Constitution based on the system of parliamentary democracy as practiced in Great Britain. The independent commission was called The Reid Commission. The Federal Constitution divides the structure of government into three different main branches which are the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Each of them has their own constitutional role to play.

The Legislature:
It refers to the Parliament. The Parliament as we all know is made up of Agong, Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) and Dewan Negara (Senate). The main function of the legislature is to enact law so that the administration could run smoothly and pass laws that are required to manage the country. Law will be enacted according to the interest of the people generally and not the interest of the government body. Their function is to make, amend and repeal laws. Their task is also to supervise their implementation. Other than making laws, they are responsible for keeping check on the executive to make sure that there is no abuse of power. However this organ cannot interfere in the administration carried out by the executive. The Executive:

The executive is the Government. The Executive consists of the King, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet. The government departments which assist in administering the country are also part of the executive. The two components of the Executive which are the Administration and the Judiciary are organized upon strictly separate lines, with one exception: the Administration is checked by the courts of public law (the Administrative Court, the Constitutional Court and the Asylum Court). The Constitution contains strict rules on how tasks are assigned to the Administration. Example: Fines exceeding a certain amount can only be imposed by courts. The function of Executive is to enforce and implement all the laws that have been passed by the Parliament. The Executive body is responsible in administering the nation and ensuring that government policy is carried out according to the law. It is important that, in performing those duties, it must be done according to the power granted by the law. The Judiciary:

Judiciary is one of the most important components because “the people” depend on them to protect them from any kind of abuse of power. The judiciary mentioned here refers to the Judges and the Courts. The Judiciary consists of Federal Court, the Court of Appeal and two High Courts with one in the states of Malaya and the other in Sabah and Sarawak. The judiciary was an independent branch itself in the government. However after the judicial crisis in 1988, it was made subject to the Parliament. The constitutional role of the of the judiciary is to interpret the laws passed by Parliament according to its intention. Basically they are supposed to give meaning to words found in the statute. They are supposed to make decisions without any fear or favor. The judiciary has the power to determine civil and criminal cases. The judicial power of the country lies in the High Courts, Federal Courts and the Subordinate Courts. To perform functions fairly and evenly, the judicial branch must be strictly independent and not be restricted by any other branch of government organs. The Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary have to follow the Rules of Separation of Powers....
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