Constitutional Complexity

I have been reading a couple of books on our Consti and the more that I read, the more I’ve come to realise that our Consti is a complex creature, which was conceived from a bed of compromises made in the interest of expedience. That doesn’t make it a bad document, it just makes it a complicated one.

However, what interests me most about reading the Consti is the rich history that has gone into it through the years. I am learning a lot about our country’s history through the years, from our founding fathers through the various crises and their amendments, which results in the state of our federation today.

The big question is whether or not our Consti has been worth more than the paper that it is written on. In certain ways, it has been trampled upon with the concentration of power in the central government and the subjugation of the judiciary, which totally undoes the concept of power separation.

Separation of power is a fundamental part of any working government lest it degenerate into a dictatorship, quasi or otherwise. Regardless of whether our Consti is right or wrong, I still think that it is a document that needs to be respected, especially by members of our legislative.

I do not like that my fundamental freedoms are being trampled over by legislation. I want to be able to gather anywhere, with anyone and at any time without having to obtain informed consent from anyone. Personal liberties are extremely important to me.

I hope that my learning of the Consti is not going to turn me into a grumpy old man.

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Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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