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Malaysia Government - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Malaysia

local long form: none

local short form: Malaysia

former: British Malaya, Malayan Union, Federation of Malaya

etymology: the name means "Land of the Malays"

Government type

federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

note: all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka (Malacca) and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by the federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls)


name: Kuala Lumpur; note - nearby Putrajaya is referred to as a federal government administrative center but not the capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur

geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the Malay word for "river junction or estuary" is kuala and lumpur means "mud"; together the words render the meaning of "muddy confluence"

Administrative divisions

13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri); Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu; and 1 federal territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) with 3 components, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya


31 August 1957 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day (or Merdeka Day), 31 August (1957) (independence of Malaya); Malaysia Day, 16 September (1963) (formation of Malaysia)


history: previous 1948; latest drafted 21 February 1957, effective 27 August 1957

amendments: proposed as a bill by Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Parliament membership in the bill’s second and third readings; a number of constitutional sections are excluded from amendment or repeal; amended many times, last in 2019

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (sharia), and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malaysia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 out 12 years preceding application


18 years of age; universal (2019)

Executive branch

chief of state: King Sultan IBRAHIM ibni al-Marhum Sultan Iskandar (since 31 January 2024); the position of the king is primarily ceremonial, but he is the final arbiter on the appointment of the prime minister

head of government: Prime Minister ANWAR Ibrahim (since 25 November 2022)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament with the consent of the king

elections/appointments: king elected by and from the hereditary rulers of 9 states for a 5-year term; election is on a rotational basis among rulers of the 9 states; election last held on 24 October 2023 (next to be held in October 2028 with installation in January 2029); prime minister designated from among members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament of Malaysia or Parlimen Malaysia consists of:
Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king and 26 indirectly elected by 13 state legislatures; members serve 3-year terms)
House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms) (2016)

elections: Senate - appointed
House of Representatives - last held on 19 Nov 2022 (next to be held in 2027)

election results: Senate - appointed; composition - men 41, women 10, percent of women 29.6%

House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - PH 37.5%, PN 30.4%, BN 22.4%, GPS 4%, WARISAN 1.8%, GRS 1.3%, other 2.6%; seats by party/coalition - PH 90, PN 50, BN 42, GPS 18, WARISAN 7, PEJUANG 4, PBM 3, PSB 1, MUDA 1, independent 4, vacant 2; composition - 192 men, 30 women; percent women 13.5%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Federal Court (consists of the chief justice, president of the Court of Appeal, chief justice of the High Court of Malaya, chief judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, 8 judges, and 1 "additional" judge); note - Malaysia has a dual judicial hierarchy of civil and religious (sharia) courts

judge selection and term of office: Federal Court justices appointed by the monarch on advice of the prime minister; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 66 with the possibility of a single 6-month extension

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Sessions Court; Magistrates' Court

Political parties and leaders

National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN [Ahmad ZAHID Hamidi]:
All Malaysia Indian Progressive Front or IPF (Barisan Kemajuan India Se-Malaysia) or AMIPF [LOGANATHAN Thoraisamy]
Love Malaysia Party (Parti Cinta Malaysia) or PCM [HUAN Cheng Guan]
Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan Cina Malaysia) or MCA [WEE Ka Siong]
Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [VIGNESWARAN Sanasee]
Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kongres India Muslim Malaysia) or KIMMA [Syed IMBRAHIM Kader]
Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party (Parti Makkal Sakti Malaysia) or MMSP [R.S. THANENTHIRAN]
United Malays National Organization (Pertubuhan Kebansaan Melayu Bersatu) or UMNO [Ahmad ZAHID Hamidi]
United Sabah People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) or PBRS [Arthur Joseph KURUP]

Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) or PH [ANWAR Ibrahim]:
Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [Anthony LOKE Siew Fook]
Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Ikatan Demokratik Malaysia) or MUDA [Syed SADDIQ Syed Adbdul Rahman]
National Trust Party (Parti Amanah Negara) or AMANAH [MOHAMAD Sabu]
People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [ANWAR Ibrahim]
United Progressive Kinabalu Organization (Pertubuhan Kinabalu Progresif Bersatu) or UPKO [EWON Benedick]

National Alliance (Perikatan Nasional) or PN [MUHYIDDIN Yassin]:
Malaysian People's Movement Party (Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia) or GERAKAN or PGRM [LAU Hoe Chai]
Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) or PPBM or BERSATU [MUHYIDDIN Yassin]
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]

Sabah People's Alliance (Gabungan Rakya Sabah) or GRS [HAJIJI Noor]:
Homeland Solidarity Party (Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku) or STAR [Jeffrey KITINGAN]
Sabah People's Ideas Party (Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah) or GAGASAN or PGRS [HAJIJI Noor]
Sabah Progressive Party (Parti Maju Sabah) or SAPP [Yong Teck Lee]
United Sabah National Organization (Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Sabah Bersatu ((Baru)) or USNO (Baru) [PANDIKAR Amin Mulia]
United Sabah Party (Parti Bersatu Sabah) or PBS [Maximus Johnity ONGKILI]

Sarawak Parties Alliance (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) or GPS [Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg or ABANG JOHARI or "Abang Jo"]:
Progressive Democratic Party (Parti Demokratik Progresif) or PDP [TIONG King Sing]
Sarawak People's Party (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) or PRS [Joseph SALANG Gandum]
Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Rakyat Bersatu Sarawak) or SUPP [SIM Kui Hian]
United Bumiputera Heritage Party (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersata) or PBB [Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg or ABANG JOHARI or "Abang Jo"]

Others receiving votes in 2022 general election
Malaysian Nation Party (Parti Bangsa Malaysia) or PBM [Larry SNG Wei Shein] 
Heritage Party (Parti Warisan) or WARISAN [SHAFIE Apdal]
Social Democratic Harmony Party (Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat) or KDM [PETER Anthony]
Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Ikatan Demokratik Malaysia) or MUDA [Syed SADDIQ] 

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed NAZRI Bin Abdul Aziz (since 19 April 2023)

chancery: 3516 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 572-9700

FAX: [1] (202) 572-9882

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Edgard D. KAGAN (since 20 March 2024)

embassy: 376 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur

mailing address: 4210 Kuala Lumpur, Washington DC  20521-4210

telephone: [60] (3) 2168-5000

FAX: [60] (3) 2142-2207

email address and website:

Flag description

14 equal horizontal stripes of red (top) alternating with white (bottom); there is a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star; the flag is often referred to as Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory); the 14 stripes stand for the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal government; the 14 points on the star represent the unity between these entities; the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam; blue symbolizes the unity of the Malay people and yellow is the royal color of Malay rulers

note: the design is based on the flag of the US

National symbol(s)

tiger, hibiscus; national colors: gold, black

National anthem

name: "Negaraku" (My Country)

lyrics/music: collective, led by Tunku ABDUL RAHMAN/Pierre Jean DE BERANGER

note: adopted 1957; full version only performed in the presence of the king; the tune, which was adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie," was originally the anthem of Perak, one of Malaysia's 13 states

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 4 (2 cultural, 2 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Gunung Mulu National Park (n); Kinabalu Park (n); (c); Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (c)

NOTE: The information regarding Malaysia on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Malaysia 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Malaysia 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.