13 Sing. L. Rev. 85 (1992)
Clarity or Controversy - The Meaning of Judicial Independence in Singapore and Malaysia

handle is hein.journals/singlrev13 and id is 89 raw text is: Clarity or Controversy - The Meaning of
Judicial Independence in Singapore and Malaysia
To any student of Constitutional law, the need for judicial independ-
ence can never be understated. In Singapore and Malaysia, our systems
of government are based on the Westminster model that separates
governmental powers into three branches, namely the Legislature, the
Executive and the Judiciary and is essentially premised on the rule of
law, that is, the supremacy of the Constitution as opposed to arbitrary
rule. Unlike the United Kingdom where the Westminster model origi-
nates from, the separation of powers and the rule of law are enshrined
in written Constitutions together with the fundamental liberties of the
citizens. Thus, the role of an independent Judiciary would be to uphold
the Constitution by observing the rule of law and ensuring the account-
ability of the Legislature and Executive in keeping within their Consti-
tutional limits of their powers. There being a written Constitution
providing for the mutual checks and balances, it seems that judicial
independence could be ideally preserved in our systems of govern-
However, it is too often easier to state an ideal than to define
 The writer is all too aware that this short paragraph hardly does justice to the explaining of
the underlying philosophies and the workings of a Constitution. Instead, it serves only to
paint in very broad brushstrokes the background and basic structure that suffice for the
purpose of discussion here. See generally: Tan, Yeo and Lee Constitufional Law in Malaysia
and Singapore, (1990 edn), Caps 1 - 7.

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