A key feature of the constitution which provided for the birth of the Malayan Federation and for its enlargement into the Federation of Malaysia is the express embodiment of various fundamental rights. The Reid Commission which was entrusted with drawing up the new constitution was required by its terms of reference to make recommendations for “a federal form of constitution for the whole country as a single, self-governing unit within the Commonwealth based on Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislature.”1 With these terms in mind, the Commission noted that while a federal constitution would define and guarantee the rights of the Federation and the states it was “usual” and “right” that it should also define and guarantee “certain fundamental individual rights which are generally regarded as essential conditions for a free and democratic way of life.”2 Although the Commission was of the view that the rights which were recommended for embodiment in the new constitution were “all firmly established” throughout the country and it would therefore seem unnecessary to give them special constitutional protection, the Commission had found “in certain quarters vague apprehensions about the future.”3 Dismissing such apprehensions as unfounded, the Commission saw no objection to providing express guarantees of the rights.