Constitutional history of Malaysia

The federation of Malaysia is comprised of 13 states and 3 federal territories on the Malay Peninsula and on the northern part of the island of Borneo. The country is bordered by Thailand and the South China Sea on the north, and the straits of Malacca and Singapore on the south. It covers nearly 330,000 square kilometres and is home to approximately 28.7 million people. Its capital of Kuala Lumpur contains almost 1.5 million people. The majority of the population is ethnic Malay, though a powerful Chinese minority also inhabits the territory. Islam is the largest religion, but Christianity, Hindu, Buddhism, and some traditional Chinese religions are also practiced.

Executive

Monarch

Appointment
Selected by Conference of Rulers on rotational system between 9 hereditary rulers
Powers
  • To sign or veto bills
  • Ceremonial powers of state
Removal
  • At the completion of a 5 year term
  • By resignation

Conference of Rulers

Appointment
Composed of the 9 state rulers, the governors of the other states, the Prime Minister, and the Monarch
Powers
  • Selecting the monarch
  • Deciding matters relating to religion
  • Consenting to certain appointments
  • Granting pardons
Removal
  • Upon loss of or resignation from qualifying position
  • Upon a vote of no confidence from the legislature
  • Upon removal by the Monarch
  • Upon loss of or resignation from qualifying position

Prime Minister

Appointment
Appointed by the Monarch from the House of Representatives
Powers
  • Advising the Monarch in the exercise of his duties
  • Acting as a member of the Conference of Rulers
  • Appointing parliamentary secretaries
  • Overseeing the Cabinet
Removal
  • Upon a vote of no confidence from the legislature
  • Upon removal by the Monarch
  • Upon loss of or resignation from qualifying position

Cabinet

Appointment
  • Appointed by the Monarch from the Senate or House of Representatives
Powers
  • Advising the Monarch in the exercise of his duties
  • Ensuring the smooth functioning of the Government
Removal
  • Upon resignation or removal of the Prime Minister
  • Upon resignation, upon removal by the Monarch
  • Upon loss of or resignation from qualifying position

Legislative

Senate

Appointment
  • 26 members appointed by the state legislatures, 40 members appointed by the Monarch
Powers
  • Proposes bills
  • Passes legislation by majority vote
  • Overrides a veto of the Monarch by a two-thirds vote
Removal
  • At the end of their 3 year term
  • Upon resignation

House of Representatives

Appointment
  • 222 members elected by a direct vote
Powers
  • Proposes bills, passes legislation and financial bills by majority vote
  • Overrides a veto of the Monarch by a two-thirds vote
Removal
  • At the end of their 5 year term
  • If Parliament is dissolved by the Monarch
  • Upon resignation

Judicial

Federal Court

Appointment
  • Appointed by the Monarch with the advice of the Prime Minister and the Conference of Rulers
Powers
  • Hearing appeals from other courts
  • Consultative jurisdiction of questions of law
  • Hearing disputes between state and federal governments
  • Constitutional interpretation
Removal
  • Upon suspension by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or Chief Justice of the Federal Court
  • Upon the finding of a tribunal convened by the Monarch on recommendation of the Prime Minister or Chief Justice of the Federal Court
  • Upon reaching age 66

Court of Appeals

Appointment
  • Appointed by the Monarch with the advice of the Prime Minister and the Conference of Rulers
Powers
  • Hearing appeals from the High Courts
Removal
  • Upon suspension by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or the President of the Court of Appeals

High Courts

Appointment
  • Appointed by the Monarch with the advice of the Prime Minister and the Conference of Rulers
Powers
  • Hearing cases arising from their respective territories
Removal
  • Upon suspension by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or the Chief Judge of the High Court