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Published: Fri, 02 Feb 2018
The Malaysian Constitutional Monarchy System
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy of federal and state level. It is made up of 13 states and two federal territories, which are divided into two distinct parts of Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia provinces of Sabah and Sarawak in North Borneo. Malaysia was formed in 1963 through a federation of the former British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, that’s included of Sabah and Sarawak.
The unique of the monarchy because is have the nine hereditary sultans elect from among themselves a ‘Yang di-Pertuan Agong’ for a five year term. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be the King with a five year reign that is the chief of state of Malaysia. The rotates of throne and each Yang di-Pertuan Agong for five years then graciously steps down allowing his brother Rulers the opportunity in turn to play role on the national stage of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong wanted to shortened his ruled therefore, he need to have a specific reason for the step down of the position.
The role of Yang di-Pertuan Agong is a Head of State, Head of Islamic Religion and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces but is constitutionally bound to ‘act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minster acting under the general authority of the Cabinet’ ( Legal Research Board ). The role of Yang di-Pertuan Agong is to giving a support to the government to rule and promote democracy to the states. It is clearly seen in Article 40, that’s the Yang di-Pertuan Agong have his rights within the executives to appointed task for the ministers, Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, judges and so as the Ambassadors. Based on the Article 40 , the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not abuse the power but to maintain the better trust to the public by ruling the government and to show the value of the position to the states.
The Yang di-Pertuan Negeri ( Governor of State ) is ruled by own Sultan, of nine state of Perlis, Perak, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Johor, Kedah, Terengganu and Selangor. The Conference of Rulers, or Majlis Raja-raja is made up of the nine Sultans (hereditary rulers) of the states and the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri (Governors) of the states where no Sultan exits such as Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak). If the place got no Rulers the Chief Ministers (Mentari Besar / Ketua Menteri) are the heads of government.
The Role, Power and executive function of Yang di-Pertuan Agong
The role of Yang di-Pertuan Agong is to giving a support to the government to rule and promote democracy to the states.
There are some matters in respect of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is empowered to act in this discretion relate to :
The appointment of a prime minister
The withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament,
The requisition of a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned solely with the privileges, position, honours and dignities of their Royal Highnesses, and any action at such a metting
And in any other case mentioned in the Constitution
However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is also the ruler of a state has discretionary powers pertaining to his function as the head of the Muslim religion or relation to the customs of the Malays citizens that he has the power to the offences and to sentences out by the Syariah Courts in the state. It is also the appointment of heirs, consorts, regent or Council of Regency, the award of honours and the regulation of royal courts and palaces. There are also things that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong are not allow to do such as have contacted with any businesses and hold of any position that with salaries during his duties of the ruler of his state. It is strictly not allows to leave the state more than 15days unless he is going on official national matters or got the approval from the Council of Rulers.
In 1948, the Conferences of Rulers it is well established by the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. Is involved nine sultans and four governors or lastly is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. His Deputy and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong have a main function is to appoint the task for the nine sultans. The Conference of Rulers is also extension of the matter for religious to pertain to the Islam and in the Bill of Constitution that have amended. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong have the right to exception for the meeting of matter that will affected in the public or special privileges to the sultan in all the meeting from the Conference of Rulers that attended by the Prime Minister, Menteri Besar from all states and Chief Minister.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will have right to appointed chief justice of the Federal Court, the president of the Court of Appeal and the chief judges of the High Courts and the other judges of the Federal Courts or the Court of Appeal and of the Court of Appreal and of the High Courts, that act from the advice from the prime minister, after the Conference of Rulers. For the elaborate removal mechanism is set out in the Constitution. For the maintaining the independence of the judiciary the Reid Commission, the judge can’t be removed except the by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong passed by a majority of two-thirds of the House of Parliament and before any such motion is must be proved misconduct or infirmity of mind or any other cause was properly to discharge the functions of his office the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint a tribunal.
It is a bicameral parliament for Malaysia. The monarch, Yang di-Pertuan Agong is one third as advised from Executive to elect the House of Representative which is a single-member districts and the two third is for the Senate appointed by state. Therefore, the delaying power that will hold the House of Representatives if two-thirds majority is required the regards in constitutional amendments.
At Federal level, the legislative powers is in by the bicameral Parliament headed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and include the Dewan Negara ( Senate ) and Dewan Rakyat ( House of Representative). Is has 69 members for Dewan Negara ( Senate ) is allow to served for two or maximum to three years and out of 40 members are nominated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The 26 members are elected by the State Legislative Assemblies and lastly 3 member from Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. Each state will have a single legislature for every five years election. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong can dissolve or discrete the Dewan Rakyat election in the Constitution for the Speaker, Parliament advice of the Prime Minister. ( pg 55)
For example, in every meeting within the Parliament , the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be addressed by the Prime Minister in the related issues that’s happening to the government. From there, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will be influence the government thru his accountability and the Constitution will allow the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to acts or give relevant information that’s regards with the issues of the states that’s by according to the Article 40(2).
Important subject in Federal list such as , civil and criminal law, citizenship, finance, commerce and industry shipping, communications, health and labour, external affairs, defense and internal security.
Based on the Article 55 , the Yang di-Pertuan Agong got the right to summon Parliament that provides from the Federal Constitution because the King has the special power of prorogued or dissolve the Parliament. The summons of the Constitution is within six months that between the last sitting in one session and from the appointed date of the first meeting in the next session.
28 days is given before to the commencement for each session of Dewan Rakyat, the Leader of The Leader of the House may need to vary from time to time for the date to be fixed.
It is also for the supreme Legislative Authority in Malaysia for the Federal Parliament, if is the dissolved, the Parliament shall function at five years from the date of the first meeting from the general election. Sixty days from the date of dissolution will given if the dissolved of the Parliament from the general election to elect representative of Dewan Rakyat. Summon will goes to the Parliament before 120days for the date of dissolution.
2) The efficiency of administer and the rule of Malaysia like a huge organization. This is to ensure the function of the practice of the parliamentary to become democracy and is as a constitutional Monarchy within the head of country that is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The Federal Constitution is divided into three branches, which is the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. Mostly these branches it has an authority that divided the power to the act to checks and balance of the administration of the government is to the federal and states. It acts as a strong pillar to the government and administration of the parliament, which with a safeguard, to maintain and stabilized in the country. In this government practice is shown to the public to have a democratic system, sharing, separation, distribution of power to appreciate it.
It has two levels for the legislative body at the federal level is the Parliament and for the State is the State Legislative Assembly. The function of it is to draw up, amend and to pass law that on behalf from the Cabinet to the Parliament, which gives command and authority from the minister or the empowered party (executive officer).According to the Article 44, the Constitution, the power is from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Although, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of state but he is not involved in the law making.
The processes of the Federal Legislative are as follow:-
The will need to approve and to be Royal Seal, by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before its accepted and applied.
After the House of Representative and the Senate approved the bill, it will be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his approval
When the bill is presented to the House of Representative or The Senate
There are three step reading ,
First reading – Will read by The Minister
Second reading – Discussion among the principle
Third reading – Will discussed at the level of The House Representative
(For the bill has passed in The House of Representative, it will bring forward to the Senate for approval and will need to go thru the same process.)
After the bill agreed, it will be presented by to the Parliament, when it is printed with or without amendment by The Cabinet
The Attorney General’s Office will advise the bill of frame to The Minister and the officers from his ministry.
In the hand of Parliament, the Legislative Body is comprises by the Senate, House of Representative and so as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that leading the Legislative Council. It is acts as function of the law maker, to have an authority to raise taxes and so as to authorize the expenditure. The Federal Constitution and State Government are shared between the powers of the legislative and will systematically distribute in the Federal List, State List and so as the Common list.
The Federal List is to cover the areas of external affairs, internal security, defense, citizenship, civil and criminal war, commerce and industries, finance, communication, shipping, health and labour.
The State List is to comprises such as local government, local services, Muslim Law ( syarak laws ), land, forestry, agriculture, local public works, state government machinery, state public holiday and others.
For the Common List, is covered to the both Federal Government and the State Government which include scholarship, social welfare, town , country and wildlife protection planning.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is given 30days for the date of submission of the laws that’s to be drawn up to accept or applied at the federal level, of the sultan or ruler or Yang di-Pertuan Negeri at the State. If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong disagreed the law on the details or other legal aspects, then the Parliament or the State Legislature need to improve it and resubmit again.
Is regards the power to the govern of the federal and the state level. The matter that responsible from the governing and administration that carry out, it’s does not involve in affairs with the judiciary or legislative. It is clear that to the officers from both of the federal and state level in Federal Constitution, to implement the law from the Parliament or the State Legislative Assembly to both by the federal level and state level. The head of the Executive Authority is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the federal level and the prime minister will be the Cabinet at the state level in the State Executive Council.
The Executive at the Federal Level
Its according to the Federal Constitution of Article 39, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong , is the most powerful of the executive level in the federal government. He is the supreme head that to power and rule the country. In the Constitution , the executive powers are by the Cabinet or any of the minister to empower by the Cabinet that’s happen in normal practices. Beside that the Parliament can delegates the executive duties such as the coordinate policies and efforts to others, such as the General Elections Commission, Public Service and the Immigration and so as the Customs to run a smooth practice of the country.
The prime minister, the Cabinet or ministers, is acting like a general power to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong when the task of the executive duties need to carry out, according the Article 40(1). From the Article 40(1), is clearly shown that, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the supreme head but he did not have the power that to act as his way. It is also to avoid from the politics and the country’s governance and administration that implemented in the country. Thus, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong have the right to know everything so as the information that happens to the government of the Federation from the Cabinet.
The Council of Rulers
Based on the Article 38(1), the Council of Rulers is protected by the Constitution and established in 1948 of the Federation of Malaya. It is represents by nine state of the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri of the Ruler or Sultans. (Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan) The State Constitution will allow in certain condition if the by representative of Sultan or Ruler, during the conference of the Council Rulers. In the Council, there are two important roles , the first is the interest of Malay Ruler and the second is the administrative affairs of the country. This is clearly listed in the Article 38(2) as following:-
The selection of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong
To approve or disapproves of any acts, such as practice or religious ceremony, involves in the Federation as a whole.
To approve or disapprove the Constitution laws and give advice on the appointment for the approval or consultations with the Council of Ruler.
In Special Court under Section (1), Article 182 to appoint members
Grants pardon, postpones or commutes sentence under Section 12, Article 42,
To make decision for national policies, such as amendment to immigration policy and others that is necessary.
The Conference of the Council of Ruler will be held three or four times a years and it will last for three days. It is rank by highest by the chairperson through the seniority in every conference; it is part of the nation building and to safeguard the welfare for people to discuss the national policies and so as the sharing opinion.
The Prime Minister is chosen as chief of the Cabinet among the member from the House of Representative to gives support from the majority of the House or both the Senate. He only can lead the House of Representative by the support of large number of member. If he fails, the prime minister will need to resign, according Article 43(4). He can voluntarily also resign by his own reason, based on Article 43(5).
The Minister, is appointed to head of ministry and responsible to carry out the duties, based on Minister’s Responsibilities Act. However, there are also some minister known as Minister Without Portfolio, that help the prime minister to do some specific duties.
The Executive Body
For the Sultan and the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri is the symbol of the sovereignty of the states ( Selangor, Perak, Pahang, Johore, Kelantan, Kedah and Terrenganu) is known as Sultan. For the state without Ruler is known as Yang di-Pertuan Besar ( Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak). This position of Ruler or Sultan is protected under the Federal Constitution. The Sultan or Ruler need to ‘act on advice’ that is based on the State Executive Council that chair by the Menteri Besar, is include :-
Appointment with Menteri Besar
The dissolving of The State Legislative of the refusal and request to the assent
It also to request or discuss the special right, for position, sovereignty and supremacy and also the religious acts on the Ruler for the practices and the ceremonies as well
The duty to the head of Islamic religion or Malay customs.
It is also to have the appointment with the heir, queen or the ruler of acting or to the Acting Ruler’s Council.
To have appointment with the people holding in ranks , titles, designation and honour in Malay Customs and so as the determining of duties
It is also to make the rules for the palace and the royal audience hall
Is clear, that the Sultan have no power but only to the royal affairs, ceremonies, customs and the religious issue of Islam.
The Cabinet of Ministers is at the federal level, likes the State Council. The Menteri Besar is the head for the Malay states that with Sultan. However, if the state does not have a Sultan, it will be head by the Chief Minister. For Sabah and Sarawak will be known as State Executive Council and the Cabinet called as Supreme Council. The forming is the responsible to have a various states implements and policies is advice by the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri.
Is to drawn up the law to the executive to ensure is not abused the power and the responsibilities of the Judiciary. It’s also to keep in monitor of the provision of the Federal Constitution. The Judiciary will decide or decline the laws in the Constitution from the power of jurisdiction. The role of the The Judiciary is to balance the power of the executive and the Legislative body to the people to trust the government. Besides that, it is also to defend justice, that’s apply to all the judges that committed to the Federation and to punished, to settle between party and so as the central and state government, such as to the government, states and the central, state government and as well as to the public. The acts of the Judiciary, is to respecting the authority and carry task to the country laws.
The Judiciary will not influences by the status, rank, religious, race, and behavior of the person.
The Court is where the Judiciary area of justice and it as a third body to represent the practices of authority, based on the Article 121 (1).
The Role and Jurisdiction of the Courts
It is to defend the justice regardless such as the special rights, status, political ideology , color, the organization size or the influences as in counted to everyone. With this role, it is to create the harmony and national peace to the people by the guide of the Constitution of the Federation. There are four types power of jurisdiction to the courts, by Tun Mohamed Suffian ( 1987: 138) such as interpret of the Constitution and law, proclaim the invalid law that’s written in Federal or State and to declared of action of the government in the eyes of law.
The Federal Laws is observed by the House of Representative and the Senate in the Parliament. The law will be discussed by the State Legislative Assembly at the State Level. The Cabinet at the Federal Level and the member of the State Legislative Assembly will ‘check and balance’ for the law that have been make in the Parliament or in State Legislative Assembly and it will not exceed the limit by the Constitution. The Court will be declare if clashed in the Federal and State law:-
clashed in the Constitution according the Article 74(1)
in Article 74(1) and (2) the law that outside from the jurisdiction of the Parliament or the State Legislative
The law from State opposite the Federal law, according Article 75
It is divided in three levels of courts, The Federal Court, High Courts and the Lower Courts.
Federal Court Is headed by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Courts, there is a two High Court in Malaysia , one in Kuala Lumpur and another one in Sabah and Sarawak. It is same power for both courts and headed by the Chief Judge of the High Court. It is transfer from the High Court that’s needs advises from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Constitution.
High Court Is consists of Session Court, the Magistrate Court and High Court. The Session Court in Sabah and Sarawak is called as District Court or Mahkamah Anak Negeri. It is for the civil cases such as the punishment for the offences involving claim below RM 25,000. For the Magistrate Court is divided by Magistrate Court Class One and Two. There difference between in the types of cases examined and to imposed fine to the offenders, if is quilty. It is to sentence the offender to maximum 6 month or imprison or fine that not exceed RM 1,000. The High Court, it has unlimited power over criminal and civil cases, such as bankruptcy and company cases, matrimonial, guardianship of disable person.
Lower Court Is known as Penghulu Court or Sub-District Level, that’s included Special Court such as District Court, Juvenile Court, Syariah Court, Industrial Court and Commission Courts. It is a judicial system in the state. It’s for the minor cases at the villages in Peninsular Malaysia.
It important that’s to free from political influence or pressure in the judicial body. Is to guarantee in the Constitution is being control and pressured for the executive and the legislative party. From this, the court will not afraid in carry the task that affected the administrative process. It is shown that the court to have a neutral institution, according the Article 127 , from the Constitution of the judges behavior to the three level of the Courts. The judges are not allowed to discuss in the Parliamentary Council. The judge can be dismissal, and with carefully processed with special procedures. According to the Article 126 of the Constitution, punish will be given to whoever disrespect the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Court. The role of the judges is important to have balance of the power between the administration and the right to protect the citizen.
It’s clear that the system of the country for the administration and government in the Parliament to protect the interest and harmony to the citizen, based on the Parliamentary Assemblies or Houses law’s.
3) Parliament democracy was practices in Malaysia. For the types of government, it contains in two types such as autocracy and so as the democracy as well. The government that is in autocratic system it is often the picture of the ruler as a wicked person and he/she ignores voices from the people and also denied their power completely. This ruler is also known as iron-fisted, with a dictator as a nickname. Meanwhile, rule of democracy system the power is actually comes from the people, it is the practice from the voices and the majority decision that come from a right channel of Parliament such as the general election. Not everyone can become the representative or candidates, the person need to follow some criteria for the ballot in the highest level. The voter of the State Legislative and Parliament will have general election seat, if there is more candidates fight for the seat at the constitution, therefore , the candidate will be selected as a representative for the party of opposition or the government base on the most ballot that he or she have.
In the general election, mostly the political parties will start using the these types of tools to search for voters such as canvassing the votes, ballot boxes, banners, and so as the paper ballots for the election in the State Legislative and Parliament. The chosen voter of the candidates or representative will need to be capable and support the fulfilling condition for the citizen that they are trusted in, to represent in the House of Representative and to the State Legislative Assembly. The choosing of the representative is by voting, for the party that is win, therefore the candidate of the party will be represent the government and there’s where the election come from. The election process involving in the protesting, business of nominating of candidates, voting, ballot counting and so as the announcing of the results. During the balloting, nobody known of whom will be win and can’t forces the voter to vote for certain candidates. It is carried out by independently and secretly in the balloting process. The contesting party can still fish the voter but it cant guaranteed that the voter will vote for them in the general election because it is a character as democracy that’s, the voter will be in confidential and free from the pressure from any of the party’s.
The Parliament democracy is a form or system that important to the people to voting the party in the election for politic to have certain authority, command or power thru the government. With the election it is to practice for the principle of freedom to the people and the people have the right to choose their leader. The chosen leader will responsible to carry the task that the voter have requested on based on the constitution to the House of Representative ( federal level ) and so as the State Legislative ( state level ) . It is shown that the government is also practicing the democracy system to the chosen representative to perform task and responsibility for the citizen as they called ‘from the people to the people for the people’ ( Nazaruddin Hj. Mohd Jali, Ma’rof Redzuan, Asnarilkhadi Abu Samah, Ismail Hj. Mohd Rashid Pg93 )
After the party that wins in the election, it’s will form a majority in the Parliament level at the central government and same goes to the state government it will be the State Legislative Assembly level. It is the people formed the government by election and so as lead by people’s interest party the after winning in the election. However, if it is not by this election for this practice and the principles of democracy, the government will be in tragedy. From another angle, it is to have a freedom and democracy for the party in the country. The practice of democracy is the success of forming the government and so as the constitution to the people by the election.
It is shown and practice for the candidate or party from the election to have a social contact and the democracy for the citizen and from the contesting party that have been chosen by the voter for that respective candidate, will have some capable task that expected to carry by him or her. The party should fulfilled and sovereign the task that have promised after the election and if the party failed to do so, after 4 to 5 year the in the democratic practice they will switch to the other government party during the next election. As a conclusion, for the election is by majority of the legal election to people to change the government for their interest and so as the certainty or victory of the result for election. After the result have announced for the winning candidate and for the defeat candidate to design or practice respect to look after the confidence and the spirit of the democratic voters. It’s clear that Malaysia country is practicing, raising and the official authority from the parliamentary system that have held ten elections since 19, August 1959 to November 1999.
Types of Election
There are two types of general election. It was held by the Council Parliament and State Legislative Assembly for the public citizens to elect the representative that held every five year once. For the type two of election, is after then dissolved Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly and does not involve in any of the dissolution nor fixed schedule is mainly seen at the Federal Level. For the State of Legislative is at the state level and dissolved by the Ruler or Yang Dipertuan Negeri by the request of the Menteri Besar or Chief Minister. There are within 60 days for West Malaysia and 90 days for Sabah and Sarawak as the Parliament is dissolved. There is specified time for a reasonable Election Commission for the prepared of the arrangements and to the contesting parties to ready to hold the campaign and also to construct strategies to follow regulations or thru the law from time to time. The Election Commission it is to issue order to the Managing Officer by the Prime Minister, so that can organize the balloting processing for the general election after Parliament the dissolves from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. From there the Managing Officer will responsibility the issue statement, through the Government Gazette or newspaper, from the date for nomination that the candidate for the place and time of election in electoral constituency. That’s where the date and place for balloting in the Election Commission. In the nomination paper, those candidates that wish to contest obtain of the nominator, there a second candidate and at least another four people, that for those name is recorded in the nominated paper. The voter must register in the constituency from the place of the candidate contesting. The candidate or representative will revote again if death of the member or absenteeism in the State Legislative Assembly and so as to the Parliament. The legislation and rules will be decided by the High Court for the result if is invalid.
The Voter and His Council
There no level for the voters such as ethnic group, height, body size, color, religion, gender or race to meet the qualifications vote, according to the Constitution, Article 119 (1 ) :
When the voter reaching at 21 years old on the qualifying date
To reside in the election on the qualifying date or as absentee voter
For the electoral list it is listed in the document by voter’s names in the electoral constituency. Based on the Election Rules 14 and 15 in 1959, the name which is not listed is not allowed to vote. This checking can be done at the village level, such as village head complexes, town halls, official government building or at the places that can access by local community. The three types of absentees can be excuse is the:-
Malaysian citizen that work in Federal Armed Forces or Commonwealth countries, or the wife is staying in the place where provided by the Armed Forces authority from the date of application and register as voter in electoral district
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