Organizations & Movements

Governance of Malaysia

August 31, 2011, 6:09 pm

The governance of Malaysia is based upon a Parliamentary Democracy, with the supreme head of the nation of Malaysia its constitutional monarch, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The Federal Constitution outllines the separation of governing powers among executive, judicial and legislative authorities.  The separation of powers occurs at Federal as well as state levels of governance. 


The Federal Constitution of Malaysia is the supreme law of the nation. It distributes the power of governance in accordance with the practice of Parliamentary Democracy. The constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority in Parliament.


The Parliament passes Federal laws, makes amendments to existing Federal laws, examines the government’s policies, approves the government’s expenditures and approves new taxes.  Also, it serves as the forum for debate and deliberations; and the focus of public opinion on national affairs.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the Supreme Head of State as stipulated in the Constitution. The King performs his official duties upon the advice of the Prime Minister—and his Cabinet—as provided for by the Constitution. Also, His Majesty holds the position of Islamic Religious Head for the States of Penang, Malacca, Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federal Territories. As Malaysia's Supreme Head of State, the King is the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces  The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected every five years in accordance with a rotating succession system determined by the Conference of Rulers.

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the indirectly-elected head of the government of Malaysia, although he is appointed formally by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the head of state. The Primie Minister is the leader of the largest party in the Dewan Rakyat, the elected lower house of Parliament. The Prime Minisgter heads the Cabinet, whose members are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Prime Minister's advice. The current Prime Minister is Najib Tun Razak.


The Senate consists of 70 members—44 members of which are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister—including two members from the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, and one member each from the Federal Territory of Labuan and Putrajaya. The remaining 26 members are elected by the 13 States Legislative Assembly, where each State is represented by two members.

House of Representatives

caption The Prime Minister's residence, Putrajaya

The House of Representatives consists of 219 members who hold office for a period of five years. Members of the House are elected by the people through general elections, where each member represents a constituency. The present Speaker of the House is Tan Sri Datuk Pandikar Amin Bin Haji Mulia.

Putrajaya - Federal Administrative Capital

The city of Putrajaya is the seat of the Malaysian Government—it replaced Kuala Lumpur in 1999. Putrajaya is named after Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. 

Federal Territories and State Governments

Malaysia consists of 13 states, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, and Terengganu, and  three Federal Territories, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya. and Labuan. As at the Federal level, there is a corresponding separation of governing powers at the State level—among the Executive, Judicial and Legislative Authorities—in line with the concept of federalism.

Federal Ministries

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water
  • Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development 
  • Ministry of Federal Territories
  • Ministry of Finance 
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Higher Education
  • Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security
  • Ministry Housing and Local Government
  • Ministry of Human Resources
  • Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture
  • Ministry of International Trade and Industry
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities
  • Ministry of Rural and Regional Development
  • Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development
  • Ministry of Works
  • Ministry of Youth and Sports

Environmental Governmental Agencies

There are a number of governmental agencies below the ministerial level which are addressed to environmental issues. Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Business are the following departments:

  • Agriculture Department Malaysia
  • Fisheries Department Malaysia
  • Veterinary Department Services Malaysia

Under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment there are found the following departments:

  • Department of Environment Malaysia
  • Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia
  • Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia
  • Sarawak Forestry Department
  • Sabah Forestry Department


References and Further Reading



(2011). Governance of Malaysia. Retrieved from


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