After the fourteenth general election in Malaysia in May 2018, a new coalition known as Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) came to power. It replaced Barisan Nasional (the National Front) that had ruled at the federal level since the independence in 1957. In the manifesto of Pakatan Harapan, the coalition promises to rebuild the nation. It promises to embark upon institutional and political reform for a new Malaysia involving the office of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, Parliament, the judiciary, public service and human rights. Approaching the end of the first year of the new government, it is apt to review its accomplishment in fulfilling the pledges of institutional reforms. Although the new government had established the Institutional Reforms Committee and the committee in turn submitted seven recommendations for immediate institutional reforms, questions lingers as to its implementation. This is more so with explicit reference to the number of seats that the coalition have in Parliament affecting its ability to amend the constitution. It is pertinent to review institutional reform processes and to answer the question of whether the promised New Malaysia has become a reality.
Farid Sufian Shuaib obtained his LLB (Hons) from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and has taught at the Kulliyyah of Laws, IIUM, since 1993. He completed his LLM from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and obtained his PhD in Law from IIUM. He received and completed research grants on the administration of Islamic law, media law and constitutional law. He published widely in Malaysian and international journals. Among his books are Administration of Islamic Law in Malaysia: Text and Material, Powers and Jurisdiction of Syariah Courts in Malaysia and Constitutional Law of Malaysia: Case and Commentary published by LexisNexis and Pearson respectively. He has been invited for lectures in England, Turkey and Indonesia. His writings are referred to in the judgments of superior courts in Malaysia. He was a Visiting Scholar at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) between February and March 2016. He is currently the Dean of Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, IIUM.
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Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: Putrajaya, Malaysia, Palace of Justice.