Prime Minister of Malaysia

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Prime Minister of Malaysia
Perdana Menteri Malaysia
Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg
Official emblem of the Office of the Prime Minister
Secretary Pompeo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (43814329771) (Mahathir cropped).jpg
Mahathir Mohamad

since 10 May 2018
Government of Malaysia
Prime Minister's Department
Style Yang Amat Berhormat
(The Most Honourable)
unless otherwise specified
Member of Cabinet
National Finance Council
House of Representatives
Reports to Parliament
Residence Seri Perdana
Seat Perdana Putra, Putrajaya
Appointer Muhammad V
Yang Di-Pertuan Agong
Term length While commanding the confidence of the lower house of Parliament with General Elections held no more than five years apart
Constituting instrument Federal Constitution of Malaysia
Inaugural holder Tunku Abdul Rahman
Formation31 August 1957;61 years ago (1957-08-31)
Salary MYR 22,826.65 per month [1]

The Prime Minister of Malaysia (Malay : Perdana Menteri Malaysia) is the head of government and the highest political office in Malaysia. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints Prime Minister as a Member of Parliament (MP) who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs. The Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet of Malaysia, the de facto executive branch of government. On 18 October 2018, 7th Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, announced a two-term limit (10 years Max) to all Cabinet Profolio.

Malay language Austronesian language

Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family spoken in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. A language of the Malays, it is spoken by 290 million people across the Strait of Malacca, including the coasts of the Malay Peninsula of Malaysia and the eastern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, and has been established as a native language of part of western coastal Sarawak and West Kalimantan in Borneo. It is also used as a trading language in the southern Philippines, including the southern parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Sulu Archipelago, and the southern predominantly Muslim-inhabited municipalities of Bataraza and Balabac in Palawan.

A head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand in the north and maritime borders with Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.


After the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya, became Prime Minister of Malaysia. From independence until the 2018 general election, the Prime Minister had always been from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party of Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance). Following a general election, Mahathir Mohamad took office on 10 May 2018, as the first Prime Minister of the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH). Mahathir is the first Prime Minister not to represent the Alliance/Barisan Nasional coalition. He is also the first Malaysian Prime Minister to serve from two different parties and on non-consecutive terms.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Malaysian politician

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah II, ; was a Malaysian politician who served as the first Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955 to 1957, before becoming Malaya's first Prime Minister after independence in 1957. He remained Prime Minister following the formation of Malaysia in 1963, when Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore joined the federation, until his resignation in 1970.

Federation of Malaya former country

The Federation of Malaya was a federation of what previously had been British Malaya comprising eleven states that existed from 1 February 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957, and in 1963 Malaysia was formed from the federation by incorporating the Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak Crown Colonies.

Hari Merdeka National holiday in Malaysia, observed annually on 31 August

Hari Merdeka, also known as Hari Kebangsaan, refers to the day when the Federation of Malaya's independence from the British Empire was officially declared. At exactly 09:30 on 31 August 1957, the declaration was read by the first Chief Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman at the Merdeka Stadium in the presence of thousands of people including Malay Rulers, members of the federal government, and foreign dignitaries.

Mahathir and the PH coalition have confirmed that, after a period of around 2 years, People's Justice Party (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim will take over as Prime Minister. On 11 June 2018, Mahathir said he's prepared to stay as Prime Minister for more than two years if that is what members of the public wants. [2]

Anwar Ibrahim Malaysian politician

Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician who is currently the president of the People's Justice Party and leader of the Pakatan Harapan coalition. He was Leader of the Opposition between 2008 and 2015, and a founder and leading figure of the People's Justice Party or Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).


The Prime Minister’s office at Perdana Putra, Putrajaya Perdana Putra building 2005.jpg
The Prime Minister’s office at Perdana Putra, Putrajaya

According to the federal constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Prime Minister to preside over the Cabinet and requires such Prime Minister to be a member of the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House and must not a Malaysian citizen by naturalisation or by registration. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Prime Minister's advice shall appoint other Ministers from either Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negara (Senate).

Constitution of Malaysia constitution

The Federal Constitution of Malaya, which came into force in 1957, is the supreme law of Malaya. The Federation was initially called the Federation of Malaya and it adopted its present name, Malaysia, when the States of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore became part of the Federation. The Constitution establishes the Federation as a constitutional monarchy having the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Head of State whose roles are largely ceremonial. It provides for the establishment and the organisation of three main branches of the government: the bicameral legislative branch called the Parliament, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate ; the executive branch led by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers; and the judicial branch headed by the Federal Court.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong monarch and head of state of Malaysia

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, also known as the Supreme Head or the King, is the monarch and head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957, when the Federation of Malaya gained independence from the United Kingdom. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with an elected monarch as head of state. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is one of the few elected monarchs in the world. The concept of an elected monarch is believed to be rooted in the 7th-century kingdoms of Srivijaya and Ayutthaya, where at that time the king was elected from city-states in Srivijaya.

Cabinet of Malaysia Executive authority of Malaysia

The Cabinet of Malaysia is the executive branch of Malaysia's government. Led by the Prime Minister, the cabinet is a council of ministers who are accountable collectively to the Parliament. According to the Article 43 of the Constitution, members of the Cabinet can only be selected from members of either houses of Parliament. Formally, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints all Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister. The constitution is amended by repealing the Clause (8) of Article 43, enabling a person who is a member of State Legislative Assembly to continue to be one even when he or she is appointed as a minister or deputy minister in the cabinet. Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, unless the appointment of any Minister shall have been revoked by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister but any Minister may resign his office. In practice, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is obliged to follow the advice of the Prime Minister on the appointment and dismissal of ministers.

The Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers must take and subscribe in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the oath of office and allegiance as well as the oath of secrecy before they can exercise the functions of office. The Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to Parliament of Malaysia. The members of the Cabinet shall not hold any office of profit and engage in any trade, business or profession that will cause conflict of interest. The Prime Minister's Department (sometimes referred to as the Prime Minister's Office) is the body and ministry in which the Prime Minister exercises its functions and powers.

Parliament of Malaysia bicameral legislature of Malaysia

The Parliament of Malaysia is the national legislature of Malaysia, based on the Westminster system. The bicameral parliament consists of the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara (Senate). The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) as the Head of State is the third component of Parliament.

A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another. Typically, this relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party.

The Prime Minister's Department is a federal government ministry in Malaysia. Its objective is "determining the services of all divisions are implemented according to policy, legislation / regulations and current guidelines". It is headed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia followed by other Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. The Department consists of the Prime Minister's Office, the Deputy Prime Minister's Office and more than 50 other government agencies and entities. The Prime Minister's Department was established in July 1957. Its headquarters are in Perdana Putra, Putrajaya.

If a government cannot get its appropriation (budget) legislation passed by the House of Representatives, or the house passes a vote of "no confidence" in the government, the Prime Minister is bound by convention to resign immediately. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong's choice of replacement prime minister will be dictated by the circumstances. Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, unless the appointment of any Minister shall have been revoked by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister but any Minister may resign his office.

In law and government, appropriation is the act of setting apart something for its application to a particular usage, to the exclusion of all other uses.

Following a resignation in other circumstances, defeated in an election or the death of a prime minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will generally appoint as Prime Minister the person voted by the governing party as their new leader.


The power of the prime minister is subject to a number of limitations. Prime ministers removed as leader of his or her party, or whose government loses a vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives, must advise a new election of the lower house or resign the office. The defeat of a supply bill (one that concerns the spending of money) or unable to pass important policy-related legislation is seen to require the resignation of the government or dissolution of Parliament, much like a non-confidence vote, since a government that cannot spend money is hamstrung, also called loss of supply.

The prime minister's party will normally have a majority in the House of Representatives and party discipline is exceptionally strong in Malaysian politics, so passage of the government's legislation through the House of Representatives is mostly a formality.

Under the Constitution, the Prime Minister’s role includes advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on:

Under Article 39 of the Constitution, executive authority is vested in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. However, Article 40(1) states that in most cases, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is bound to exercise his powers on the advice of the Cabinet or a minister acting under the Cabinet's general authority. Thus, most of the day-to-day work of governing is actually done by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

Caretaker Prime Minister

Under Article 55(3) of Constitution of Malaysia, the lower house of Parliament unless sooner dissolved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with his own discretion on the advice of the prime minister shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. Article 55(4) of the Constitution permits a delay of 60 days of general election to be held from the date of dissolution and Parliament shall be summoned to meet on a date not later than 120 days from the date of dissolution. Conventionally, between the dissolution of one Parliament and the convening of the next, the prime minister and the cabinet remain in office in a caretaker capacity.

Acting Prime Minister

From time to time prime ministers are required to leave the country on business and a deputy is appointed to take their place during that time. In the days before jet aeroplanes, such absences could be for extended periods.

List of Prime Ministers of Malaysia

Colour key (for political coalitions):
   Alliance    Barisan Nasional    Pakatan Harapan


(birth and death)Constituency

Term of officeCoalition (Party)Duration
1 Tunku abd rahman.jpg Tunku Abdul Rahman

MLC for Sungei Muda, 1955–1959
MP for Kuala Kedah, 1959–1973

31 August 195722 September 1970 Alliance Party (UMNO)13 years, 22 days
1955, 1959, 1964, 1969
First Malayan Five-Year Plan; Malayan Emergency; Second Malayan Five-Year Plan; National Education Policy; Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation; Malaysia Agreement; PAP–UMNO relations; Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965; 1966 Sarawak Emergency; First Malaysia Plan; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Organisation of Islamic Cooperation; 13 May Incident; Served as Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports. He is often referred to as Father of Independence (Bapa Kemerdekaan) and Father of Malaysia (Bapa Malaysia).
2 Tun Abdul Razak (MY 2nd PM).jpg Abdul Razak Hussein

MLC for Semantan, 1955–1959
MP for Pekan, 1959–1976

(Died in office)

22 September 197014 January 1976 Alliance Party (UMNO)5 years, 114 days
Razak Report; National Operations Council; 1971 constitutional amendments; Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality; National Culture Policy; National Energy Policy; National Petroleum Policy; Second Malaysia Plan; Malaysian New Economic Policy; The youngest to be elected in the office, at the age of 48. Served as Minister of Education, Minister of Defence, Minister of Rural Development, Minister of National and Rural Development, Minister of Lands and Mines, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance. He is referred to as Father of Development (Bapa Pembangunan).
3 Tun Hussein Onn (MY 3rd PM).jpg Hussein Onn

MP for Johore Bahru Timor, 1971–1974
MP for Sri Gading, 1974–1981

14 January 197616 July 1981 BN (UMNO)5 years, 183 days
Third Malaysia Plan; 1977 Kelantan Emergency; Malaysian Technical Corporation Plan; Fourth Malaysia Plan. Served as Minister of Education, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Minister of Finance, Minister of Coordination of Public Corporations, Minister of Defence, Minister of Federal Territories. He is referred to as Father of Unity (Bapa Perpaduan).
4 Mahathir Mohamad 2007.jpg Mahathir Mohamad

(b. 1925)
MP for Kota Star Selatan, 1964–1969
MP for Kubang Pasu, 1974–2004

16 July 198131 October 2003 BN (UMNO)22 years, 107 days
1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1999
Clean, Fair and Trustworthy; Look East Policy; Privatisation Policy; Malaysia Incorporated Policy; Buy British Last; Leadership by Example; 70 Million Population Policy; Heavy Industry Policy; Application of Islamic Values Policy; 1983 constitutional amendments; Fifth Malaysia Plan; 1986 Sabah Emergency; Operation Lalang; 1988 constitutional amendments; Vision 2020; Sixth Malaysia Plan; 1993 constitutional amendments; Seventh Malaysia Plan; Eighth Malaysia Plan; He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia. He led the BN into 5 consecutive election victories. Served as Minister of Education, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance. He is referred to as Father of Modernisation (Bapa Pemodenan).
5 AB April 2008.jpg Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

(b. 1939)
MP for Kepala Batas, 1978–2013

31 October 20033 April 2009 BN (UMNO)5 years, 154 days
2004, 2008
Ninth Malaysia Plan. Served as Minister without Portfolio, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Minister of Education, Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance, Minister of Internal Security. He is referred to as Father of Human Capital Development (Bapa Pembangunan Modal Insan).
6 Najib Razak 2008-08-21.jpg Najib Razak

(b. 1953)
MP for Pekan, 1974-1982, 1986-2018

3 April 200910 May 2018 BN (UMNO)9 years, 37 days
1MDB; Tenth Malaysia Plan; Eleventh Malaysia Plan; Prior to his appointment as PM, he served as Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Defence, Minister of Education, Minister of Finance.
7 Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (42910851015) (cropped).jpg Mahathir Mohamad

(b. 1925)
MP for Langkawi, since 2018

10 May 2018Incumbent PH (PPBM)284 days
This is his second appointment as Prime Minister, 15 years after his retirement from politics. He was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and referred as Father of Modernisation (Bapa Pemodenan). He is the only person to hold the position for two opposing political parties. He is the oldest Prime Minister to be elected at the age of 92.


Najib RazakAbdullah Ahmad BadawiMahathir MohamadHussein OnnAbdul Razak HusseinTunku Abdul RahmanPrime Minister of Malaysia

Living former Prime Ministers

Prime ministers are usually granted certain privileges after leaving office at government expense. Former prime ministers continue to be important national figures.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 2003–200926 November 1939 (age 79)
Najib Razak 2009–201823 July 1953 (age 65)

The most recently deceased prime minister was Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903–1990), who died on 6 December 1990. Currently the oldest living former prime minister is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the age of 79.

See also

Related Research Articles

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1984 in Malaysia

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1999 in Malaysia is the 42nd anniversary of Malaysia's independence.

2002 in Malaysia

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1981 in Malaysia

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The 1977 Kelantan Emergency took place in the state of Kelantan in Malaysia. The state of emergency was declared by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 8 November 1977 upon the request of the federal government following a political impasse and street violence in Kelantan. This was the fifth and last declaration of emergency in Malaya and Malaysia after the 1948-1960 Malayan Emergency, 1962 Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, 1966 Sarawak constitutional crisis and the 1969 13 May Incident.

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Tan Sri Abdul Kadir bin Sheikh Fadzir is a Malaysian politician. He was formerly the Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism (1999–2004) and Information Minister (2004–2006) in the Cabinet of Malaysia. He won the Kulim-Bandar Baharu constituency, Kedah for seven terms since the 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2004 elections but did not contest in 2008.


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