Washington International Law Journal


Yvonne Tew


This article explores the Malaysian judiciary’s approach toward interpreting the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and situates it within the context of the nation’s political and constitutional history. It traces the judiciary’s movement toward a more rights-oriented approach followed by its more recent retreat, which has been marked by strict formalism and insularity in several appellate court decisions. This article argues that the Malaysian courts’ journey toward constitutional redemption has been uneven so far. In order to reclaim its constitutional position as a co-equal branch of government, the Malaysian judiciary must be willing to uphold its constitutional duty to assert its commitment to constitutional supremacy and the rule of law.

First Page