Malaysia: Government

Malaysia Flag
Coat of Arms of Malaysia

Key Figures

Chief of State: King Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah

Head of Government: Prime Minister Mohamed Najib bin Abdul Najib Razak

Overview

Government Name: Malaysia

Constitution: Adopted: 1957; Establishes the Federation as a constitutional monarchy with the role of Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State) being largely ceremonial. It also provides for the establishment and the organization of three branches of the government: the bicameral legislative branch (Parliament) which consists of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and the Senate (Dewan Negara); the executive branch led by the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers; and the judicial branch.

Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The King is largily a cermonial role and is head of state. The prime minister is the head of government, leads the cabinet of ministers and can choose to not appoint a Deputy Prime Minister if they so please.

Monarchy is elected by hereditary state rulers. The prime minister is designated by parliament.

At least once within 5 years

Judicial

The highest court and the final appellate court in Malaysia.

Justices appointed by the monarch on advice of the prime minister.

Mandatory retirement age of 65

Legislative

The Dewan Negara reviews legislation that has been passed by the lower house. If the Dewan Negara rejects a bill, it can delay the bill's passage by only a year before it is sent to the King. The Dewan Rakyat is the lower house of parliament - all bills must be passed by both houses before they are given Royal Assent.

The Dewan Negara has 44 members that are appointed by the monarch, 26 members are elected by state legislatures. The Dewan Rakyat members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies.

Dewan Negara: 3 years; Dewan Rakyat: 5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Regional cooperation is a cornerstone of Malaysia's foreign policy. It was a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Malaysia is a frequent contributor to UN and other peacekeeping and stabilization missions, including recent deployments to Lebanon, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Western Sahara, Nepal, and Kosovo. Malaysia has also deployed a medical unit to Afghanistan.

Regional Trade Blocs: APEC, ASEAN

Treaties: No multilateral military treaties


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ADB APEC ARF ASEAN BIS C
CICA CP D-8 EAS ESCAP FAO
G-15 G-77 IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC
ICRM IDA IDB IFAD IFC IFRCS
IHO ILO IMF IMO IMSO Interpol
IOC IPU ISO ITSO ITU ITUC
MIGA MINURSO MONUSCO NAM OIC OPCW
PCA PIF UN UNAMID UNCTAD UNESCO
UNIDO UNIFIL UNMIL UNWTO UPU WCO
WFTU WHO WIPO WMO WTO

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Biodiversity Climate Change Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Hazardous Wastes
Law of the Sea Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Tropical Timber 06 Wetlands

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: Royal Malaysia Customs Department

Tax Name: GST


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary