[UPDATED on 11 September 2010 with this clarification that His Majesty’s speech was first highlighted by Uppercaise which in turn inspired this post. As communicated to Uppercaise by email on 9 September 2010, LoyarBurok was to have updated this post with our due acknowledgment to Uppercaise. We apologise for our oversight, Uppercaise. Perhaps it was the festive season starting to kick in!]
Certain quarters are demanding that Malaysians do not discuss the Constitution. However at the opening of the first Parliament of Malaya, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Rahman opined that we should. And the MyConstitution campaign is doing just that!
In general, this Constitution … defines the powers of the Federation Government and of the various States of our united nation, provides for amendment of the Constitution should this be found necessary; and asserts the electoral rights of citizens in our democracy. In this way it ensures that the voice of the people is the will of the people.
In particular, this Constitution is the guardian of the rule of law. It protects the integrity, the freedom from influence, and the independence of our Courts and our Judges and our Law Officers and the Members of our various Commissions of the Public Service, responsible for appointments and discipline. In this way it ensures the security, integrity and impartiality of the Civil Service.
The Constitution belongs to all of us – it belongs to Us as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, it belongs to you as the Members of Parliament, it belongs to the people as the fount of power.
The Prime Minister, the members of his Cabinet, the Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives have all sworn … that they will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
Therefore, We wish all Our subjects on this historic day to know and understand that the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya, our charter of rights and liberties, is now, finally and completely, in operation and with the establishment of this Parliament under the Constitution, a new era begins for our nation.
It is Our earnest hope that as many as possible of Our subjects will take early opportunity to make themselves familiar with our Constitution, and with the powers and procedure of our Parliament.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Muhammad
Yang Di-Pertuan Agong I
at the opening of the first Parliament of Malaya, 12 September 1959