What Type Of Government Does Malaysia Have?

Malaysian Parliament, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysian Parliament, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia is a country on the Southeast Asia made up of 13 states and 13 federal territories. Malaysia spans over an area of 127,720 square miles and has a population of about 30 million people. It has its origin from the Malay Kingdom which was within the British Empire in the 18th century. The Malayan Union was formed in 1946 and restructured to the Malayan Federation in 1948. Malaysia attained its independence on August 31, 1957. The Malayan joined North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. However, Singapore was expelled from the federation in 1965.

The Government Of Malaysia

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy. Its government system closely resembles the Westminster parliamentary system while the jurisdictions of the country are based on the common law. The state is categorized as a representative democracy. The Federal Government has its headquarter in Kuala Lumpur while the federal executive of Malaysia is in Putrajaya. The federal government adheres to and is formed by the country’s Federal Constitution which is the final authority on the land. The federal government operates on the basis of power separation as outlined in Article 127 of the Malaysian Constitution. There are three branches of the federal government of Malaysia including the executive, judiciary, and the legislature.

The Federal Government Of Malaysia

The federal government of Malaysia is the highest level of authority in Malaysia with its headquarter in Putrajaya. The federal government of Malaysia is headed by the Prime Minister. This level of government has three branches namely the executive, legislature, and judiciary. The cabinet led by the prime minister exercise the executive powers as stipulated in the constitution. The Malaysian premier is a member of the lower house. The prime minister heads the government together with other several cabinet ministers. The Parliament of Malaysia is made up of the lower house, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. The seventy Senate members have a two-term limit with each term lasting three years. The Dewan Rakyat is composed of 222 members elected from the single-member district. Although the parliament has a five-year mandate, the king may dissolve it at any time upon the advice of the prime minister. The Federal Court of Malaysia is the highest court the country’s judicial system, followed by the Court of Appeal, and the two High Courts. There are also subordinate courts.

The State Government Of Malaysia

Malaysia has 13 states with each state forming its government under the state constitution. The states also have unicameral state legislative chambers. The state governments are headed by the Chief Ministers who also a member of the state assembly from the majority party. The Chief Ministers are appointed by the sultan or Governors upon the recommendation of the prime minister and must be Malay to qualify for consideration for appointment.

The Local Government Of Malaysia

The local authorities are the lowest level of government in the country. The local government mainly collects taxes, creates by-laws, and issue licenses and permits to traders. The local government also provides basic amenities, manages waste, and develops areas under their jurisdiction. The local governments are under the supervision of the state government and are headed by the civil servants. The state government appoints the local governments.


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