|Organising body||Malaysian Football League|
|Number of teams||12 (from 2010)|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Promotion to||Malaysia Super League|
|Relegation to||Malaysia M3 League|
|Domestic cup(s)|| FA Cup |
|International cup(s)||AFC Cup (possible via FA Cup)|
|Current champions|| Penang (1st title) |
|Most championships|| Felda United |
|TV partners||Mycujoo (streaming platform)|
|Current: 2021 Malaysia Premier League|
The Malaysia Premier League (Malay : Liga Premier) is the current second-tier professional football league in Malaysia. The league replaced the former second-tier league, Liga Perdana 2 in the Malaysian football league system.
The Malaysia Premier League is contested by 12 clubs where the season runs from early February to late October, with a Ramadan break for a month depending on the Islamic calendar. Teams play 22 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 132 matches in the season.Most games are played on Fridays, with a few games played during weekdays.
The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with promotion to the Malaysia Super League and relegation to the Malaysia M3 League.
In 2015, the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was created in the course of the privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League including the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as a managing partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.The FMLLP owned, operated and ran five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which included the Malaysia Super League (MSL), the Malaysia Premier League (MPL), the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aimed to transform and move Malaysian football forward.
From the 2016 season to the 2018 season, the league was known as the 100PLUS Liga Premier for sponsorship reasons.
The current champions are Penang who won the league in 2020.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) decided to privatise the Malaysian League from the 2004 season onwards where the Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League were formed.Teams in Liga Perdana 1 and Liga Perdana 2 were then put through a qualification and playoff phase to be promoted into the Malaysia Super League. Teams that failed to qualify were put into the new second-tier league, the Malaysia Premier League.
Liga Perdana 1 was the nation's top-tier league from 1994 until 2003 when it was then succeeded by the formation of a new professional football league, the Malaysia Super League in 2004 formed by the Football Association of Malaysia. Liga Perdana 2 was replaced by the new Malaysia Premier League where the teams were divided into two different groups.
The inaugural season for the new second-tier league started in 2004 with 18 teams divided into 2 said groups.
Between 2004 and 2006, the Malaysia Premier League was divided into two groups of 8 teams, with the number changing due to some teams withdrawing:
At the end of the season, the top team from each group of the Malaysia Premier League were promoted to the Malaysia Super League. The teams that finished at the bottom of each group were relegated to the Malaysia FAM League. The two group champions also faced-off to determine the Malaysia Premier League champion.
For the 2006-07 season, the Malaysia Premier League was reorganised into a single division of 11 teams instead of being a competition involving two separate groups of teams. There were a fewer number of teams due to more teams being promoted to the Malaysia Super League, as part of that league's expansion, while some others withdrew from the Malaysia Premier League.
From 2007 onwards, the Malaysia Premier League was combined into one single league.
Over the years since its formation, the league has witnessed numerous changes to its format in order to accommodate the changes to the rules and number of teams competing in the league, only since the 2010 season was when the number of teams competing was stabilised to 12 teams.
In 2015, the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was created in the course of the privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League including the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.The company owned, operated and ran five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which included the Malaysia Super League, the Malaysia Premier League, the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aimed to transform and move Malaysian football forward.
Every team in the Malaysia Premier League must have a licence to play in the league, or risk getting relegated from the league. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct such as organizational management. As part of the privatisation efforts for the Malaysian Football League, all clubs competing in the Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League are required to obtain FAM Club Licensing.
As a preliminary preparation towards the total privatisation of the league, FAM Club Licensing Regulations was created with the hope of it being enforced throughout the Malaysia Super League fully by the end of 2018 and the Malaysia Premier League by end of 2019.
In November 2016, the Melaka United Soccer Association became the third FAM affiliate to separate itself from the management of its football team with a separate entity called Melaka United F.C. from the 2017 Malaysia Super League season onwards. The first two being the Pahang Football Association with Pahang F.C. and the Johor Football Association with Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. in early 2016.
State football associations such as the Johor Football Association shifted its focus to state football development and managing their own state league, the Johor Darul Taʼzim League.
In February 2017, the FMLLP released a statement regarding the official status of Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. and Johor Darul Ta'zim II F.C. where Johor Darul Ta'zim II became an official feeder club to Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. when the feeder club agreement between both clubs was approved on 19 August 2016.Through the agreement, both clubs were allowed an additional four player transfer quota which can be used outside of the normal transfer windows for players between both clubs. The feeder club was also required to register a minimum of 12 players under the age of 23 for its squad from 2017 onwards. A feeder club will be required to be in the league below the main club at all times which meant that Johor Darul Ta'zim II will never be allowed promotion even if the club won the Malaysia Premier League. By 2018, a feeder club must field four players under the age of 23 in their first eleven during match days and a feeder club is not allowed to play in other cup competitions where the parent club competes in such as the Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup.
Since the inception of the league as the second-tier league in 2004, numerous logos had been introduced for the league to reflect sponsorships. In its inaugural season, the Dunhill logo was incorporated as a title sponsor and it was the only season sponsored by the tobacco company before tobacco advertising was banned in the country.
From 2004 to 2010, the Malaysia Premier League incorporated the TM brand as part of its logo as the title sponsor.
After the end of the TM sponsorship which lasted for seven consecutive years, FAM launched a new logo for the 2011 season where it was partnered with Astro Media as a strategic partner for the Malaysian League marketing.The Astro branding was only incorporated as part of the Malaysia Premier League logo from the 2012 season which included the wording of Malaysia until the partnership ended at the end of the 2014 season.
In the 2015 season, no title sponsor was incorporated when the league was sponsored by MP & Silva.For the 2016 season a new logo was introduced as part of the takeover of the league by the FMLLP where 100PLUS was announced as title sponsor.
|2004||Dunhill||Dunhill Liga Premier|
|2005–10||TM||TM Liga Premier|
|2011||No sponsor||Liga Premier|
|2012–14||Astro Media||Astro Liga Premier Malaysia|
|2015||No sponsor||Liga Premier Malaysia|
|2016–18||100PLUS||100PLUS Liga Premier Malaysia|
|2019–20||No sponsor||Liga Premier Malaysia|
The FMLLP introduced the merit-point system starting from the 2016 season. Points were awarded based on a team’s league position, progress in the Cup competitions (Malaysia FA Cup and Malaysia Cup) and the number of live matches shown. A point in the season’s Malaysian League was worth RM41,000.
The money is distributed twice per season. First during early in the season where the teams will receive a basic payment out of that particular year's league sponsorship and the second payment will be received at the end of the season where all merit-points have been calculated.For the 2016 season, the first basic payment consisted of a 30 percent cut out of the RM70 million in league sponsorship that equated to RM21 million which was distributed among the 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League.
Teams in the Malaysian League have quite often been involved in financial problems as their spending was more than their revenue. The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) is one of the active members in pursuing the issue of unpaid salaries. In January 2016, the PFAM president suggested a couple of solutions to promote financial sustainability on the competing teams' parts where the teams should make long-term investments by operating according to their budgets and requiring teams' wage bills to be no bigger than 60 percent of their total spending. Other suggestions included for the salaries to be deducted directly from team grants and winning prizes, for points to be deducted from teams experiencing payment issues, and a ruling that requires teams to settle all their late salary payments before the start of every new season.
In response to these issues, the FMLLP decided that starting from the 2016 season, football clubs would be given warnings with the deduction of three league points if they failed to pay a player's salary.If the problem persists, it will affect the licence of the clubs. When a club's licence is withdrawn, the team will not be able to compete in the next season. If a team doesn't adopt the right structure, they will be left behind and club licensing will be a problem for them, with the team ultimately dropping out from competing in the league.
Other than this, each team raises revenue via sponsorship deals from local, regional and international sponsors for their team.
Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), a free-to-air broadcaster had been broadcasting the Malaysian League for years even before the formation of the Malaysia Premier League. They continued to broadcast the league for the most part exclusively until the end of the 2010 season where Astro Media were announced as sponsors and were contracted to manage the broadcasting rights of the league for four years spanning from 2011 until the 2014 seasons.During this time, the league was broadcast on one of the cable channels of Astro Media, which was Astro Arena alongside RTM where it showed free-to-air broadcasts. In 2015, Astro Media lost the broadcasting rights to the league where the rights were given to Media Prima, a parent company of multiple free-to-air channels alongside the broadcast with RTM. In 2016, RTM stopped broadcasting the Malaysia Premier League. However, the broadcasting rights for the 2016 season were been given to Media Prima for 3 years with a maximum of three games in each gameweek shown live on television.
In 2019, MyCujoo won the Malaysia Premier League broadcasting rights for the 2019 season, with MyCujoo airing up to 3 games per week and in 2020, aired all 66 games of the season that was truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the broadcasting rights were held by the broadcasters, Malaysia Premier League matches have not been shown live for a quite some time as most of the production is fully utilised for Malaysia Super League matches. As a result, matches from the Malaysia Premier League most of the time are only shown as highlights for sports news segments on local television.
|2005, 2015–2017||Media Prima (TV3, NTV7 (2005 only), TV9)|
Since the inception of the Malaysia Premier League as a second-tier league in 2004, Kedah, PDRM FA and Felda United are the most successful Malaysia Premier League teams with two titles.
|2007–08||Kuala Muda Naza||PLUS|
|2017||Kuala Lumpur||Terengganu FC|
|2019||Sabah||Johor Darul Ta'zim II|
Table below is a list of the number of league winners since 2004.
|Kuala Muda Naza||1|
Great honours for the Malaysia Premier League are entitled to the team who have won 2 trophies (double)) or 3 trophies (treble) in the same season. It covers the Malaysia Premier League, Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup. As of 2021, only Selangor have achieved this feat.
|2005||Selangor||Liga Premier, Piala FA & Piala Malaysia|
Below is the list of golden boot winners of the Malaysia Premier League since its inception as a second-tier league in 2004.
|2008||Mohamed Moustapha N'diaye||Kelantan||27|
|2009||Haris Safwan Kamal||T-Team||24|
|2010||Muhammad Zamri Hassan||PKNS||11|
|2011||Mohd Fitri Omar||MP Muar||16|
|2012||Khairul Izuan Abdullah||PDRM||27|
|2013||Karlo Primorac||Sime Darby||24|
|2015||Francis Forkey Doe||Negeri Sembilan||17|
|2016||Ilija Spasojević||Melaka United||24|
|2017||Guilherme de Paula||Kuala Lumpur||27|
The foreign players policy has changed multiple times since the league's inception.In 2009, FAM took a drastic measure when they changed the foreign players policy to banned them from playing in the league until 2011. Foreign players were only allowed be back to the league starting from the 2012 season onwards.
All foreign players must obtain International Transfer Certificate from their previous national football governing body that their previous clubs are affiliated to before they can be register with the FAM in order to play in the Malaysia Premier League.
Universiti Teknologi MARA Football Club, or simply as UiTM F.C., is a professional football club based in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. The club currently plays in the Malaysia Super League. Founded in 2008, their home ground is 10,000-seat UiTM Stadium. The club widely known as The Lion Troops.
The 2014 Liga Super also known as the Astro Liga Super for sponsorship reasons is the 11th season of the Liga Super, the top-tier professional football league in Malaysia.
The Malaysian League or also known as M-League is a terminology used to describe the association football league in Malaysia. The terminology was mainly used to describe the league associated within Malaysian football league system.
The Malaysia Super League is the men's top professional football division of the Malaysian football league system. Administered by the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), now known as the Malaysian Football League (MFL), the Malaysia Super League is contested by twelve teams that operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia Premier League, with the two lowest-placed teams relegated and replaced by the promoted top two teams in that division.
The 2015 Liga Premier was the 12th season of the Liga Premier, the second-tier professional football league in Malaysia.
The 2016 Malaysia Super League was the 13th season of the Malaysia Super League, the top-tier professional football league in Malaysia.
The 2017 Malaysia Super League was the 14th season of the Malaysia Super League, the top-tier professional football league in Malaysia.
Football is the most popular sport in Malaysia. Association football is a national sport in Malaysia, where the first modern set of rules for the code were established in 1921, which were a major influence on the development of the modern Laws of the Game. The sport of football in the country of Malaysia is run by the Football Association of Malaysia.
The 2017 Liga Premier also known as the 100PLUS Liga Premier for sponsorship reasons was the 14th season of the Liga Premier, the second-tier professional football league in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur were crowned the champions and were promoted to Liga Super since relegated in 2012 season.
The 2017 season was Johor Darul Ta'zim Football Club's 44th season in club history and 5th season in the 2017 Liga Super after rebranding their name from Johor FC.
The 2017 season was Melaka United Soccer Association's 94th season in club history and 1st season in the Malaysia Super League after 10 years did not play in the top-tier league.
The 2017 Malaysia FA Cup was the 28th season of the Malaysia FA Cup a knockout competition for Malaysia's state football association and clubs. The final was played between Pahang and Kedah at the Shah Alam Stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor. Kedah beat Pahang 2–3 to win the cup for the fourth time.
The 2017 season was Sarawak's 13th season in club history and 5th season in the Liga Super since being promoted in 2014.
The 2018 Malaysia Super League, known as 2018 unifi Malaysia Super League for sponsorship reasons, was the 15th season of the Malaysia Super League, the top-tier professional football league in Malaysia.
The 2018 Malaysia Premier League known as 2018 100Plus Malaysia Premier League for sponsorship reasons, was the 15th season of the Malaysia Premier League, the second-tier professional football league in Malaysia since its establishment in 2004.
The 2019 Malaysia Premier League is the 16th season of the Malaysia Premier League, the second-tier professional football league in Malaysia since its establishment in 2004.
The 2019 Malaysia Super League is the 16th season of the Malaysia Super League, the top-tier professional football league in Malaysia.
The 2019 season is Sabah's 7th competitive season in the second tier of Malaysian football, the Malaysia Premier League after relegated in 2012. Along with the Malaysia Premier League, the club competes in the Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup.
The 2019 season is PDRM's 3rd season in the Malaysia Premier League since being relegated from the Malaysia Super League in 2016.
The 2020 Malaysia Super League, known as the CIMB Bank Liga Super Malaysia 2020 for sponsorship reasons, was the 17th season of the Malaysia Super League, the top-tier professional football league in Malaysia.