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Malaysia's Political System

Following the 1957 Constitution, Malaysia is a parliamentary-democratic federal state and a constitutional monarchy. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how MY can stand for Malaysia. The monarch, who is the country's head of state, is elected for five years by and among the eligible rulers (sultans) in nine of the 13 states that make up Malaysia. The ruling conference, which includes the nine sultans and the heads of the other states, also has some other functions in addition to choosing king (Yang di-Pertuan Agong); it is consulted in connection with important state appointments, i.a. judicial appointments, in matters of importance to the position of Islam and to constitutional amendments.

Political System of Malaysia

However, the real executive rests with the prime minister and the government, both of whom are accountable to parliament. The legislative assembly, Parliament, consists of two houses, a Senate (Dewan Negara) and a House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat). The first has 70 members, 44 appointed by the king and 26 elected by the state assemblies (two from each); it lasts for three years. The House of Representatives (as of 2004) has 219 members, elected for five years in general elections from one-person circles. Of these, 28 come from Sarawak and 26 from Sabah. The house can be dissolved by the prime minister before the period has expired. Although the house is the main chamber, both chambers participate in the legislation. Laws must be passed by both chambers, but if a law has been introduced in the House of Representatives, the Senate has only a veto veto.

The states

Each of the 13 states has its own constitution, but without having as much independence as states usually have. The two states of Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak, have a greater degree of independence. In nine of the states there is an heir at all, in seven of the cases with the title sultan. The heads of the other four states do not inherit their positions and therefore do not participate in the royal elections. The role of heads of state varies somewhat, but the executive power lies primarily with the state's first prime minister and government. The government is responsible to the elected state legislative assembly. Each state of the peninsula is divided into administrative districts led by a district official. Sabah and Sarawak have similar schemes (four and five local units), but they are called different. In total, there are 130 local administrative units.

Judiciary

The Supreme Court is the Federal Court, which adjudicates disputes between the states or between a state and the federal state and which otherwise acts as a constitutional court. It is furthermore a court case for both the peninsula of the country and for Sabah and Sarawak. In 1994, a separate appeals court was established to replace the British Privy Council, which had previously been the last appeal body. The judges of the supreme courts are appointed by the king, on the recommendation of the prime minister, who in turn has consulted the ruling conference. In the largest centers there are session dishes. They have jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases. In the largest centers there are also magistrate dishes. They have a more limited jurisdiction than the Sessions.

Malaysia's foreign policy

Foreign Policy

Malaysia is an active player in the Islamic world and also regionally within ASEAN. Under Mahathir, Malaysia appeared with ever-increasing international self-awareness, marking itself as a spokesman for "Asian values". Mahathir often spoke to the West opposite.

Mahathir argued in the 1990s to establish a large Asian trade union as a counterweight to the trade blocs in Europe and America, but met with resistance. In 1992, Malaysia joined the Southeast Asian Free Trade Association AFTA, within the framework of ASEAN. The country is also a member of the Pacific Cooperation Organization APEC, but marked Mahathir as the country that strongly warned against forced development of this free trade zone. Malaysia thus came into trade conflict with the US, which has also been the case within the WTO. The country took early and clear distance from terror after September 11, 2001. Together with Indonesia and the Philippines, Malaysia has strengthened regional cooperation against international terrorism and cross-border crime.

Malaysia's defense

Malaysia has military cooperation with Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States. Australia has troops in the country (130 personnel and one patrol aircraft in 2018). Malaysia has participated in international operations, and with personnel in several UN operations.

The total force figures for Malaysia's armed forces are 113,000 active personnel, with a reserve of 51,600 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, a semi-military force of 22,500 personnel, with a reserve of 244,700 personnel.

Army

The army has a workforce of 80,000 active personnel. Material comprising 48 tanks of a PT-91, 21 facilitate the tanks of a scorpion, 136 armored vehicles, 832 armored personnel carriers, 165 facilitate landing craft and 12 helicopters.

Air Force

The Air Force has a workforce of 15,000 active personnel. Materials include 21 fighter jets (11 F-5 Tiger II, and 10 MiG-29), 26 fighter aircraft (eight F/A-18D Hornet, and 18 Su-30), five reconnaissance aircraft, eight tankers, 33 transport aircraft, 78 training aircraft (of which 17 Hawk which can also be used as light fighter aircraft), 59 helicopters and a number of medium- heavy drones.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of 18,000 active personnel. The fleet includes two tactical submarines, 10 frigates, four corvettes, 33 patrol vessels, four minesweepers, 115 landings and 13 supply and auxiliary vessels. In addition, the Navy has 12 helicopters.

International operations

In 2018, Malaysia participated in UN operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) with two personnel and four observers, in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 829 personnel, in Sudan (UNAMID) with three personnel and one observer, and in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with five observers.

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