Prime Minister of Malaysia

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Prime Minister of Malaysia
Perdana Menteri Malaysia
ڤردان منتري مليسيا
Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg
Emblem of the Prime Minister's Office
Anwar Ibrahim 09012023 (cropped).jpg
Anwar Ibrahim
since 24 November 2022
Government of Malaysia
Prime Minister's Department
Style Prime Minister
Yang Amat Berhormat
The Right Honourable
(within the Commonwealth)
His Excellency
Member of
Reports to Parliament
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
Formation31 August 1957;65 years ago (1957-08-31)
Salary RM22,826.65 [1]

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.


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 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. [2]


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 ]

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. 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 ]

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.[ citation needed ]

Interim prime minister

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 ]

List of prime ministers of Malaysia

Colour key (for political coalitions/parties):
   Alliance Party (2)    Barisan Nasional (6)    Pakatan Harapan (2)    Perikatan Nasional (1)

Prime Minister
Federal constituency represented
(Reason for leaving office)
Term of office & mandate [lower-alpha 1]
Duration in years and days
Deputy Prime Minister
(Term in office)
(Party) [lower-alpha 2]
1 Aankomst Prins Abdoel Rahman op Ypenburg, Bestanddeelnr 911-8186 (cropped 3to4).jpg His Highness
Tunku Abdul Rahman

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

31 August
22 September
1955 Abdul Razak Hussein
Walter Nash & Abdul Razak Hussein in Kuala Lumpur, 1960 (cropped).jpg
(31 August 1957–22 September 1970)
1st Cabinet
Rahman I
Abdul Rahman
HRH Tuanku Abdul Rahman Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Muhammad. The Tuanku Ja'afar Royal Gallery, Seremban.jpg
1959 2nd Cabinet
Rahman II
Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah (cropped).jpg
CO 1069-504-18 (7893276430).jpg
1964 3rd Cabinet
Rahman III
Ismail Nasiruddin
YDP Agong 4.jpg
1969 4th Cabinet
Rahman IV
13 years and 23 daysYdPA V
Abdul Halim
Tunku Abdul Halim and Tunku Bahiyah in henna ceremony (cropped).jpg
2 Ministers, ontvangsten, buitenlandse betrekkingen, Luns, JAMH, Razak Tun Abd, Bestanddeelnr 083-0834 (cropped).jpg Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Haji
Abdul Razak Hussein

عبد الرزاق حسين
MLC for Semantan, 1955–1959
MP for Pekan, 1959–1976

(Died in office)
22 September
14 January
1974 Ismail Abdul Rahman
Ismail Abdul Rahman.jpeg
(22 September 1970–2 August 1973)
(Died in office)
5th Cabinet
Razak I
Barisan Nasional
Position vacant
(2–13 August 1973)
Hussein Onn
Tun Hussein Onn potrait (cropped-1-closeup).jpg
(13 August 1973–15 January 1976)
6th Cabinet
Razak II
5 years and 115 daysYdPA VI
Yahya Petra

3 Tun Hussein Onn potrait (cropped-1-closeup).jpg Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun
Hussein Onn

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

15 January
16 July
1978 Position vacant
(15 January–5 March 1976)
Barisan Nasional
7th Cabinet
Hussein I
Mahathir Mohammad
Mahathir 1984 (cropped).jpg
(5 March 1976–16 July 1981)
8th Cabinet
Hussein II
Ahmad Shah

5 years and 184 days
4 Mahathir 1984 (cropped).jpg Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad

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

16 July
30 October
1982 Position vacant
(16–18 July 1981)
Barisan Nasional
9th Cabinet
Mahathir I
Musa Hitam
(18 July 1981–16 March 1986)
10th Cabinet
Mahathir II
SI Potret 0001.jpg
1986 Position vacant
(16 March–10 May 1986)
11th Cabinet
Mahathir III
Abdul Ghafar Baba
Ghafar Baba.jpg
(10 May 1986–15 October 1993)
Azlan Shah
SultanAzlanShah (cropped).JPG
1990 12th Cabinet
Mahathir IV
Position vacant
(15 October–1 December 1993)
Anwar Ibrahim
Anwar 980416.jpg
(1 December 1993–2 September 1998)
HRH Tuanku Ja'afar Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.jpg
1995 13th Cabinet
Mahathir V
Position vacant
(2 September 1998–8 January 1999)
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
The Prime Minister of Malaysia Mr. Dato Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmed (cropped).jpg
(8 January 1999–31 October 2003)
14th Cabinet
Mahathir VI
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo walks with His Majesty, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia cropped.jpg
1999 YdPA XII
Sirajuddin of Perlis in 2018.jpg
22 years and 107 days
5 01 Badawi in Maldives (cropped).jpg Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

عبد الله احمد بدوي
(b. 1939)
MP for Kepala Batas, 1978–2013

31 October
3 April
2004 Position vacant
(31 October 2003–7 January 2004)
Barisan Nasional
15th Cabinet
Abdullah I
Najib Razak
Najib crop.jpg
(7 January 2004–3 April 2009)
16th Cabinet
Abdullah II
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Tuanku Mizan 2011.jpg
2008 17th Cabinet
Abdullah III
5 years and 155 days
6 Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak (9to12).JPG Yang Hormat Dato' Sri Haji
Najib Razak

نجيب رزاق
(b. 1953)
MP for Pekan, 1976–1982, 1986–2022

(Lost reelection)
3 April
9 May
2013 Position vacant
(3–10 April 2009)
Barisan Nasional
18th Cabinet
Najib I
Muhyiddin Yassin
(10 April 2009–29 July 2015)
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy Prime Minister Hamidi - 2017 (36294565072) (cropped) (cropped).jpg
(29 July 2015–10 May 2018)
Abdul Halim
Abdul Halim of Kedah (cropped).jpg
19th Cabinet
Najib II
Muhammad V
Sultan Muhammad V 2017.jpg
9 years and 37 days
7 (4) Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (9to12).jpg Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad

محاضير محمد
(b. 1925)
MP for Langkawi, 2018–2022

10 May
24 February
2018 Position vacant
(10–21 May 2018)
Pakatan Harapan
20th Cabinet
Mahathir VII
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 2019.jpg
(21 May 2018–24 February 2020)
1 year and 291 daysYdPA XVI
King Abdullah of Pahang at the Enthronement of Naruhito (1).jpg
(since 2019)
During this interval, the incumbent Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad was the Interim Prime Minister. (24 February1 March 2020)
8 Muhyiddin Yassin (51087589446) (cropped).jpg Yang Berhormat Tan Sri Dato' Haji
Muhyiddin Yassin

محيي الدين ياسين
(b. 1947)
MP for Pagoh, 1978–1986, since 1995

1 March
16 August
Position vacant
(1 March 2020–7 July 2021)
Perikatan Nasional
21st Cabinet
Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Ismail Sabri Yaakob 01042022 (cropped).jpg
(7 July–16 August 2021)
1 year and 169 days
During this interval, the incumbent Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin was the Caretaker Prime Minister. (1621 August 2021)
9 Ismail Sabri Fumio Kishida 2022 (cropped).jpg Yang Berhormat Dato' Sri
Ismail Sabri Yaakob

اسماعيل صبري يعقوب
(b. 1960)
MP for Bera, since 2004

(Lost reelection)
21 August
24 November
Position vacant
(21 August 2021–3 December 2022)
Barisan Nasional
22nd Cabinet
Ismail Sabri
1 year and 96 days
10 Anwar Ibrahim 09012023 (cropped).jpg Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri
Anwar Ibrahim

انور ابراهيم‎
(b. 1947)
MP for Permatang Pauh, 1982–1999, 2008–2015
MP for Port Dickson, 2018–2022
MP for Tambun, since 2022

24 November
Incumbent (2022) Pakatan Harapan
23rd Cabinet
(since 2022)
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy Prime Minister Hamidi - 2017 (36294565072) (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Fadillah Yusof
Fadillah Yusof 2021.jpg
(since 3 December 2022)
70 days


Anwar IbrahimIsmail Sabri YaakobMuhyiddin YassinMahathir MohamadMohd Najib Abdul RazakAbdullah Ahmad BadawiMahathir MohamadHussein OnnAbdul Razak HusseinTunku Abdul RahmanPrime Minister of Malaysia


  1. Legend for mandate portion of column:
    a year
    indicates a general election won by the government or that led to the formation of a government (the year links to the election's article);
    a parenthesised year
    indicates an election resulting in no single party or coalition winning a parliamentary majority (the year links to the election's article);
    a dash
    indicates the formation of a majority government without an election.
  2. This column names only the Prime Minister's party. The government may be a complex coalition of several parties and independents; those are not listed here.

List of acting prime ministers of Malaysia

Colour key (for political parties):

   Alliance Party    Barisan Nasional



Term of officeNotesPolitical Party
Tun Abdul Razak (MY 2nd PM).jpg Abdul Razak Hussein
19 August 195919 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.jpeg Ismail Abdul Rahman
22 September 197022 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.
Tun VT Sambanthan.png V. T. Sambanthan
3 August 197313 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
(b. 1943)
4 February 198816 February 1988In 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
Cohen Anwar 980416 (cropped 3to4).jpg Anwar Ibrahim
(b. 1947)
19 May 199719 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

List of interim or caretaker prime ministers of Malaysia

Colour key (for political parties):

   Pakatan Harapan    Perikatan Nasional    Barisan Nasional



Term of officeNotesPolitical Party
Mahathir Mohamad in 18th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (cropped).jpg Mahathir Mohamad
(b. 1925)
24 February 20201 March 2020During 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. [3] Pakatan Harapan
Muhyiddin Yassin (51087589446) (cropped).jpg Muhyiddin Yassin
(b. 1947)
16 August 202121 August 2021The 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. [4] Perikatan Nasional

See also


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    1. "CPPS Policy Factsheet: Remuneration of Elected Officials in Malaysia" (PDF). Centre for Public Policy Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
    2. "Malaysia Gelar Pemilu Hari Ini". CNN Indonesia (in Indonesian). 19 November 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
    3. Yusof, Dr Muhammad Fathi (25 February 2020). "Kuasa Perdana Menteri Interim ditentukan Agong". BH Online (in Malay). Retrieved 15 April 2020.
    4. "Istana: Muhyiddin to serve as caretaker PM pending search for successor". Malaysiakini. 16 August 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.