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Legislative Process in Malaysia

Info: 1335 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 22nd Sep 2021

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Jurisdiction / Tag(s): Malaysian law

Malaysia practices parliamentary democracy under the administration of a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as The Head of The State. Constitution was drafted by providing conditions for the experience of this system. One of the conditions of parliamentary democracy is the separation of powers into three parts in the government, the Legislative, Judicial and Administrative or Executive.

In Malaysia system of government, Parliament has the power to enact laws. Because of that, the Federal Assembly can also be mended as the Parliament. Legislative power is granted in accordance with Article 44 of the Federal Constitution of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both Houses in the Parliament play an important role in the legislative process.

In Malaysia, a Bill may be enacted upon by a law-making procedure. Duties in legislation, which is located in the legislature, include the duty to amend the constitution, approve the new law, repealing the old law and new laws and verifying it progress. All these processes occur in the legislature according to the prescribed legal procedure in which the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong will approve the bill after it been tabled and debated in the House of Representatives and the Senate. As a general rule, the Parliament has power to make laws for the whole of the Federation or any part. Federal Parliament has jurisdiction over many important matters such as finance, commerce and industry, education, defence and foreign affairs.

Procedures for enactment of an act


In Malaysia, there are the lower house known as the Dewan Rakyat or House of Representatives and the upper house known as the Dewan Negara or Senate. The Parliament will exercise its power to make laws by the passing of Bills in both houses.

A Bill may originate in either of the House. However, there is one exception with the “Money Bill”. Subject to Article 67 of the Federal Constitution, the “Money Bill” must originate in the House of Representatives and can only be introduced by a Minister.

The House, which a Bill is originated, shall send it to the other House once the Bill has been passed. After the other Houses passed the Bill, it must then be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his assent under the Article 66(3) of the Federal Constitution.

A Bill goes through several stages of “Reading”, in both the Houses of Parliament. At the First Reading stage, only the long title will be read. This is a formality when the Bill is first introduced to the House. The most important stage is the Second Reading. The contents of the Bill are debated at length and discussed by all members of the House. After that the Bill goes through a Committee Stage. The committees are normally the Committee of the whole House as opposed to special select committees. Special technical details of the Bill may be discussed at this stage. Finally, the Bill is returned to the House for its Third Reading. Again this is a formality.

Under the Article 66(4) of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must assent to the Bill by causing the Public Seal to be affixed thereto. This must be done within 30 days from the date a Bill is being presented to him. The nation Constitution provides that a Bill will become law at the expiration of the 30 days period specified in the like manner as if he had assented thereto, should the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, for whatever reason, fails to give his assent to the Bill within the specified period.

A Bill assented by the Yang di-Pertuan shall become Law. However, no laws shall come into force until it has been gazetted or published under the Article 66(5) of the Federal Constitution. (C2)

Procedure for Constitutional Amendment

Federal Constitution provides four ways to amendment the laws. According to Article 159 (1), constitutional amendments made by referring to the federal law.

This means that the amendment will go through the process of legislation in Parliament. This process will be discussed in the next entry. However, Article 159, read with several other provisions, establishes special conditions in the amendment of the clauses that have been determined.

The following descriptions clarify the rules and special conditions that apply to amend the regulation.

1st Way: The Present Simple Majority

According Article 159 (1) & (4) read with Article 62 (3), the Constitution, a Bill to amend the regulation can be approved by a simple majority of board members present.

To provide an overview, the House of Representatives (12th Parliament) has 222 members (Article 46 (1), PP). For example, if a quorum of the House of Representatives is 30 members and a Speaker of the Honourable House (Speaker); only 50 members present of the Honourable, not including the Chairman of the Board as he just present for the session to approve the bill this constitutional amendment. The Constitution Amendment Bill would require only 26 votes to support the draft bill voiced by the assembly.

Quorum Systems

In parliamentary systems, a board or committee may set the number of a quorum to meet. The number of quorum shall be construed as the minimum number of voting members present to convene a conference. The number of quorum stipulated by the relevant council; of the Parliament of Malaysia, the power is delivered to the assembly through Article 62, PP. When the number of members of the House of Representatives or the Senate to attend the conference less than a quorum, the conference action on the procedure to be valid for less or do not meet the quorum.

2nd Way: A majority of 2 / 3 Two-Two Board Members

Unlike the first method, Method 2 is a frequently used method of amendment. Compared to other 3 methods, this method is the most common way to amend the clause contained in the Federal Constitution.

According this way or Article 159 (3) of the Federal Constitution, a bill of the amendment must receive the support of at least 2 / 3 members of the Board on the Second and Third Readings.

Back to the illustration above, a draft amendment to the constitution need the support of at least 148 members of the House of Representatives in the Second and Third Readings. After the approve by the Parliament, the same bill will go through the same process. This time, 47 Senators must support this Bill on Second and Third Reading in the Senate.

Then, as same as federal bill and another bill that has passed both Houses of Parliament, it will be presented to the Yang Di Pertuan Agong for his assent. Before it took effect, the new amendments shall be enacted.

3rd Way: A majority of 2 / 3 Two-Two Board Members of Parliament and the assent of the Council of Rulers

If Parliament wants to amend matters affecting the sovereignty, dignity and position of the Majlis Raja-Raja or any of the Malay rulers, as set out on Article 159 (5), as same procedures with 2nd Way. The only difference is that it needed consent of the Majlis Raja-Raja. Without this consent, the constitutional amendment‘s bill will not be valid.

4th Way: A majority of 2 / 3 membership of both chambers of Parliament and the assent of the President of the State of Sabah or Sarawak

The position of Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysia are protected by imposing additional requirements in terms of the amendment method that involves both states of Borneo.

In addition to the 2nd procedure, all the amendments written in Article 161E (2) of the Federal Constitution, should be approved by the President of Sarawak or Sabah. (C3)

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The Malaysian court system is based on the UK legal system familiar to those from common law jurisdictions, but it also incorporates distinct characteristics in the form of Islamic religious courts and two separate High Courts for the Peninsula and for the Borneo states.

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