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Amazing Tourism Malaysia . Government of Malaysia

The Malaysia government comprises of a constitutional monarchy while practicing a democratic system. The supreme head of the federation of Malaysia is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, while the Prime Minister is the head of the government. The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong acts on the advice of the Parliament and the ruling cabinet.

The Federal Constitution governs all laws in the country and is divided into

  • Executive Authority
  • Legislative Authority
  • Judicial Authority

Yang Di-Pertuan Agong

The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is appointed once in every five years from a pool of nine Sultans who head the nine states in Malaysia. The appointment is systematic and each of the nine Sultans has the opportunity to ascend the throne of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong based on his turn in the cycle.

When the office is not occupied, the Conference of Rulers meets to elect a Sultan to fill the vacancy. The first ruler who obtains not more than 5 votes from the members in the Conference is then elected and shall hold office for a term of five years.

The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has the highest honour and is given the privilege of conferring awards, orders of chivalry and other honours. In states that do not have a Sultan as their head, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the head of religion and thus, has the power to pardon offences and override sentences passed out by the Syariah Courts in these states.

In matters pertaining to Parliament, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is given the right to appoint senators on the advice of the Prime Minister. As the head ofthe Judicial Authority, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has the legal right to appoint the Chief Justice, Federal and High Court judges based on the guidelines stipulated in the Federal Constitution and acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. He is also the highest commander of armed forces in the country.

Executive Authority

Executive Authority refers to the power to govern the country. The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is the head of the Executive Authority. However, he acts on the advice of the Prime Minister who leads the Cabinet. Thus, the Prime Minister is the Chief Executive and the head of the government.

The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong appoints a council of Minister to form the Cabinet to advice him on the executive of his functions as the head of the Executive Authority. They are appointed based on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet comprises the Prime Minister and a number of Ministers, all of whom must be members of either the Senate or House of Representatives. The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, is also the highest policy-making body in the country.

The main task of the Prime Minister are to preside over the Cabinet, coordinate policies and efforts of each ministry in the government to aid in the smooth administration of the country.

Click here to visit the official website of Prime Minister's Office.

Legislative Authority

In Malaysia, Legislative Authority is in the hands of the Parliament, which comprises the Senate, House of Representatives and the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong who heads the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council functions as the law maker and has the authority to raise taxes and authorise expenditure.

The Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution states that legislative power is shared between the Federal Government and State Government, and systematically distributes it in a Federal List, State List and a Concurrent List.

  • The Federal List covers the areas of external affairs, defense, internal security, civil and criminal war, citizenship, finance, commerce and industries, shipping, communication, health and labour.
  • The State List comprises areas of land, agriculture, forestry, local government, Muslim Law, and several others.
  • In the Concurrent List, the areas covered are governed by both the Federal Government and the State Government and include social welfare, scholarship, wildlife protection, and town and country planning.

Parliament also acts as a synchronization tool in which public opinions on national affairs are gathered and debated upon. Through this forum, the country is assured that all Government policies are in line with the wishes of the citizens.

The members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are given special privileges known as "Parliamentary Privileges", which prevent them from being tried in a court of law on any offences which have taken place in Parliament. However, if any member breaches these privileges, punishment will be strictly imposed.

Click here to visit the official website of Parliament Malaysia.


Judicial Authority

As stated in the Federal Constitution, the Judicial Authority is given the authority to hear and determine criminal matters, interpret the legality of any legislative and executive acts and the Federal and State Constitutions. The Head of the Judiciary is the Lord President of the Federal Court, which is the highest court in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, Judicial Authority is vested in the Superior and Subordinate Courts. The Superior Courts comprise the Federal Court, Court of Appeal, the High Court of Malaya and High Court of Sabah and Sarawak. In Peninsular Malaysia, the Subordinate Courts are established under the Subordinate Court Act 1948, and comprise the Penghulu's Court, Megistrate's Court and Session Court. In Sabah and Sarawak, based on an amendment made in 1981 to the Subordinate Court Act 1948, the Subordinate Courts comprise the Native Court, Megistrate's Court and Session Court.

In order to execute its judiciary functions without being partial in any way, the Judiciary is independent of the Legislative Authority and Executive Authority. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia is also providing safeguards to ensure that judges can carry out their duties as judiciary without any influence from the desires and wishes of either the Legislative or Executive Authority.