Official Name: Federation of Malaysia

Form of State: Federated Constitutional Monarchy

The Executive: His Royal Highness (King) appoints a Prime Minister and, on the Prime Minister’s advice, the Cabinet

Head of State: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King or Supreme Sovereign), elected by and from among the nine hereditary rulers of Malaysia’s states. In practice, the post is rotated every five years.

National Legislature: Bicameral federal parliament. The Senate (Dewan Negara, the upper house) has 70 members—26 elected from the state legislatures and 44 appointed by the king. The House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat, the lower house) has 222 directly elected members. Senators serve six-year terms and members of the lower house five-year terms.

State Governments: There are state governments in each of Malaysia’s 13 states, in nine of which the heads of state are hereditary rulers. Each state has its own constitution, a council of state or cabinet with executive authority, and a legislature that deals with matters not reserved to the federal parliament. There are also three federal territories, namely Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

Legal System

The Malaysian Law is mainly based on the common law legal system, a direct result of the colonisation of Malaya, Sarawak, and North Borneo by Britain between the early 19th century to 1960s. The Constitution of Malaysia — supreme law of the land — sets out the legal framework and rights of Malaysian citizens. Federal laws enacted by the Parliament of Malaysia apply throughout the country. However, there are also state laws enacted by the State Legislative Assemblies which apply in the particular state. The Constitution of Malaysia also provides for a unique dual justice system—the secular laws (both criminal and civil) and Sharia laws.

Parliament has the exclusive power to make laws over matters falling under the Federal List, such as citizenship, defence, internal security, civil and criminal law, finance, trade, commerce and industry, education, labour and tourism. Each State, through its Legislative Assembly, has legislative power over matters under the State List, such as land, local government, Syariah law and Syariah courts, State holidays and State public works.

Parliament and State legislatures share the power to make laws over matters under the Concurrent List, such as water supplies and housing, but Federal law prevails over State law in the event of a conflict.

Open Company in Malaysia

Besides helping you to register company in Malaysia, VentureHaven is also a comprehensive business guide that helps you understand local society, connect with local people and culture, so as to establish a confident local presence.

Contact Us for a free consultation when you want to open company in Malaysia.