|Prime Minister of Malaysia|
|Perdana Menteri Malaysia|
ڤردان منتري مليسيا
| Government of Malaysia |
Prime Minister's Department
Yang Amat Berhormat
The Right Honourable
(within the Commonwealth)
|Residence||Seri Perdana, Putrajaya|
|Seat||Perdana Putra, Putrajaya|
|Appointer||Yang di-Pertuan Agong|
|Term length||Five years, renewable|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of Malaysia|
|Inaugural holder||Tunku Abdul Rahman|
|Formation||31 August 1957|
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.
Malaysia uses first-past-the-post-voting system, which means a party or coalition who gets 112 seats in lower house will lead the government.
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.[ citation needed ]
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.[ citation needed ]
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.[ citation needed ]
The office of interim prime minister was created by the king 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 until a new prime minister is appointed.[ citation needed ]
Colour key (for political coalitions/parties):
Alliance Party (2) Barisan Nasional (6) Pakatan Harapan (2) Perikatan Nasional (1)
Federal constituency represented
(Reason for leaving office)
|Term of office & mandate |
Duration in years and days
|Deputy Prime Minister|
(Term in office)
|1|| His Highness|
Tunku Abdul Rahman
تونکو عبد الرحمن
MLC for Sungei Muda, 1955–1959
MP for Kuala Kedah, 1959–1973
|1955|| Abdul Razak Hussein |
(31 August 1957–22 September 1970)
| Alliance |
|13 years and 23 days||YdPA V|
|2|| Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Haji|
Abdul Razak Hussein
عبد الرزاق حسين
MLC for Semantan, 1955–1959
MP for Pekan, 1959–1976
(Died in office)
|1974|| Ismail Abdul Rahman |
(22 September 1970–2 August 1973)
(Died in office)
| Barisan Nasional |
|Position vacant |
(2–13 August 1973)
| Hussein Onn |
(13 August 1973–15 January 1976)
|5 years and 115 days||YdPA VI|
|3|| Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun|
MP for Johore Bahru Timor, 1971–1974
MP for Sri Gading, 1974–1981
|1978||Position vacant |
(15 January–5 March 1976)
| Mahathir Mohammad |
(5 March 1976–16 July 1981)
|5 years and 184 days|
|4|| Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr.|
MP for Kota Star Selatan, 1964–1969
MP for Kubang Pasu, 1974–2004
|1982||Position vacant |
(16–18 July 1981)
| Musa Hitam |
(18 July 1981–16 March 1986)
|1986||Position vacant |
(16 March–10 May 1986)
| Abdul Ghafar Baba |
(10 May 1986–15 October 1993)
|Position vacant |
(15 October–1 December 1993)
| Anwar Ibrahim |
(1 December 1993–2 September 1998)
|Position vacant |
(2 September 1998–8 January 1999)
| Abdullah Ahmad Badawi |
(8 January 1999–31 October 2003)
|22 years and 107 days|
|5|| Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun|
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
عبد الله احمد بدوي
MP for Kepala Batas, 1978–2013
|2004||Position vacant |
(31 October 2003–7 January 2004)
| Najib Razak |
(7 January 2004–3 April 2009)
Mizan Zainal Abidin
|5 years and 155 days|
|6|| Yang Hormat Dato' Sri Haji|
MP for Pekan, 1976–1982, 1986–2022
|2013||Position vacant |
(3–10 April 2009)
| Muhyiddin Yassin |
(10 April 2009–29 July 2015)
| Ahmad Zahid Hamidi |
(29 July 2015–10 May 2018)
|9 years and 37 days|
|7 (4)|| Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr.|
MP for Langkawi, 2018–2022
|2018||Position vacant |
(10–21 May 2018)
| Pakatan Harapan |
| Wan Azizah Wan Ismail |
(21 May 2018–24 February 2020)
|1 year and 291 days||YdPA XVI|
|During this interval, the incumbent Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad was the Interim Prime Minister. (24 February–1 March 2020)|
|8|| Yang Berhormat Tan Sri Dato' Haji|
محيي الدين ياسين
MP for Pagoh, 1978–1986, since 1995
|–||Position vacant |
(1 March 2020–7 July 2021)
| Perikatan Nasional |
| Ismail Sabri Yaakob |
(7 July–16 August 2021)
|1 year and 169 days|
|During this interval, the incumbent Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin was the Caretaker Prime Minister. (16–21 August 2021)|
|9|| Yang Berhormat Dato' Sri|
Ismail Sabri Yaakob
اسماعيل صبري يعقوب
MP for Bera, since 2004
|–||Position vacant |
(21 August 2021–3 December 2022)
| Barisan Nasional |
|1 year and 96 days|
|10|| Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri|
MP for Permatang Pauh, 1982–1999, 2008–2015
MP for Port Dickson, 2018–2022
MP for Tambun, since 2022
|Incumbent||(2022)|| Pakatan Harapan |
| Ahmad Zahid Hamidi |
(since 3 December 2022)
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 |
Colour key (for political parties):
Pakatan Harapan Perikatan Nasional Barisan 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 five 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 |
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 of the Federation, the Paramount Ruler or simply as the Agong, and unofficially as the King of Malaysia, 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. 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 as the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya and was amended in 1963 to form the Constitution of Malaysia, is the supreme law of Malaysia and contains a total of 183 articles. It is a written legal document influenced by two previous documents, 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 with largely ceremonial roles. It provides for the establishment and 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 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 serve even while serving 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 from 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 comprising the 11 States of Malaya, the Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak, and 3 Federal Territories 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 12th Malaysian Parliament is the last meeting of the legislative branch of the government of Malaysia, the Parliament, comprising the directly elected lower house, the Dewan Rakyat, and the appointed upper house, the Dewan Negara. It met for the first time at the Malaysian Houses of Parliament on 28 April 2008 and met for the last time on 29 November 2012. The King then dissolved the Parliament on 3 April 2013. The dissolution was announced by the Prime Minister Najib Razak after it consented by the King.
The Premier of Sarawak is the head of government in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The premier is appointed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, also known as the state's governor. The premier is also the leader of the political party or coalition able to secure a majority in 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 Malaysian United Indigenous Party, abbreviated BERSATU or PPBM, is a nationalist political party in Malaysia. The party was preceded by the United Indigenous Association of Malaysia. It is a major component party within the Perikatan Nasional coalition and the Barisan Nasional coalition, after the collapse of the Pakatan-led government. BERSATU was approved and fully registered on 14 January 2017 by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and the use of the BERSATU logo was authorized by the Malaysian Election Commission (SPR). The party held the Prime Ministerial position as well as the majority of positions in the cabinet from May 2020 to August 2021. The party's founding members came from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Barisan Nasional rebel group Gabungan Ketua Cawangan Malaysia in 2016.
General elections were held in Malaysia on Saturday, 19 November 2022. The prospect of snap elections had been considered high due to the political crisis that had been ongoing since 2020; political instability caused by coalition or party switching among members of Parliament, combined with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to the resignation of two prime ministers and the collapse of each of their respective coalition governments since the 2018 general elections.
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