Malaysia is a country that practices Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy since achieving independence from British rule on August 31, 1957. The structure of government in Malaysia is very similar to what is practised in Great Britain. This is due to the fact that the Malay Peninsular, as Malaysia was formerly known, was a former British Colony and prior to its independence a commission was appointed to draft the Federal Constitution based on the system of parliamentary democracy as practised in Great Britain. This independent commission was called The Reid Commission. The Federal Constitution divides the structure of government to three different branches- Legislature, Executive, and, Judiciary . This concept is based on the theory of "separation of powers" as practised in Great Britain.
The theory of separation of powers was first introduced by Montesquieu (1689-1755), a French philosopher and author, in his book 'Spirit of the Laws' (Esprit Des Lois, 1748) . This book was written based on Montesquieu's observation while visiting England in comparison to what was happening in his homeland at that time. France was then ruled by Louis XVI who proclaimed "I am the state" which means that he is the absolute authority in the country. Montesquieu suggested that the government should be divided into three different branches. He stressed that no man may be a member of any two branches of the government at one time. This is to prevent conflict of interest and abuse of power. These separate branches of government will monitor one another hence stop any abuse of power if necessary. This is also known as "check and balance" or "power halts power" . According to A.C.Kapur (1986), Montesquieu's theory is rigidly practised and found its best expression in the United States of America . Thus, in order to find out how far separation of powers is practised in Malaysia, we may make comparison to what is practised in the United States.