1993 Amendments To The Constitution of Malaysia

The 1993 amendments to the Constitution of Malaysia was passed by the Malaysian parliament with the aim of removing legal immunity of the royalty. The changes, which saw the amendments of Articles 32, 38, 42, 63, 72 and 181 in the Constitution of Malaysia, was implemented in March 1993. Before the amendments were made, the Constitution granted rulers who have violated the law not to be prosecuted by the criminal court unless he voluntarily wishes to surrender his legal immunity.

The amendments were made at a time when the Malaysian monarchy witnessed a deteriorating relationship with the Malaysian government. During the late-1980s and the early-1990s, a series of controversial incidents involving the rulers cropped up, many of which came into a conflict of interest with several politicians. After two separate assault incidents by the Sultan of Johor and his younger son which occurred in 1992, the government was prompted to take up the initiative to call for the removal of legal immunity. The rulers were extremely unhappy with the government's calls for the removal of legal immunity, and initially dissented with the government. The government used a two-pronged approach of persuasion and coercion to obtain the assent of the rulers for their rulers. The rulers gave their assent for the government's proposals to remove the legal immunity, which was later implemented in March 1993.

By some interpretations, these events leading up to the constitutional amendments was considered to be a constitutional crisis, given that the federal government, who needed the endorsement of the Sultans to implement the law, refused and subsequently led to a brief standoff between both sides. However, in most cases, the events leading up to the constitutional amendment was generally closely identified as a monarchy crisis rather than a constitutional crisis.

Read more about 1993 Amendments To The Constitution Of Malaysia:  Parliamentary Debates and Resolutions, Media Coverage, Aftermath

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