Fairer and Firmer? Justice and Constitution in Malaysia Today


About the Webinar

Amidst Malaysia’s political upheavals, the justice system and constitution have offered glimmers of progress. Some developments, however, reflect resistance to change. If the July 2020 conviction of former Prime Minister Najib Razak for corruption has restored public confidence in the judiciary, the withdrawn prosecution of other cases, alongside clampdowns on dissent and unresolved disappearance cases, have provided reality checks.

The federal constitution has grown in Malaysia’s public consciousness. Pakatan Harapan failed to amend the constitution in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963, but managed to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. The founding of the “Malay unity” Muafakat Nasional pact at the core of Perikatan Nasional prominently referenced the constitution. The constitutionality of changes of government and of emergency declarations have also generated vibrant debate.

At this webinar, our panel will grapple with the following important and difficult questions, from legal practitioner and legal scholar perspectives:
• How have justice and human rights progressed under Pakatan and Perikatan?
• How significant were Pakatan’s reforms to the justice system, and will change endure?
• Is kindled interest in the constitution fostering common ground among Malaysians, or widening divides?

About the Speakers

Dian Shah (PhD, Duke) is Assistant Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore. Her research spans the fields of law and religion, comparative constitutional law, and human rights. Dian is the author of Constitutions, Religion and Politics in Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka (2017), co-editor of Law and Society in Malaysia: Pluralism, Religion and Ethnicity (2018) and the editor of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law’s Special Issue on ‘Religion and Constitutional Practices in Asia’ (December 2018).

Lim Wei Jiet is a litigator at Messrs Sreenevasan. He has acted as counsel for both the Government and private entities in a wide array of landmark constitutional law disputes, from free speech to the right to vote. He has appeared at all tiers of the Malaysian courts, and in constitutional tribunals and commissions of inquiry. Among others, Wei Jiet is Malaysia’s representative to the International Bar Association’s (IBA) Young Lawyers Committee and the Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM).


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Mar 25 2021


10:00 am - 11:30 am