AGC plans to replace English text of Federal Constitution with BM version

PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) is planning to replace the English text of the Federal Constitution with the Bahasa Malaysia translation as the authoritative text.

Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun said the AGC would bring forward the proposal to the government for the prescription of the Federal Constitution in the national language to be the authoritative text, in line with Article 160B of the Federal Constitution.

Article 160B states that where the Federal Constitution has been translated into the national language, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may prescribe such national language text to be authoritative.

It also states that if there is any conflict or discrepancy between the national language text and the English language text of the Constitution, the national language text shall prevail over the English language text.

"The Federal Constitution acts as our cornerstone in implementing the separation of powers. Therefore, for 2023 pursuant to Article 160A of the Federal Constitution, the AGC plans to reprint the Federal Constitution to incorporate the latest historic constitutional amendments," he said.

Idrus said this in his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year (OLY) 2023 at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here on Monday (Jan 9).

However, the two plans to replace and reprint under Articles 160A and 160B are subject to the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Federal Constitution was first introduced as the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya on Aug 31, 1957, before it was reintroduced as the Constitution of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.

This means that for six decades, the authoritative text for the Federal Constitution has been in English despite the availability of the Malay translation that was launched in 2003.

In his speech, Idrus also said that the AGC made constant amendments to the current laws to reflect changes and to ensure that the most current and updated version of the laws was made available to the public.

"In 2022 alone, the AGC has successfully reprinted about 100 laws, especially relating to elections.

The revised and reprinted texts of laws are also available online via the Federal Legislation portal," he added.

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Idrus Harun , AGC , BM , Federal Constitution


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