KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are scheduled to speak at the same international constitutional law conference organised by the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (Lawasia) this Friday.
The event, which will feature some of the world’s top judiciary figures, will discuss current challenges facing constitutional democracy.
Titled Constitutional Government: The Importance of Constitutional Structures and Institutions, topics will include separation of powers in governance and the constitutional role of the monarchy.
Dr Mahathir will deliver the opening keynote address in the morning while Anwar’s special address will be in the evening.
Both figures are seen as key players in the new government’s reform push, the regional body said at a press briefing announcing the conference here. Anwar, touted to be the next prime minister, also chairs the Parliamentary Caucus on Reform and Governance.
Datuk Cyrus Das, the body’s organising committee chairman, said the first ever Lawasia dialogue to be held here is timely and would allow a critical debate of the Pakatan Harapan government’s institutional reforms.
“If you look at the theme of the conference it is on the importance of constitutional structures and institutions,” he said.
“The idea behind the theme is: we want to promote the thinking that institutions are more important than people, and when people hold office they must be guided by the principle of that particular institution.”
Lawasia said the conference aims to encourage discourse on the importance of constitutionalism in public institutions and accountability.
Senior judges, lawyers, lawmakers, academics and activists from around the region and countries like the United Kingdom and Australia will draw their respective experiences and find solutions to strengthen the rule of law.
From Malaysia all heads of the three branches will be speaking, an attestation of the conference’s importance. Both Chief Justice Datuk Seri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof will deliver a special address on the second day of the conference.
The dialogue will also feature the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Latheefa Koya and Elections Commission chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun as speakers. The two will speak at round table discussion on Malaysia’s reform programmes.
Umno Youth vice chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan will also be making an appearance in this session.