Reid Constitutional Commission Reid Constitutional Commission

 

An independent commission known as the Reid Commission was formed on 21 March, 1956 to review and recommend the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya in preparation for independence on 31 August 1957. The Reid Commission was chaired by Lord William Reid (Judge of the Court of Appeal of England), consisting of Sir Ivor Jennings, Sir William Mac Kell (former Governor General of Australia), B.S. Malik (Chief Judge of the Indian Supreme Court) and Abdul Hamid (Pakistan Court Judge). The commission held a total of 118 conferences and received 131 memoranda from all walks of life and organisations to be studied from June to October 1956. Among the important matters discussed by this Commission were the establishment of a central government, state autonomy in certain areas, the special rights of the Malay Rulers, the appointment of a Head of State and the retainment of the special privileges of the Malays. The draft of the constitution and the report submitted by the Reid Commission was passed with amendments and approved by the Federal Legislative Council in July 1957.
 
Members of the Reid Commission during a dinner hosted by Dato' Tan Cheng Lock at No. 111, Heeren Street, Malacca on 17 August 1956.