Keeping ‘Dem Separate! : ‘We Break Down Malaysia’s Institutional Reform’


In Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto, they make it clear that a Separation of Power is important for an accountable government.

However, what does it really mean? It is important that we as Malaysians understand this concept to better our understanding of the current government administration.

To keep it simple, there are 3 Organs of the State: the Legislature, Judiciary, and the Executive. The Legislature makes law, the Judiciary read laws and the Executive put those laws into action.

The Separation of Power between these organs ensures a proper balance in power.

From Left to Right: A Member of Parliament for the Segambut Constituency, Hannah Yeoh. Gopal Sir Rom, a retired Federal Court Judge and the Royal Malaysian Police Force, a member of the Executive.

For more details, we got it covered with a detailed explanation by lawyer Lim Wei Jiet on the importance of this concept.

You may ask why is it such a big deal? Is it just a concept right?

WRONG. A government who adheres to the doctrine of separation of power will see a less likelihood in corruption and a great sense of trust by the Rakyat.   

Hannah Yeoh, who is currently a member of Parliament for the Segambut constituency illustrates this in detail as seen in the video below.

In the video, Pakatan Harapan has suggested for 3 key reforms:

1) The Prime Minister cannot hold absolute power. 

Absolute power without control leads to destruction. (Image Credit:

Many have criticized Najib Razak, the former Prime Minister for abusing his position and power as the Prime Minister.


At his time, he was the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the Chairman of the United Malaysia National Organization (UMNO) which heads the most of former ruling coalition! 

However, with Tun Mahathir as our Prime Minister things have change.

The 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia who retired and became the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia. Image Credits: Synergia Foundations

He makes it clear that his position as the Prime Minister is merely temporary upon accepting the position. As such, he elects Lim Guan Eng to be the new Finance Minister.

Furthermore, he ultimately decides not to hold the education portfolio as it goes against the promises made by Pakatan Harapan.

2) Parliaments need to be reform. 

Parliament is the main lawmaker in Malaysia. Hence, it is important that the members of Parliament are allowed to freely discuss important matters.

The problem with the previous government lies in disallowing any of their members to questions the 1MDB corporate scandal in Parliament. 

Hence, the suggestions to reform Parliament includes forming various Committee for the opposition to offer a check and balance on the government.

3) Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) will be fully independent. 

MACC Putrajaya Brach (Image Credit: One Stop List)

Previously, the former Prime Minister could stop any investigation relating to the 1MDB scandal. 

For example, the former AG and MACC Chief respectively “retires” halfway through their probe into the scandal.

In the administration of the new government, the Finance Minister and Council of Elders have taken immediate action.

The Council of Elders has also formed a special task force to further investigate the 1MDB scandal.

Image by Sien Chiew

If these individuals don’t sound familiar, it should be as they were heavily involved in their investigation of 1MDB. The list includes current and former MACC Chief, former Bukit Aman Special Branch Director, and the former Attorney General.

In conclusion, Pakatan Harapan has managed to achieve great results in a short period of time.

There also has been reforms suggested to the role of the Attorney General in ensuring a proper separation of power. Independence and integrity is key.

Hence, here’s to looking forward to the changes that Malaysians can bring about when we stand united. What do you think?