|Prime Minister of Malaysia |
Perdana Menteri Malaysia
ڤردان منتري مليسيا
| Government of Malaysia |
Prime Minister's Department
|Style|| Yang Amat Berhormat |
(The Right Honourable)
unless otherwise specified
|Status||Head of Government|
|Member of|| Cabinet |
National Finance Council
National Security Council
House of Representatives
|Residence||Seri Perdana, Putrajaya|
|Seat||Perdana Putra, Putrajaya|
|Appointer||Yang di-Pertuan Agong|
|Term length||5 years or less, renewable (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|
|Formation||31 August 1957|
|Salary||MYR 22,826.65 per month|
The prime minister of Malaysia (Malay : Perdana Menteri Malaysia; Jawi : ڤردان منتري مليسيا) is the head of government of Malaysia. The prime minister directs the executive branch of the federal government. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints as the prime minister a member of Parliament (MP) who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs; this person is usually the leader of the party winning the most seats in a general election.
After the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the chief minister of the Federation of Malaya, became the first prime minister of Malaysia.
According to the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint a prime minister to preside over the Cabinet. The prime minister is to be a member of the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives), and who in his majesty's judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House. This person must be a Malaysian citizen, but cannot have obtained their citizenship by means of naturalisation or registration. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint other ministers from either the Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negara (Senate) with the prime minister's advice.
The prime minister and his cabinet ministers must take and subscribe to the oath of office and allegiance as well as the oath of secrecy in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before they can exercise functions of office. The Cabinet is collectively accountable to the 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 a 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 his/her functions and powers.
In the case where a government cannot get its appropriation (budget) legislation passed by the House of Representatives, or when 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. All other ministers shall continue to hold office by the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, unless if the appointment of any minister is revoked by his majesty upon the advice of the prime minister. Any minister may resign his office.
Following a resignation in other circumstances, defeat in an election, or the death of a prime minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would generally appoint as the new leader of the governing party or coalition as new Prime Minister.
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.
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.
Colour key (for political coalitions/parties):
Alliance Party Barisan Nasional Pakatan Harapan Perikatan Nasional
|Term of Office||Coalition / Party||Duration|
| Tunku Abdul Rahman |
|31 August 1957||22 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 and Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports. He is often referred to as Father of Independence (Bapa Kemerdekaan) and Father of Malaysia (Bapa Malaysia).|
| Abdul Razak Hussein |
(Died in office)
|22 September 1970||14 January 1976||Alliance Party (UMNO)||5 years, 114 days|
|Barisan Nasional (UMNO)|
|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. Served as Menteri Besar of Pahang, Minister of Education, Minister of Defence, Minister of Rural Development, Minister of National and Rural Development, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. He is the youngest Prime Minister of Malaysia to be elected at the age of 48. He is referred to as Father of Development (Bapa Pembangunan).|
| Hussein Onn |
|15 January 1976||16 July 1981||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)||5 years, 182 days|
|Third Malaysia Plan; 1977 Kelantan Emergency; Malaysian Technical Corporation Plan; Fourth Malaysia Plan. Served as Minister of Education, Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of Finance, Minister of Coordination of Public Corporations, Minister of Defence, Minister of Federal Territories and Deputy Prime Minister. He is referred to as Father of Unity (Bapa Perpaduan).|
| Mahathir Mohamad |
|16 July 1981||30 October 2003||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)||22 years, 106 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. Served as Minister of Education, Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia. He is referred to as Father of Modernisation (Bapa Pemodenan).|
| Abdullah Ahmad Badawi |
عبدالله احمد بداوي
|31 October 2003||3 April 2009||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)||5 years, 154 days|
|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 and Deputy Prime Minister. He is referred to as Father of Human Capital Development (Bapa Pembangunan Modal Insan).|
| Mohd Najib Abdul Razak |
محمد نجيب عبدالرزاق
|3 April 2009||9 May 2018||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)||9 years, 36 days|
|1Malaysia; New Economic Model; Tenth Malaysia Plan; 2014 GST Act; Eleventh Malaysia Plan; Transformasi Nasional 2050; 1MDB. Served as Menteri Besar of Pahang, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Defence, Minister of Education, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. He is referred to as Father of Transformation (Bapa Transformasi).|
| Mahathir Mohamad |
|10 May 2018||24 February 2020||Pakatan Harapan (PPBM)||1 year, 290 days|
|GST abolition; Vote 18; Shared Prosperity Vision 2030; 2019 Sabah and Sarawak's proposed constitution amendments; COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia; 2020 Malaysian political crisis. Served as Minister of Education, Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister. This is his second appointment as Prime Minister. He is the only person to hold the position for two opposing political parties. He is the oldest Prime Minister of Malaysia to be elected at the age of 92.|
| Muhyiddin Yassin |
محي الدين ياسين
|1 March 2020||16 August 2021||Perikatan Nasional (PPBM)||1 year, 168 days|
|COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia; 2020–21 Malaysian political crisis; 2020–21 Malaysian movement control order; 2021 Malaysia Emergency. Served as Menteri Besar of Johor, Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumerism, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Minister of Education, Minister of Home Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. He is the shortest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia.|
| Ismail Sabri Yaakob |
إسماعيل صبري يعقوب
|21 August 2021||Incumbent||Barisan Nasional (UMNO)||20 days|
|COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia; 2020–21 Malaysian political crisis; 2020–21 Malaysian movement control order. Served as Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Minister of Defence, Senior Minister (Security) and Deputy Prime Minister. He is the first Prime Minister of Malaysia born after the independence of Malaya in 1957.|
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. However, the position can be fully decided by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the King of Malaysia when the position remains empty following the sudden resignation or death of the prime minister.
Colour key (for political parties):
Alliance Party Barisan Nasional
|Term of office||Notes||Political Party|
| Abdul Razak Hussein |
|19 August 1959||19 November 1959||Abdul Razak Hussein was the acting prime minister after the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, stepped down as prime minister for three months in 1959 to strengthen his party, the Alliance for the 1959 federal elections after it had lost two states, Kelantan and Terengganu, in the state elections which at that time were held before the federal contest.|| Alliance Party |
| Ismail Abdul Rahman |
|22 September 1970||22 September 1970||Ismail Abdul Rahman occasionally acted as acting prime minister when Tunku Abdul Rahman and Abdul Razak Hussein were on leave for going abroad.|
| V. T. Sambanthan |
|3 August 1973||13 August 1973||V. T. Sambanthan was called to serve as acting prime minister and chair the cabinet meeting for a day when the former prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein was overseas and his deputy Ismail Abdul Rahman had died.|| Alliance Party |
| Ling Liong Sik |
|4 February 1988||16 February 1988||In 1988, when UMNO as the founding member of the Barisan Nasional coalition was declared unlawful and illegal political party, Mahathir Mohamad was disqualified as the Barisan Nasional chairman. Ling Liong Sik became the new chairman of the Barisan Nasional and served as an acting prime minister for a couple of days until the new party, UMNO Baru, was legalised by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).|| Barisan Nasional |
| Anwar Ibrahim |
|19 May 1997||19 July 1997||Anwar Ibrahim acted as an acting prime minister for two months started from 19 May 1997 as Mahathir Mohamad was on vacation.|| Barisan Nasional |
Interim prime minister was created by the King of Malaysia before the appointment of the new prime minister during the 2020 Malaysian political crisis. However, caretaker prime minister is mentioned as the cabinet tendered resignation to the King of Malaysia until a new prime minister is appointed.
Colour key (for political parties):
Pakatan Harapan Perikatan Nasional
|Term of office||Notes||Political Party|
| Mahathir Mohamad |
|24 February 2020||1 March 2020||During the 2020 Malaysian political crisis, Mahathir Mohamad had been appointed as the interim prime minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong following the abrupt resignation of he himself as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia since he won the 14th General Election massively in 2018 while the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decided the appointment of Muhyiddin Yassin as the new 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia few days later. This position does not exist in any part of the laws of Malaysia. However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong created this position to handle the situation during the crisis, based on his powers provided by the Federal Constitution.|| Pakatan Harapan |
| Muhyiddin Yassin |
|16 August 2021||21 August 2021||The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appointed him as the caretaker prime minister on 16 August 2021 based on his powers provided by the Federal Constitution. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong then decided to appoint Ismail Sabri as the 9th Prime Minister of Malaysia four days later. This position does not exist in any part of the laws of Malaysia. However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong created this position to handle the situation during the crisis, based on his powers provided by the Federal Constitution.|| Perikatan Nasional |
Prime ministers are usually granted certain privileges after leaving office at government expense. Former prime ministers continue to be important national figures.
The most recently deceased prime minister was Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903–1990), who died on 6 December 1990.
Politics of Malaysia takes place in the framework of a federal representative democratic constitutional monarchy, in which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is head of state and the Prime Minister of Malaysia is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the federal government and the 13 state governments. Legislative power is vested in the federal parliament and the 13 state assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, though the executive maintains a certain level of influence in the appointment of judges to the courts.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, also known as the Supreme Head, Supreme Head of the Federation, Paramount Ruler or King, is the constitutional monarch and head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957, when the Federation of Malaya gained independence from the United Kingdom. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Conference of Rulers, comprising the nine rulers of the Malay states, with the office de facto rotated between them, making Malaysia one of the world's few elective monarchies.
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.
The Dewan Rakyat is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament, the federal legislature of Malaysia. The chamber and its powers are established by Article 44 of the Constitution of Malaysia. The Dewan Rakyat sits in the Houses of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, along with the Dewan Negara, the upper house.
The Federal Constitution of Malaysia which came into force in 1957, it is the supreme law of Malaysia and it contains a total of 183 Articles. It is a written legal document that have been shaped by two previous documents which were the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948 and the Independence Constitution of 1957. 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.
The Dewan Negara is the upper house of the Parliament of Malaysia, consisting of 70 senators of whom 26 are elected by the state legislative assemblies, with two senators for each state, while the other 44 are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King), including four who are appointed to represent the federal territories.
The Election Commission of Malaysia, abbreviated SPR or EC, is a commission set up for ensuring fair and equitable operations in undertaking the elections in Malaysia. Its establishment is mandated by executive order of the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The agency falls under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department.
The Cabinet of Malaysia is the executive branch of the Government of Malaysia. 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 Federal 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 Government of Malaysia, officially the Federal Government of Malaysia, is based in the Federal Territory of Putrajaya with the exception of the legislative branch, which is located in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is a federation of 13 states operating within a constitutional monarchy under the Westminster system and is categorised as a representative democracy. The federal government of Malaysia adheres to and is created by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, the supreme law of the land.
The Ketua Menteri Sabah or Chief Minister of Sabah is the head of government of the Malaysian state of Sabah. Since September 2020, the position has been held by Hajiji Noor from the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU), Perikatan Nasional (PN) from the coalition of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) which had won the 2020 Sabah state election. As in other parts of the Malaysian federation, the Westminster Parliamentary system is adopted, whereby, the leader of the party with the most seats in the state legislature would usually become the chief minister of Sabah. In other words, it is the person commanding the support of the state legislature. The chief minister is appointed by the head of state known as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri. In comparison to other states in Malaysia, the office of the Chief Minister of Sabah has been held by a more diverse group of people in terms of ethnicity and religion. The post has been held by Kadazan-Dusuns, Bajaus, Malays, Chinese, Muruts, Rungus, Sungai, Idaans, and other persons of mixed heritage as well as being Muslims, Buddhists and Christians.
The Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan or First Minister of Negeri Sembilan or Chief Minister of Negeri Sembilan is the head of government in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan. According to the convention, the Menteri Besar is the leader of the majority party or largest coalition party of the Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly.
The Ketua Menteri Sarawak or Chief Minister of Sarawak is the head of government in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The Federal Constitution and State Constitution provides that the Yang di-Pertua Negeri may, in his discretion, appoint any member of the State Legislative Assembly who, in his judgement, commands the support of a majority of the members of that chamber as Chief Minister. By convention, the Chief Minister is the leader of the majority party or largest coalition party of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.
Najib Razak formed the second Najib cabinet after being invited by Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah to begin a new government following the 5 May 2013 general election in Malaysia. In order to be the Prime Minister, Najib sworn in before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 6 May 2013. Prior to the election, Najib led the first Najib cabinet, a coalition government that consisted of members of the component parties of Barisan Nasional.
In Malaysian political and constitutional terminology, a caretaker government is a government of Malaysia during a period that starts when the parliament is dissolved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong prior to a general election, and continues for a period after the election, until the next cabinet is appointed. A caretaker government is expected to conduct itself in accordance with a series of well-defined conventions that are administered by the Prime Minister's Department, although there is no law compelling the caretaker government to do so.
The next Malaysian general election, formally the 15th Malaysian general election, is scheduled to be held on or before July 2023 or in two months time to elect the members of the Dewan Rakyat in the 15th Parliament of Malaysia. All 222 seats will be up for election, presuming no constituencies are added or removed in a redistribution. As the 14th Parliament first sat on 16 July 2018, it will automatically be dissolved on June 2023 if not dissolved earlier. Traditionally, elections for all state legislatures are also held concurrently.
The Secretary of the House of Representatives of MalaysiaSUDR is the chief clerk of the House of Representatives of Malaysia.
The 2020–21 Malaysian political crisis is a political crisis in Malaysia. It was caused by Members of Parliament (MPs) changing party support, leading to the loss of parliamentary majority, the collapse of two successive coalition governments and resignation of two Prime Ministers in less than 18 months. In February 2020, developments commonly nicknamed the Sheraton Move saw the ousting of the elected Pakatan Harapan government and the resignation of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, after 22 months in power. They were replaced with the Perikatan Nasional government under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Political instability continued after this change throughout 2020 and into 2021, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This culminated in the resignation of Muhyiddin and his cabinet in August 2021 after 17 months in power. Ismail Sabri Yaakob was appointed Prime Minister a few days later.
The Muhyiddin cabinet was formed on 10 March 2020, nine days after Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia and dissolved 17 months, 6 days later on 16 August 2021, the day when Muhyiddin submitted his resignations as PM and of this cabinet. This cabinet is also known as the Perikatan Nasional Cabinet (PN-Cabinet) which combined 15 political parties from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) component parties, Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties and United Sabah Party (PBS).
The National Alliance is a political coalition composed of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU), Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), Homeland Solidarity Party, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and later Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (GERAKAN). The establishment of this party was induced by the Muhyiddin cabinet on 10 March 2020. This party was legalised and confirmed by Registrar Of Society (ROS) as a 'political coalition party' on 14 September 2020. As of 13 August 2021, Perikatan Nasional controls 50 seats, with support of another 50 MPs. The coalition was the ruling government of Malaysia from March 2020 to August 2021.
The Ismail Sabri cabinet has been formed on 21 August 2021 following the appointment of Ismail Sabri Yaakob as Prime Minister of Malaysia. This is the first Barisan Nasional (BN) cabinet following the coalition's crushing defeat at the 14th general election. Other than BN, this cabinet is fully endorsed by the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and four independent members of the lower house, with conditional support from the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM), party from Perikatan Nasional coalition (PN).
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