The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in Malaysia

In Search of our Constitutional Identity

  • Low Hong Ping University of Malaya


This short note explores the doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendments in Malaysia. The author argues that substantively, there are explicit and implicit limitations on the power of Parliament to amend the Federal Constitution (Constitution). The explicit limits are found in the provisions of the Constitution. The implicit limits are anchored by the basic structure doctrine. For the latter, the author will demonstrate that the structure of the amendment rules in the Constitution, the process by which the Constitution is amended, partially informs on what is the basic structure of the Constitution. Nonetheless, the Malaysian jurisprudence on the basic structure doctrine still lacks a ‘soul’ – the constitutional identity of Malaysia.


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Author Biography

Low Hong Ping, University of Malaya

LL.M. (International and Comparative Law) National University of Singapore, LL.B. (Hons.) University of
Malaya, Advocate and Solicitor (High Court of Malaya). The author is contactable at jameslow.124@gmail.

How to Cite
HONG PING, Low. The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments in Malaysia. Journal of Malaysian and Comparative Law, [S.l.], v. 45, n. 2, p. 53 - 70, dec. 2019. ISSN 0126-6322. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 06 july 2020.