Friday, March 29, 2013

ChanLan Hong / How laws are made in your country / Tuesday / 9 a.m

I used to think that words like Legislation, Senate, Parliament, Federal, Law and etc are words that I doubt I will have to deal with for my entire life, since I am also not majoring in any fields related to that. No particular reasons but it just doesn't interest me at all until now. At the fundamental level, the purpose of Law is made to maintain a certain standard of behavior in a society. However, I never once questioned myself "How are Laws made? Who made the Law?" Thanks to my homework, I have this once in a lifetime opportunity to finally engage myself with proper legal understanding of how Laws are made in my country, Malaysia.

            In Malaysia, the Parliament is divided into two houses which are known as The Lower House (Dewan Rakyat) and The Upper House (Dewan Negara). First, a Bill, which can be defined as a proposed law, will be introduced from either one of the houses. However, there is an exception when it comes to the "Money Bill". According to the Article 67 of the Federal Constitution, the "Money Bill" has to be proposed only from The Lower House. This "Money Bill" can only be introduced by a Minister.

             The Bill will have to go through several stages of "Reading" in both the Houses of the Parliament. In "First Reading" stage, only the long title will be read. This is how a newly introduced Bill is conducted in the House. After that, the Bill will deal with the "Second Reading". This process also includes discussions and debates regarding the content of the Bill by all the member of the House. Once the second process is over, the Bill will be handed to the Committee Stage, where technical details of this Bill are being discussed. The formality continues to the House for the "Third Reading".

            After all the process of reading is done, the Bill will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, our Sultan, for his permission to weather or not this Bill will be made into an official law. Under the Article 66(4) of the Federal Constitution, the Sultan must assent to the Bill by causing the Public Seal to be affixed thereto. All these has to be done within a time period which is, 30 days from the date the Bill is being presented to him. A Bill assented by the Sultan will officially become the new Law. Also, no law will come into force unless it has been published under the Article 66(5) of the Federal Constitution.

This is how laws are made in Malaysia. To simplify it, basically a proposed law is introduced, goes through three stages of reading and will be presented to the Sultan for his agreement into making it official. As complicated as it sounds, I am very proud of myself for finally being able to understand how laws are enacted in my country. Now this piqued my curiosity how laws are made in Korea.

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