Government Structure

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy made up of thirteen (13) states and three (3) federal territories. The Head of State is known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong which is rotatably elected among the Malay rulers every 5 years or whenever there is a vacancy. Federal states are ruled by Malay rulers, traditionally known as Sultan. In some states they are called Raja or Yang di-Pertuan Besar.

The federal government adopts the principle of and has three branches: executive, legislature and judiciary.

Executive

The executive branch is headed by the prime minister, followed by various ministers in the cabinet. The prime minister must be the member of the House of Representatives and commands majority support. Members of the cabinet are chosen from members of either house of the Parliament. The cabinet is accountable collectively to the parliament.

Legislature

The bicameral federal legislature of Malaysia is composed of the House of Representatives (lower house) and the Senate (upper house). The House of Representatives consists of 222 members elected from single-member constituencies for a maximum of a five-year term. The Senate has 70 seats for a three-year term. 26 of them are elected through the 13 state assemblies while the remaining 44 are appointed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong upon the Prime Minister’s recommendation.

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