The Faculty of Law and Governance at HELP University recently hosted the ‘KUPM Law Series Talk: Federal Constitution’ at Wisma HELP. The purpose of this talk was to educate HELP’s law students about the significance of Malaysia’s 60-year-old Federal Constitution while instilling in them the spirit of independence (Merdeka) and patriotic values, and helping them develop a growing sense of belonging.
Two notable speakers, Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin, the Founding President of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs and Ms. Deva Kunjari Sengalam A/P Tun Sambanthan, an Advocate and Solicitor, were the special guests invited to share the importance and significance of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution.
In Deva Kunjari’s introductory speech, ‘Significance of the 60th Independence of Malaysia and the Federal Constitution’, she spoke about a time when Malaysia’s colonial masters were present to help shape the political and socio-economic layout of Malaysia, then Malaya. She shared stories about how Indian and Chinese immigrants migrated to Malaya during a time when the country was still underdeveloped.
She also expressed how students should not just look at the rosier side of Malaysia’s progress but they must also understand the underside of the constitution and how people had sacrificed themselves in the migration process before finally settling in Malaya. The Federal Constitution was formed because of the early immigrants’ efforts and it is one that the younger generation should not take lightly. She hoped that the law students who were present that day would take a moment to consider the collective efforts of their forefathers in helping to lay the foundations of the Federal Constitution.
In the second talk, Tunku Zain Al’Aidin presented about ‘The Importance of the Federal Constitution’, where he spoke about why countries need the constitution. He stated that constitutions were crafted with a purpose – to legitimise leaders, democracy and institutions to advance certain values.
He noted that many young people and organisations are currently working to uphold the constitution and he viewed it as a positive sign for the nation. He also stressed that we must forge a legitimate consensus to continue upholding the foundations of the constitution by educating all Malaysians, especially future generations.
About the speakers
Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin is Founding President of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs; a Trustee of Yayasan Chow Kit, Yayasan Munarah, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and the Genovasi Foundation. He is also an Independent Non-Executive Director of Allianz Malaysia Berhad and Kian Joo Can Factory Berhad and is an advisor or patron to numerous educational and cultural organisations and is also a columnist in three newspapers.
Ms Deva Kunjari Sengalam A/P Tun Sambanthan is an Advocate and Solicitor who was called to the Bar in United Kingdom and Malaysia. She is passionate in educating the youth about the importance of patriotism and also creating an awareness about the importance of loving Malaysia. She is often invited to speak to the younger generation about her late father’s achievements as one of the founding fathers of Malaysia.