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A playmaker and moderator: Lord Reid and the framing of the Malayan federal constitution.

Constitutions often have an idiosyncratic element; this is not discernible in their formal text, but is evident in the primary records of their drafting. The views of the framers and important political interest groups on constitutional issues, the internal debates, and the extent to which some individuals, more than others, shaped the document are visible only from a close scrutiny of the primary constitutional records. Examining the origins of a constitution enables us to understand better the reasoning that underlies the final document. The historical process of constitution-drafting among the nations of Southeast Asia is among the least researched area of Southeast Asian Studies, however. In contrast, in the United States, Britain and India, the historical constitution-making process has received considerable attention. (1) Constitutional documents reveal considerably the spirit and intent of their framers and what they hope the constitutions would achieve in the long term and the influence of the prevailing socioeconomic and political forces, including colonialism. In this context, the role of Lord Reid, the British jurist who led a five-man Commonwealth constitutional commission in 1956 to frame the Malayan independence constitution, provides a useful study.

Reid's role in the framing of the Federation of Malaya's independence constitution between 1956 and 1957 has received little attention despite his leading role in shepherding a five-man constitutional commission that crafted the historic document. This is compared to studies on the work of the Reid commission as a whole and Sir Ivor Jennings' influence on the framing of the constitution. (2) Reid was a strong and independent character who stood his ground against the Colonial Office during the framing of the constitution to emphasise the impartiality of the commission. An examination of Reid's role in the framing of the document is valuable for several reasons. First, it provides a clearer picture of his personal role and influence in shaping the Malayan Constitution. Second, it provides useful insight into the 'balance' he sought to embed in the constitution between the competing demands from the various interest groups, which has not been adequately examined previously. Third, in terms of broader Southeast Asian historiography, this examination of Reid's role in the constitutional process reveals the importance and relevance of examining constitutional history to understanding the foundations of post-Second World War nation-states in the region.

More specifically in terms of Malaysian historiography, an examination of Reid's influence would offer another significant perspective on the historical constitution-framing process in Malaya, in addition to informing scholars and students of Malaysian constitutional law. Contemporary constitutional debates would be ill-informed without a deeper understanding of the constitutional history which shaped the contours of the post-independent state. Only a few works have touched on Reid's role in the commission. In the existing works, Reid has appeared as almost insignificant in the framing process, even if his more robust personal behaviour has attracted some attention and controversy. Simon Smith, (3) for example, has briefly discussed the work of the commission, but largely focused on issues related to the Malay Rulers and has not given adequate attention to Reid's personal role and influence. My own earlier study briefly discusses Reid's leadership of the commission, but its main focus is the broader framing of the Malayan Constitution. (4) Andrew Harding's contextual analysis of the Malayan Constitution provides a useful legal analysis of the constitution, but does not shed much light on Reid's personal role in shaping it. (5) Harshan Kumarasingham's compilation of Jennings' writings provides an interesting insight into the workings of the commission from Jennings' perspective, but does not enlighten us on Reid's influence on the framing of the draft constitution. (6) Charles Parkinson's study explores the provision for a Bill of Rights in the constitutions of several Commonwealth countries, including Malaya, and touches briefly on the constitutional commission's work but does not consider Reid's role in any depth. (7) While Jennings' role as the leading draftsman is clearly evident, (8) a close scrutiny of the constitutional documents reveals that Reid had a much more significant influence in the framing of the Malayan Constitution than previously understood.

This article examines Reid's leadership of the commission and his influence in shaping the draft constitution and explores the 'balance' he sought to achieve between the competing demands of the various interest groups and embed in the Malayan Constitution. The article first considers the context in which the constitutional commission was established and Reid's appointment to lead the panel in 1956. It then considers areas of the constitution where Reid's influence and handprint are discernible in the shaping of the document. The article argues that Reid was the central playmaker and moderator during the constitution-framing process. It shows that he played a critical role in ensuring a balance between the competing demands of the federal government and the states; safeguarding the fundamental rights of the citizens against the powers of the executive; and in moderating the various communal demands. This article reveals that Reid's legal astuteness and sense of fair play in the framing of the Malayan constitution enabled the commission to produce a constitution that was sensitive to the needs of the various interest groups.

Malaya, on the eve of independence in 1957, was a complex plural society beset with a host of political and socioeconomic challenges. The Malays made up half the population while the Chinese and Indians made up most of the balance of the population. (9) Framing a constitution which was acceptable and practicable to the country's diverse groups required the framers to balance a host of intricate competing demands of the various interest groups. While moderating these demands as chair of the commission, Reid ensured the constitution met the highest drafting standards and principles and norms of parliamentary democracy. The constitutional documents indicate that a complex, broad and spirited debate took place within the commission and with the various interest groups that appeared before the commission. The final document was a compromise between these varying demands, and one which was politically acceptable to the main political parties. We consider first Reid's selection to head the commission.

Reid's selection to head the Constitutional Commission

The post-Second World War period saw the emergence of nationalist movements in the British colonial territories in Asia and Africa seeking constitutional reforms and a greater degree of indigenous involvement in the governance of these states. In the context of the Federation of Malaya, the demand for a new constitution came from the leading nationalist movement in the 1950s, the Alliance Party. The party was a coalition of three communal parties, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC), which represented the three main communities in the country. (10) After winning the local elections between 1952 and 1953, the Alliance Party demanded that the British colonial administration hold national elections in 1954 with an elected majority in the Federal Legislative Council and appoint an independent constitutional commission to draft a new federal constitution. (11) They argued that in the changing political context and movement towards self-governance, the 1948 Federation of Malaya Agreement, the existing constitution, was no longer suitable. The Colonial Office was initially reluctant to accede to the Alliance's request. However, after the party launched a series of protests and boycotts of the legislature in 1954, following a trip to London to persuade the Secretary of State to introduce federal elections that year, and with the threat of a potential breakdown in law and order in the midst of an ongoing communist insurgency, the British government relented. (12) The details of the framing of the new constitution were agreed at a conference in London in January 1956 between the British government, the Alliance government and the representatives of the nine Malay Rulers.

The London conference agreed that an independent constitutional commission comprising legal experts from the Commonwealth would be appointed to draft a new constitution and that Malaya would be granted independence on 31 August 1957. It was also agreed that Britain would provide a chairman for the commission and an additional member while the other members would come from India, Canada, Pakistan and Australia. (13) The Reid Commission's terms of reference were broad. The commission was to make recommendations for a federal form of constitution for the whole country based on parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislature. (14) They were to provide for the establishment of a strong central government with a measure of autonomy for the states; safeguard the position of Their Highnesses as constitutional rulers; provide for the appointment of a Yang di-Pertuan Agong (king, titular head of state); include provision for a common nationality; and safeguard the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of other communities. These terms required the commission to achieve a balance between the demands of the various interest groups in the Malayan polity: the central government and the states; the state and the citizens; and the various communities.

The Colonial Office records are a little scarce on the details of Lord Reid's selection although there are more details on the preliminary discussion of the potential candidates for the commission. (15) The records indicate that Secretary of State Alan Lennox-Boyd personally approached Lord Reid when it became obvious that the Appeal Court judge Lord Symonds, the preferred candidate, was unavailable to head the commission. (16) Reid's experience as a senior judge and an administrator, having served as the solicitor-general for Scotland, and his personal acquaintance with Lennox-Boyd, appears to have contributed significantly to his appointment following the unavailability of Lord Symonds. (17) Professor Nicholas Mansergh, Smuts Professor of History of the British Commonwealth at Cambridge University, was the favoured choice of the Colonial Office as the second British member of the commission, but Chief Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman's suggestion that Sir Ivor Jennings, a constitutional expert and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, would be an ideal candidate, left the Colonial Office with no alternative. (18) The Tunku had known Jennings as an undergraduate while studying at St Catharine's College, and the latter's knowledge of Malaya, being a member of the Carr-Saunders Commission on Higher Education in Malaya and Singapore in 1947, he felt would be useful. Sir William McKell, a former cabinet member and governor-general, was the choice of the Australian government. The Indian government nominated Justice B. Malik, a former chief justice of the Allahabad High Court, while Pakistan chose Justice Abdul Hamid, an experienced West Pakistan high court judge who had been involved with Jennings in the drafting of the Pakistan Constitution in 1954. (19) All these nominees received the approval of the Malay Rulers before the appointments were confirmed. The candidate proposed by the Canadian government withdrew shortly before the commission began its work over health reasons.

From July to August 1956, the commission took evidence from federal and state agencies, political parties, and a wide cross-section of organisations and individuals in Malaya. At the end of October the commission had prepared an early draft of the constitution. The commission's members left Malaya in November and reconvened in Rome on 12 December 1956 to prepare the final draft. The draft constitution was submitted to the Federation government, the Malay Rulers and the British government on 10 February 1957.

A Working Party, comprising the British high commissioner, representatives of the Alliance Party and the Malay Rulers, and the Malayan attorney-general, reviewed the Reid draft constitution between March and May 1957. The new constitution was then debated in the Malayan Federal Legislative Council and the British Parliament and passed; it came into force on 31 August 1957 as Malaya became independent. The Malayan independence constitution drafted by the Reid Commission consisted of 162 articles and 7 schedules. The draft constitution, based largely on English constitutionalism and the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, borrowed considerably from provisions in the constitutions of India and Pakistan, and to a lesser extent those of Eire, Burma, Ceylon, Australia and Canada.

Lord Reid was born on 30 July 1890 in a small village called Drem in East Lothian in Scotland. (20) His father, James Reid, was a partner in a law firm in Edinburgh and also owned a farm in Drem. From 1931 to 1935, Lord Reid was Unionist Party member for Stirling and Falkirk Burghs in the House of Commons while practising law. According to The Times, he made his mark as a 'skilled debater and wise administrator' in the House of Commons. (21) Reid was Solicitor-General for Scotland from 1936 to 1941, and Lord Advocate between 1941 and 1945. (22) In 1945, he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, the highest position in the Scottish Bar for practising lawyers. Three years later, he was made a Lord of Appeal in the Ordinary and given a life peerage under the title of Baron Reid of Drem. (23) His colleagues in the law fraternity in Britain held Reid in high regard and viewed him as 'one of the best judges in Britain during his time'. (24) He was at the same time a little reserved in person. The Times, for instance, noted: 'As a man he was shy and reserved and difficult to know, but his kindliness and courtesy were apparent to all, and he was held in high respect.' (25) Reid was also an Opposition (Conservative Party) spokesman for Scottish Affairs in 1947.

Reid's tenure as a Lord of Appeal in the Ordinary in the House of Lords is impressive. He heard 600 appeals during his tenure in the House of Lords and made a mark with some outstanding judgments. One case which stands out was his judgment in Ridge vs Baldwin, 1964. (26) In that case, Reid ruled that a police watch committee could only dismiss a chief constable after a procedure which complied with the 'principles of natural justice'. (27) That is, the individual should be given a fair chance to respond to allegations made against him. Reid's judgment suggested that 'natural justice' should be an essential element in the relationship between an individual and 'authority'. (28) The case was viewed not only as a watershed in that area of law but also a liberalisation of attitudes among the law lords. (29) When Reid passed away in March 1975, The Times described him as a 'judge of the highest distinction'. (30)

The Reid Commission began their work on 19 June 1956 in Kuala Lumpur when all the members had arrived with the exception of the Indian member, Justice B. Malik, who arrived at the end of June. (31) Reid was an able organiser and leader. He identified and outlined clearly the work of the commission and prepared a preliminary schedule of its meetings and visits even before it held its first meeting, indicating a clear and firm leadership. (32) Jennings and Hamid, the youngest of the lot, were tasked with preparing most of the working papers on various subjects that served as the basis for the formulation of the articles in the draft constitution. Reid himself prepared a few papers, including on the citizenship of the United Kingdom and the Colonies while McKell (Forestry, Agriculture, Australian Loan Council) and Malik (Education and Subjects of the Rulers) contributed several papers. (33)

Even in the early stages of the commission's work, Reid was faced with a number of challenges, apart from the six-week delay at the start. The commission was to have begun its work in early May 1956 but could only hold its first meeting on 19 June. (34) The delay related first to the matter of publication: Reid was careful to ensure the independence of the commission and insisted it print the report on its own while the Colonial Office had suggested that the report be sent first to the Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs. Reid was firm on the issue of publication and the Colonial Office relented. Second, Reid faced some administrative problems in the early stages. The secretary to the commission, H.P. Hall, resigned in late July, barely a month after work began, after complaining to the Colonial Office that he was 'unable to work' with Lord Reid. (35) The actual reasons why Hall resigned remain unclear but Reid, the constitutional documents indicate, was obviously not happy with Hall's performance of his duties and asked the Secretary of State for a replacement. (36) This issue at one stage threatened to develop into a crisis as Reid was adamant that Hall should be replaced despite overtures for a reconsideration of his decision by the Federation government. High Commissioner Sir Donald MacGillivray's sensitive handling of the issue prevented a more serious crisis erupting. K.J. Henderson was initially appointed acting secretary and E.O. Laird from the Malayan Civil Service was then appointed as the new secretary. (37) This episode nevertheless delayed the commission's early work.

Reid's leadership of the commission

The independent nature of the constitutional commission and its impartiality was central to Reid's stewardship of the body. He assured Malayans that the new constitution would be the commission's own construct. Reid was firm in his dealings with both the Colonial Office and the Malayan government. He once bluntly told the Malayan press that the commission was not part of the Colonial Office and would make its decisions independently. His firmness and forthright style sometimes irritated the Colonial Office and the other members of the commission, and there were several complaints about Reid's (and Lady Reid's) robust personal behaviour while the commission was in Malaya and later in Rome. Throughout the drafting period, Reid sought to maintain the independence of the commission from the Colonial Office. For example, he decided to complete the drafting of the final report in Rome rather than in London so as not to compromise the work of the commission. (38) Reid told the Straits Times on 25 October 1956 that the commission would make up its own mind on what the new constitution should be:
We have never consulted Whitehall. One reason we are to meet in Rome to
draft our report is to avoid the impression that we would consult the
British Government. It will be our report and nobody else's. (39)

Reid was also wary that local politicians could try to influence the commission. (40) He even insisted that final report be printed at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's office in Rome rather than in London where the facilities were better. He flatly rejected the Colonial Office's offer of assistance with the printing. (41) He reminded the Colonial Office that the commission was appointed by the Queen and Their Highnesses the Malay Rulers, and as such, the report should be sent first to Her Majesty's Government (HMG) and the Malay Rulers before they were distributed to the Malayan government and the Colonial Office. (42) He would not allow the Colonial Office to have an early idea of the commission's recommendations.

The primary constitutional documents indicate that Reid's handling of the commission's discussions and interviews with the various political, economic and social organisations and individuals in Malaya and with senior Malayan government administrators was courteous, (43) professional and firm, yet sensitive. He was a good listener and patiently heard the views of many organisations and individuals during the oral hearings, no matter how trivial they seemed, while at the same time seeking clarification from them. His frequent intervention during these interviews with sharp questions enabled the commission to obtain a clearer idea of the submissions and to understand better the views of a wide cross-section of Malayan society and to contextualise the submissions within the broader Malayan political and socioeconomic framework.

Reid's interjections and probing questions are particularly evident in the hearing given to the Alliance Party which helped to clarify some inconsistencies and vagueness in the party's joint memorandum of 27 September 1956 to the commission and in the hearing given to the Rulers' representatives on 14-15 September 1956. (44) The constitutional documents indicate he ably led the panel in the discussions with the various groups. To obtain an alternative view among the non-ruling Malayan political elites, Reid attempted to get Dato' Onn Jaafar, the preeminent Malay politician and leader of Party Negara, to appear before the commission but was unsuccessful. (45) Onn did not agree with the commission's terms of reference, and while initially agreeing to appear before the commission, strangely declined later. Nevertheless, the commission took note of Onn's views as reflected in a number of articles he wrote on the constitution in a local daily, Singapore Standard, in April 1956. (46) Thus, despite a slow start, Reid showed good leadership and was able to organise the panel's tasks within a month. We examine below some of the balances that Reid sought to embed in the constitution.

Parliamentary democracy and governance: The individual versus the state

One of Reid's most significant influences in shaping the Malayan Constitution was the strong foundation provided in the constitutional document for the development of a democratic polity based on the Westminster system. The essential elements of constitutional democracy were well-enshrined in the new constitution despite some curbs on political freedoms and provisions for the extension of the 1948 Emergency Ordinance. Provisions for a declaration of Emergency were a norm in most Commonwealth constitutions to address a breakdown of law and order or insurgencies, as evident in the constitutions of India, Pakistan and Ghana. Reid recognised the threat from the ongoing communist insurgency, but was careful to ensure safeguards against potential abuse of such provisions by a government in power. (47) The commission provided that the ordinance would have to be brought before parliament within a specified period for any extension.

Reid sought to provide a strong structure for the realisation of a vibrant democratic polity in the long term. He guided the commission to ensure that there was a balanced distribution of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, in line with the basic doctrine of separation of powers in a parliamentary democracy based on the British model. This is evident in the commission's report, which Reid drafted, and where he observed:
In making recommendations we have constantly in mind two objectives;
first that there must be the fullest opportunity for the growth of a
united, free and democratic nation, and secondly that there must be
every facility for the development of the resources of the country and
the maintenance and improvement of the standard of living of the
people. These objectives can only be achieved by the action of the
people themselves; our task is to provide the framework most
appropriate for their achievement. (48)

He was particularly concerned to ensure that the executive powers of the state were balanced by the rights of the individual, and the latter's recourse to the courts guaranteed in the constitution against the actions of the state. 'Anything for the courts should be made sufficiently definite for the Court to enforce,' (49) he told the Alliance Party in reference to their submissions on fundamental liberties during a hearing given by the commission, adding later that if one was going to guarantee fundamental rights, 'it has got to be done with as much rigidity as one can reasonably apply'. (50) Hence, Reid felt strongly about Article 4 (Reid draft constitution), which provided explicit powers for individuals to seek judicial review in the Supreme Court if they were dissatisfied with the actions of the state or its administrators. (51) Reid argued that the changes made by the Working Party and parliamentary draftsmen who reviewed the draft constitution seemed to give more powers to the executive and parliament against the fundamental liberties of the individual. (52) The commission inserted this article as a safeguard against violation of the constitution by the executive, legislature or any public authority. The article was based on a similar provision in the Indian Constitution. However, this article was later removed at the London constitutional talks in May 1957 on the advice of the House of Commons parliamentary draftsmen who felt that such a provision would open the floodgates to individuals seeking recourse against the state. Both Reid and Jennings were annoyed at the exclusion of Article 4 in the revised constitution agreed to in London. They felt that it deprived the citizen of any remedy for the breach of a right conferred by Part II (Fundamental liberties) of the constitution. (53)

The commission's members on the whole were quite liberal in their outlook and committed to the norms of parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model and the powers of the state, although it can be said that the two Asian members, Malik and Hamid, were a tad conservative politically. Malik, for example, as noted below, was quite keen on a nominated element in the Lower House to represent special interest groups, when the normal practice was to have a fully elected Lower House. Hamid, on the other hand (see below), had strong feelings on constitutional provisions with communally discriminatory undertones such as Malay land reservations and Malay special rights, which were contradictory to the basic fundamental liberties contained in the constitution. Jennings and McKell shared most of Reid's ideas on governance and democracy.

The Malayan Federation had had much tutelage in the workings of a parliamentary system since the introduction of a Federal Legislative Council in 1909; however, independence required the new constitution to identify more clearly the division of powers between the federal government and the states, and the powers and jurisdiction of the various organs of government, in the absence of a non-party moderator such as the High Commissioner. Reid was very conscious of this need in the complex environment of the Malayan polity to ensure that the new constitution provided a strong foundation for the growth of a democratic polity. (54) His experience as a politician and judicial officer enabled him to view the challenges from both sides of the political divide and the Malayan Constitution benefited considerably from his experience.

There was some concern in the commission over the granting of powers to the executive to declare an Emergency (Article 153[2], Reid draft). While the commission recognised that Malaya was still facing a communist insurgency, it wanted to ensure that there were adequate safeguards in the constitution to prevent an abuse of this power. (55) Reid noted during the meeting with the Secretary for Internal Defence and Security, A.H.P. Humphrey, that the commission had to consider carefully what emergency powers should be given to the government under the new constitution. (56) Thus the commission provided that Article 153 (2) would cease to have effect unless the Yang di-Pertuan Agong makes a proclamation of the need for the clause, or both houses of parliament passed a resolution for the need to continue the clause a year after independence. (57) The commission also provided for an advisory board (Article 139, Reid draft) to investigate any 'preventive detention' within two months. (58)

The structures of the system of parliamentary governance and the federal and state division of powers were highly developed in the draft constitution. They drew considerably from the constitutions of Commonwealth countries, particularly those of India, Pakistan and Australia. Reid's interventions during the discussions with the main political parties on these issues indicate clearly that he wanted to ensure that Malaya inherited strong structural foundations--a parliamentary system based on the Westminster model; the separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary; a strong and independent judiciary; and protection for the fundamental rights of the citizens.

In the discussion with the Alliance Party, Reid showed good leadership in elucidating the points on the structure of government outlined in the Alliance's memorandum to the commission. The Alliance's memorandum was a general statement of provisions which they wanted inserted in the new constitution and was often vague. Reid raised numerous questions at the Alliance's hearing to clarify their submissions on the system of government. It was Reid who extracted from the Alliance a clearer picture of the position of the titular head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and particularly his role and powers as a constitutional monarch vis-a-vis the Settlements of Penang and Malacca. (59) Reid told the Alliance during the hearing:
There is this difficulty: No doubt Penang and Malacca would expect to
be given equal status with each of the other nine states. Is it giving
them equal status if there is merely a delegate head of state there and
the head of state of the other nine States are independent? (60)

He was also able to extract from the governing coalition its thinking on the composition and role of the Senate which was vague in their memorandum. (61) As Reid informed the Alliance:
The first thing that has been represented to us from some quarters is
that there should be a majority of elected persons, either directly or
indirectly elected, but the nominated persons should not be quite so
large as half the House ... I do not know whether the Alliance regarded
such a large proportion of nominated members as really important. (62)

The question of half the nominations coming from the states (two each) and the others representing special interests were made clearer during the hearing given to the Alliance Party. (63) The commission had earlier thought that half the representatives from the Senate were to be directly elected, based on the wording in the Alliance memorandum. The Alliance, however, clarified that the Senate would not be directly elected. (64) In keeping with the convention in Westminster-based parliamentary democracies the commission gave more powers to the Lower House whose members would be elected directly by voters. When Justice B. Malik attempted to push the Alliance delegation to include a small proportion of nominated members in the Lower House to represent special interests, including minorities, Reid intervened to state that the 'powers of the [Lower] House [in the Alliance memorandum] follow pretty well the pattern usual in democratic societies'. (65) The commission noted in its report:
Our recommendations will give to the Senate much less direct control
over legislation and administration than to the House of
Representatives. We are directed to base our recommendations on
Parliamentary democracy, and in our view the principles of
Parliamentary democracy require that ultimate responsibility should
rest with that House of Parliament which has been elected by direct
elections. (66)

Nonetheless, Reid was in favour of an 'elected' Senate and the commission recommended that elections should be introduced to the Senate in the post-independence period. (67) The Alliance, however, was opposed to such a provision and in the final constitution the Senate remained a nominated body.

Reid was successful in obtaining more clarity on the division of federal and state powers under the new constitution as envisaged by the Alliance as the coalition's memorandum was unclear. (68) Reid's sharp eye for detail is evident throughout. He pointed out the inconsistency in the division of powers, particularly when the states had executive authority over subjects which were under the jurisdiction of the federal government. In the hearing, it was obvious that the Alliance were a little unsure in their thinking on the existing division of federal-state powers. Reid pointed out to them the defects of the existing federal system and the Alliance leaders admitted that they were subject to advice on this matter. When Reid remarked that
there may be a great deal of difficulty in compulsory delegation to the
States of executive authority to carry out Federal policy, and we have
been wondering whether it would not be less likely to give rise to
controversy if the list of legislative powers is not somewhat altered,
and whichever has the legislative power will also have the last word on
executive power as well. (69)

The Alliance's deputy leader Abdul Razak replied that they were open to advice on the issue: 'We are rather subject to advice on this. What we have in mind is that the powers of the States should be clearly defined.' (70) The contentious question of federal and state land was also cleared up during the hearing. It was Reid who prised out the intentions of the Alliance. (71) Reid told the Alliance:
At the moment, we are told, the Federation never pay for the land at
all, but on the other hand, when the Federation cease to use that land
for Federal purpose, it reverts without compensation to the State. That
is the picture we get. Now, I am not sure what you have in mind.
Presumably it is that you pay for the land and then get a title? (72)

Razak agreed with Reid that the federal government would pay for the land: 'Yes that's the idea.' (73) The federal government would pay for future acquisition of state land for federal purposes at a reasonable rate, though this did not involve any new payment for previously acquired state land. This provided a proper mechanism and procedure for any federal acquisition of state land and the state's rights and autonomy were better protected. (74) The federal-state division of powers in the 1957 Federal Constitution (Articles 67 to 87) hence were clearly defined by the commission, and Reid had a large hand in shaping it.

Reid and the commission members wanted to ensure that constitutional safeguards for the rule of law, the functioning of the pillars of a democratic polity and the fundamental rights of the citizens were well entrenched in the new constitution. While Jennings prepared most of the working papers and drafted the articles corresponding to these sections, Reid's influence is evident in these provisions. (75) The minutes of the commission's deliberations indicate clearly Reid's strong influence in the discussions on structures of governance. (76) Reid's experience as a judge, politician and administrator enabled him to look at the wider picture to ensure that the basic foundations were in place for the growth of democracy. His role in moderating the competing demands of the various interest groups is also significant and we now turn to this.

Balancing competing inter-communal demands

The competing inter-communal demands proved a major challenge for the commission. Reid sought to find a fair balance between the competing demands of the three main ethnic communities in Malaya--the Malays, Chinese and Indians. The parties and organisations representing the three main ethnic communities invariably sought provisions which were favourable to their respective interests. Even the Alliance Party, the leading political party, which put together a joint memorandum representing the three communal parties--UMNO, MCA and MIC--could not agree completely on a number of inter-communal issues such as citizenship, language and education, and left it to the commission to resolve them.

Reid was highly aware of the complexities surrounding some of the intercommunal issues which were a source of disagreement historically and tried to reach a fair compromise between the extreme positions of the parties. On the issue of citizenship, which was a point of intense debate in Malaya, for example, the commission accepted the Alliance's proposals as the best compromise and incorporated most of their demands in the draft constitution. Reid noted during the hearing given to the Alliance Party, 'I appreciate how these [citizenship] proposals have come about and they are very clear,' indicating he recognised the Alliance's difficult and complex negotiations which led to the agreement contained in the Alliance's memorandum. (77) The commission's report, which Reid drafted and is reflective of his voice, noted:
The parties of the Alliance have given full consideration to this
matter and apart from a few minor points they have reached agreement.
We are satisfied that this agreement is a reasonable and proper
compromise between the views of the parties, each of which has the most
widespread support from the race which it represents, and we are
further satisfied that this agreement is a better way of doing justice
between the races than any other that has been suggested or has
occurred to us. (78)

The discussions on citizenship with the Alliance during the hearing hence were mainly focused on the issues of dual citizenship and the required minimum period (one or two years) after which applicants for federal citizenship had to undergo a language test. This is a clear example of Reid seeking to achieve a balance between the competing demands. The commission was able to reach agreement on most of the citizenship issues except on a couple where Justice Abdul Hamid differed from the majority view. (79)

The main departure from the Alliance's submissions was on the provision for dual citizenship. Reid and the commission members unanimously felt that dual citizenship or 'Commonwealth citizenship' (Article 24 of Reid draft) was recognised under international law and should continue to be recognised in the federal constitution. (80) Reid told the Alliance:
There are many people with dual nationality and it does not cause much
trouble ... It is possible to have two nationalities both within the
Commonwealth, or maybe one within and one outside. There are lots of
people like that. It does not seem to cause much trouble. (81)

The British government was quite keen to ensure federal citizens were able to retain their second nationality and had stated this in their memorandum to the commission. (82) The Alliance, however, felt that dual citizenship would create dual loyalties. (83) An agreement reached in London in the final stages of the constitutional negotiations achieved a compromise. Those who had a second nationality were given a year to decide to chose either nationality. (84)

Reid, the constitutional documents indicate, was a little more accommodating on the rights of the minorities in using their respective languages in the public sphere. Reid thought the electoral law which required a person who wanted to contest in the election to speak in one of the official languages, English or Malay, was 'a bit stiff and that a potential candidate should be able to make himself proficient in the official languages as quickly as he could after being elected. (85) The draft constitution provided for Chinese and Indian languages to be used in exceptional circumstances in the legislature for a period of ten years after independence while accepting that English and Malay would be the official languages in the legislature. Reid felt that there should be no language qualifications for electoral candidates (Article 140 [3] of Reid draft), (86) and that at least for ten years there should be a limited right for legislators who cannot speak in English or Malay to speak in Chinese or Indian languages. (87) The Working Party, which reviewed the Reid draft constitution, however, did not approve this provision, following opposition by UMNO which felt that only English and Malay should be the official languages of the legislatures. (88)

In respect of education, sufficient safeguards were inserted in the constitution (Article 12 of Reid draft) for the continuation of the Chinese, Tamil and religious schools. This is reflective of Reid's effort to find a middle ground between the conflicting positions of the Alliance parties on the inter-communal issues. In a letter to Reid later, the Secretary of State Alan Lennox-Boyd noted that the 'Reid formula emerged triumphant from the concentrated attention of so many sectional interests and will be in its essentials the foundation of Malaya's independent life.' (89)

Differences of views in the commission

On another level, the constitutional documents indicate that Reid played a critical role in moderating the differing views among the commission's members. This is evident when some members of the commission held a particular stance on issues. Both during the interviews with the political and socioeconomic organisations and in the internal discussions of the commission, some members sought to take a particular position which was reflected in their line of questioning. Reid was conscious of this element, and often intervened to find a reasonable balance between the various positions.

For example, in the case of the financial autonomy of the states under the federal constitution, Hamid wanted the states to have greater autonomy, based largely on his experience and knowledge of the Pakistan and Indian constitutions where the states have wider sources of revenue and taxes. (90) The Alliance Party, on the other hand, had argued strongly for a strong central government with a measure of autonomy for the states and which meant limited sources of taxes and revenue for the states. Reid sought to moderate these internal debates to ensure there was a fair balance; and while a strong central government was created as required by the terms of reference, the constitution ensured that the states retained a fair amount of financial autonomy. (91)

On the issue of national language, for example, Jennings, did not include a provision for a national language in the first draft, but Reid felt that the Commission should adhere to the Alliance's proposal seeking a declaration making Malay the national language. This was duly incorporated in the later draft. (92)

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of his stewardship were Lord Reid's differences with Justice Hamid, which led to the latter's insistence on the inclusion of a note of dissent. Henderson, the commission's assistant secretary, has suggested that this reflected poorly on Reid's leadership. (93) This would be an unfair description of Reid's overall leadership of the commission during his nine-month tour of duty. Hamid's differences with the rest of the commission's members were somewhat exceptional and only surfaced at a very late stage when the commission was finalising its report in Rome. The minutes of the commission's meetings in Kuala Lumpur till the end of October 1956 indicate there was considerable agreement between the commission's members on most of the issues and no major differences, let alone any personal fallout. (94)

The first indication of some significant differences between Hamid and the rest of the commission came from a telegram Reid sent to the Colonial Office on 29 January 1956 from Rome. (95) Reid told the Colonial Office that a 'serious situation' had developed in the commission and that Hamid, who had agreed to the whole of the draft constitution which was at the printers, had now produced a draft of his disagreements which he wanted included with the commission's report. (96) Reid described Hamid's note as 'politically disastrous' as it touched on the communally sensitive issues of citizenship, special position of the Malays, national language and Islam as state religion. (97) Reid was concerned that a separate note by Hamid 'would have serious effects in Malaya'. (98) The commission had intended to sign its report on 10 February 1957. (99) Hamid had disclosed to the visiting Federation Chief Secretary D.C Watherston (100) that on these issues the commission should accept wholly the Alliance's suggestions contained in its memorandum to the commission. (101)

Hamid obviously had some differences of interpretation with the Alliance's suggestions, but it was only at the late stage in Rome when the draft constitution had already been sent to the printers that he began to insist on a minority report. This indicates that relations between Hamid and Reid deteriorated only in Rome and developments there may have been a significant contributory factor. In Rome, Jennings prepared most of the drafts and Hamid, who was earlier involved in preparing some of the drafts while in Malaya, appears to have felt a little marginalised. (102) There is some evidence that suggest Reid may have been a little high-handed in brushing off Hamid's arguments in Rome, and hence the latter may have felt that he ought to set out his views in a separate note, as indicated by Henderson, the commission's assistant secretary. (103)

Hamid's differences were arguably marginal and on some issues his views on the Alliance's suggestions were incorrect. On the issue of the entitlement of citizens of the United Kingdom and the Colonies to federal citizenship as of right (Article 15 [1], Reid draft), for example, Hamid's disagreements (he felt the draft gave preferential treatment to this group to acquire federal citizenship) were marginal as the numbers involved, as Jennings pointed out, were small. (104) On provisions on the Malay special position, Hamid misread the Alliance's suggestions in insisting that the Rulers had a personal responsibility, as the Alliance had made it clear during the hearing before the commission in Kuala Lumpur that the Rulers were subject to advice from the prime minister on the matter. Hamid wanted the special provisions to be entrenched more firmly as he feared that in the near future some of the states may have a non-Malay majority in the legislature and may revoke the provisions on the special position of the Malays and Malay land reservations. (105) On Islam as an official religion, Hamid's reading is more reflective of the Alliance's position, but the other members had misgivings on this provision and hence their recommendations were to exclude such a provision. (106)

The majority in the commission felt that such a provision would conflict with the status of Malaya as a secular state as the Alliance had indicated clearly in their memorandum, and the submission by the Rulers asking that no such provision be made in the constitution as it would affect their role as heads of religion in their respective states, also influenced the commission's decision. (107) Hamid's differences hence were with the majority opinion in the commission and not a personal one with Reid.

While Reid has to share some of the blame for the turn of events in Rome, Hamid's differences were clearly over a broader range of issues with the rest of the commission's members. In submitting a note of dissent, Hamid sought to appeal over the heads of the others and directly to the committee that would eventually discuss the commission's draft. The differences, as Jennings observed, were 'quite small'. (108) The differences hence were not reflective of Reid's overall leadership of the constitutional commission, as we have shown in this article. Reid, on the whole, provided a firm and able leadership for the commission to produce a commendable draft for a very complex polity.


The discussion above has shown clearly that Lord Reid was the main playmaker and the moderating force in the constitutional commission that framed the Malayan independence constitution between 1956 and 1957. He played a central role in shaping the main form of the draft constitution and the 'balance' embedded in it. While Jennings was the main draftsman, it was Lord Reid who shaped the main elements and directions of the new constitution. He was legally astute and precise and was able to sharpen the legal texts of the articles provided by Jennings and Hamid.

The primary constitutional documents also indicate that Reid played the role of moderator in the constitution-framing process. He moderated between the demands of the federal government and the states; between the competing demands of the various races, and between the views of the commission's members. He was conservative in so far as not to depart radically from the existing practices, traditions and political compromises in the federation. Yet, he was in many ways a liberal democrat who sought to ensure that strong structural foundations for the development of a parliamentary democracy were well embedded in the draft constitution. He sought to achieve a balance of power between the main organs of the state--the executive, the legislature and the judiciary; the desire for a strong central government and the hopes of the states for adequate financial and legislative autonomy; and between the competing demands and interests of Malaya's different communities.

Equally important, Reid wanted to ensure that the constitution protected the rights of the individual while recognising the needs of the state to maintain the rule of law. His experience as a politician and senior law lord enabled him to see the larger picture. While his leadership of the commission at times raised questions about his personal demeanour, his legal and constitutional astuteness were clearly indisputable and acknowledged. As Jennings pointedly observed, the constitution produced by the commission was quite remarkable considering that the jurists came from four different countries and that it showed, 'the skill with which Lord Reid had guided the deliberations'. (109)

Joseph M. Fernando is Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Malaya. Correspondence in connection with this article should be addressed to:

(1) See, for example, Andrew C. McLaughlin, A constitutional history of the United States (New York: Appleton-Century Croft, 1935); Jensen Merill, The making of the American Constitution (New York: Robert Krieger, 1964); A.V. Dicey, An introduction to the study of the law of the constitution (Hong Kong: Macmillan, 1959); Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Austin Glanville, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a nation (Oxford: Clarendon, 1966); and Uma Kant Tiwary, The making of the Indian Constitution (Allahabad: Central Book Depot, 1967).

(2) See, for example, Joseph M. Fernando, The making of the Malayan Constitution (Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2002), and J.M. Fernando, 'Sir Ivor Jennings and the Malayan Constitution', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 34, 4 (2006): 577-97. See also A.W. Bradely, 'Sir William Ivor Jennings: A centennial paper', Modern Law Review 5 (2004): 716-33.

(3) Simon C. Smith, British relations with the Malay rulers: From decentralisation to Malayan independence, 1930-1957 (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1995).

(4) See Fernando, The making of the Malayan Constitution, pp. 99-115.

(5) Andrew Harding, The Constitution of Malaysia: A contextual analysis (Oxford: Hart, 2012), pp. 30-33.

(6) Harshan Kumarasingham, ed., Constitution-maker: Selected writings of Sir Ivor Jennings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

(7) Charles Parkinson, Bills of Rights and decolonization: The emergence of domestic human rights instruments in Britain's overseas territories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

(8) See further Fernando, 'Sir Ivor Jennings and the Malayan Constitution'.

(9) Note on citizenship by Sir Ivor Jennings, Colonial Office (CO) 889/2, 31 July 1956, The National Archives, Kew, London, p. 89. Of the total population of 6,153,000 in Malaya at the end of 1955, Malays comprised 3,003,000; Chinese 2,326,000; Indians 729,000; and Others 93,000.

(10) See Joseph M. Fernando, The Alliance road to independence (Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 2009), pp. 11-26.

(11) Ibid., pp. 35-49.

(12) Ibid., pp. 42-5.

(13) See F.A.K. Harrison to MacKintosh, 11 Feb. 1956, CO 1030/129 (34).

(14) See Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission (Kuala Lumpur: Government Printers, 1957), p. 2.

(15) For details on the composition of the constitutional commission see CO 1030/129.

(16) See Minute by Newsam, 10 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/129 and 26 Jan. 1956. See also Philip Murphy, Alan Lennox-Boyd: A biography (London: LB. Tauris, 1999), p. 132.

(17) See Minute by MacKintosh, 15 Feb. 1956, CO 1030/129.

(18) See Minute by MacKintosh, 15 Feb. 1956, CO 1030/120. See also Minute by J.M. Martin, 27 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/129.

(19) See Malayan Constitutional Commission, CO 1030/136 (7).

(20) See The Times, 31 Mar. 1975. Drem is about 32 km from the city of Edinburgh.

(21) Ibid.

(22) Ibid.

(23) Ibid.

(24) Ibid.

(25) Ibid.

(26) The Times, 14 Jan. 1975.

(27) Ibid.

(28) Ibid.

(29) Ibid.

(30) The Times, 31 Mar. 1975; 14 Jan. 1975.

(31) Summary record of First meeting of Constitutional Commission, 19 June 1956, CO 889/1, p. 14. Malik attended the sixth meeting of the commission on 30 June 1956. See also Summary record of Sixth meeting of Constitutional Commission, 30 June 1956, CO 889/1, p. 28.

(32) See Summary record of First meeting of Constitutional Commission, 19 June 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 12-19.

(33) See Memoranda by members of the commission, CO 889/2, pp. 112-79.

(34) See Summary record of First meeting of Constitutional Commission, 19 June 1956, CO 889/1, p. 14.

(35) See Secretary of State to Reid, 2 Aug. 1956, CO 1030/136 (2).

(36) See Secretary of State to Reid, 2 Aug. 1956, CO 1030/136 (1 and 2).

(37) See FCO 141/7473 for details on the new appointment. See also CO 889/1, Summary record of 12th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 30 July 1956. K.J. Henderson, who was Assistant Secretary from the 7th meeting on 9 July 1956, took over from Hall at the 12th meeting as Acting Secretary on 30th July 1956. The minutes of the 11th and 12th meetings do not state anything on the dismissal of Secretary Hall. E.O. Laird appears as the Secretary to the Commission for the first time at the 20th meeting of the commission on 22 Aug. 1956.

(38) See Minutes by R.W. Newsam, 2 Oct. 1956 and 3 Oct. 1956, CO 1030/133. See also Laird to Johnston, 31 Aug. 1956, CO 1030/133.

(39) Straits Times, 26 Oct. 1956.

(40) Laird to Johnston, 31 Aug. 1956, CO 1030/133, pp. 75-6. In the letter from the commission to the Colonial Office, written by Commission Secretary E.O. Laird, the commission reiterates that the commission was independent and should submit its report to the Queen and the Rulers jointly.

(41) Johnston to E.O. Laird, 7 Jan. 1957, CO1030/519, pp. 118-19.

(42) MacGillivray to John Martin, 28 Sept. 1956, CO 1030/133, p. 64. MacGillivray notes in the letter that he was unable to persuade Lord Reid to send the commission's report in the first instance to the Secretary of State: 'I found Lord Reid was quite uncompromising on this point.'

(43) See CO 889/1 for a record of the commission's meetings and hearings given to organisations and individuals.

(44) Reid and his colleagues examined closely the Alliance's memorandum before the meeting with its leaders. See Summary record of 34th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 26 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 108-12. See also Record of Commission's hearing given to Rulers' representatives, 14-15 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1.

(45) See Summary record of 28th meeting of commission, 6 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1.

(46) Ibid., p. 93. Onn wrote six articles in the newspaper on his views on the constitution between 24 and 30 Apr. 1956.

(47) See Summary record of 53rd and 54th meetings of commission on 15 Oct. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 170-72. The Emergency provision drew from the Indian Constitution.

(48) Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, p. 4. See also Straits Times, 21 Feb. 1956.

(49) See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Reid Commission, 27 Sept. 1956, CO 889/6, p. 281.

(50) Ibid., p. 298.

(51) Reid to Secretary of State, 8 July 1956, CO 1030/486 (20).

(52) Ibid.

(53) See Reid to Secretary of State, 1 Aug. 1957, CO 1030/486 (20) and Jennings to Reid, 6 July 1957, CO 1030/486 (E/16).

(54) See Summary record of 18th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 6 Aug. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 64-9. See also Summary record of 34th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 26 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 108-12. This meeting with the Alliance Party leaders focused considerably on the organisation of the system of governance.

(55) See Summary record of 53rd meeting of Constitutional Commission, 15 Oct. 1956, CO 889/1, p. 6. See also Summary record of 54th meeting of commission, 15 Oct. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 1-2. See Summary record of 18th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 6 Aug. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 64-9.

(56) Ibid.

(57) See Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, p. 181.

(58) See Summary record of 54th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 15 Oct. 1956, CO 889/1, p. 1.

(59) Memorandum submitted by various organisations, CO 889/6, pp. 249-52.

(60) See Report of Alliance hearing, 27 Sept. 1956, CO 889/6, p. 251.

(61) Ibid., pp. 254-66.

(62) Ibid., pp. 254.

(63) See ibid., pp. 406-8.

(64) Memorandum submitted by various organisations, Report of Alliance hearing, 27 Sept. 1956, CO 889/6, p. 265. Tunku told the commission: 'The object of having a second House is that we want the interests of minorities to be represented and have a say in the legislature. We have reserved for the Lower House for the representatives to be fully elected.'

(65) Report of Alliance hearing, 27 Sept. 1956, CO 889/6, p. 265.

(66) Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, p. 24.

(67) See Summary record of 34th meeting of commission, 26 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1, p. 109. See also Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, pp. 23-4.

(68) See Summary record of 51st and 52nd (12 Oct. 1956) and 53rd (15 Oct. 1956) meeting of Constitutional Commission, CO 889/1,159-170. Hamid prepared the initial list containing the division of federal and state powers. See Summary of 51st meeting of commission, 12 Oct. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 159-62.

(69) See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Constitutional Commission, CO 889/6, pp. 269-70.

(70) See ibid., p. 270.

(71) See ibid., pp. 272-6.

(72) See ibid., pp. 272.

(73) Ibid.

(74) See Summary record of 34th meeting of Constitutional Commission, 26 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 108-12. See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Constitutional Commission, CO 889/6, 27 Sept. 1956, pp. 2-30. See also Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, pp. 22-54.

(75) See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Constitutional Commission, CO 889/6, 27 Sept. 1956, pp. 34-5.

(76) Ibid., pp. 2-30. See also Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, pp. 22-54.

(77) See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Constitutional Commission, CO 889/6, 27 Sept. 1956, p. 284.

(78) Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, p. 14.

(79) See ibid., pp. 14-18, 96-8. The main differences were over Articles 15 and 17. In regard to Article 15(1) on the continuation of application of Clause 126 of the Federation Agreement as to who was entitled to be registered as citizen under the Federation Agreement, Hamid felt the article gave preference to citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies born in the federation over others who were required to pass further tests and should be omitted. On Article 17, Hamid felt that the federal government should have discretion on registration of citizenship and it should not be claimed as of right by residents who had lived in the federation for eight years.

(80) See Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, pp. 27-8. See also 29th meeting of commission, 11 Sept. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 97-9.

(81) See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Constitutional Commission, 28 Sept. 1956, CO 889/6, p. 283.

(82) See Memorandum on citizenship by Her Majesty's Government, CO 1030/134, October 1956.

(83) See Summary of minutes of first plenary meeting at London constitutional conference on 13 May 1957, CO 1030/496 (1).

(84) See Summary of minutes of first (13 May 1957) and second (14 May 1957) plenary meeting at London constitutional conference in May 1957, CO 1030/496 (1 and 2).

(85) See Minutes of hearing given to Alliance Party by Constitutional Commission, 28 Sept. 1956, CO 889/6, pp. 293-4.

(86) Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, 173. Article 140 (3) reads: 'Notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 1, for a period of ten years after Merdeka, and thereafter until Parliament otherwise provides, if in either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly of a State any person requests permission to speak in any of the Chinese and Indian languages, the presiding officer shall grant such permission ....' See also Summary record of 36th meeting of commission, 1 Oct. 1956, CO 889/1, pp. 115-16.

(87) Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, p. 74. The Reid Report read: 'There are many citizens of the Federation who have had little opportunity in the past of learning to speak Malay fluently, and we think it would not be fair to them that Malay should become the sole official language. Moreover we think it would be impracticable to abolish the use of English before 10 years have elapsed. After ten years it should be left to parliament to decide when a change should be made ....'

(88) See Minutes of Working Party, 28 Feb. 1957, 8 March and 12 March 1957, CO 941/85.

(89) Secretary of State to Reid, 31 May 1957, CO 1030/518 (1).

(90) See Hamid's note on 'State Autonomy' in Jennings Papers B/X/6, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London (henceforth Jennings Papers), pp. 10-22. Hamid said that the state list only contained ten subjects and he felt that the field was 'too narrow'.

(91) Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, pp. 56-65.

(92) Paper by Jennings entitled, 'Fundamental Liberties, Etc: Comments on the Drafts', 21 Sept. 1956, CO 889/2, C.C. 2000/26 (2b). See also Fundamental Liberties, Etc: Second Draft', 10 Oct. 1956, CO 889/2, C. C. 2000/26.

(93) See Minute by Johnston, 18 Feb. 1957, CO 1030/518.

(94) See Summary records of the commission's meetings, CO 889/1.

(95) Telegram from Reid to Colonial Office, 29 Jan. 1957, CO 1030/519, p. 64.

(96) Ibid.

(97) Ibid. See also Note by D.C. Watherston, 29 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/519, p. 49.

(98) See Note by Watherston, 29 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/519, p. 50.

(99) Ibid.

(100) Ibid., pp. 50-51. Hamid had asked permission from Reid to talk to Watherston when he met the commission's members at the Eden Hotel lobby, and Reid agreed to this request. Hamid then told Watherston about his differences with the commission's report and his insistence on submitting a minority report.

(101) See Note by Watherston, 29 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/519, pp. 50-51.

(102) See Note on Hamid's dissent by Jennings, January 1957, B/X/6, /X/7/III, Jennings Papers.

(103) See Note by Watherston, 29 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/519, pp. 49-51. See also minute by J. B. Johnston, 18 Feb. 1957, CO 1030/518.

(104) See Hamid's note of dissent, 28 Jan. 1957, pp. 1-9 in B/X/6, Jennings Papers. See also Jennings' note of response to Hamid's note of dissent at B/X/6, Jennings Papers, p. 2. Jennings in his note of response says that Article 15(1) was unanimously inserted in the draft constitution at its first reading in early December 1956. Jennings: 'The number of persons to whom it applies is small, since the great majority of persons to whom Clause 126 of the Federation Agreement might have applied are citizens by operation of law under Clause 125 (6), (c), (d) and (e), and their rights are protected by Article 14, not article 15(1).'

(105) See Note by Watherston, 29 Jan. 1956, CO 1030/519, pp. 51-2.

(106) See Alliance memorandum to the Reid Commission, 27 Sept. 1956, 19, UMNO/SUA 154/156, Arkib Negara, Kuala Lumpur. See also Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, p. 73.

(107) See Proposals of Their Highnesses the Rulers made to the Constitutional Commission, 12 Sept. 1956, B/X/5/III (93), Jennings Papers.

(108) See Comments on the Reid Report, by Ivor Jennings, undated, 2, B/X/7/III, Jennings Papers.

(109) Ibid.

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Author:Fernando, Joseph M.
Publication:Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 1, 2019
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