Malaysia

Last modified: 27 November 2020

The country

The state is known as Malaysia also in its national language. Malaysia consists of thirteen states and three federal territories. The thirteen states are based on historical Malay kingdoms. These states are Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Terengganu. The three federal territories are Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

The area is probably already inhabited for 40.000 years. In the 1st century traders from India and China arrived in the area. The Kingdom of Langkasuka reigned the northern area of the Malay Peninsula between the 2nd and 15th century. The south was part of the Srivijaya Empire between the 7th and 13th century. The Majapahit empire afterwards influenced the Peninsular Malasyia and the Malay Archipelago. The first independent state in the area arose in the early 15th century, the Malacca Sultanate, but it was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511, and the Dutch in 1641. In 1786 the British Empire took over, and in 1824 toook control of Malacca. The Malay Kingdoms soon became British protectorates.

The Japanese invaded the area in the Second World War. The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first united as the Malayan Union in 1946, but soon replaced by the Federation of Malaya in 1948. The country finally became independent on 31 August 1957. North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore became part of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Singapore however was expelled in 1965.

Sovereign

The present Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Sultan Abdullah Shah of Pahang. He was born on 30 July 1959. He is the 6th Sultan of Pahang. He was elected the 16th Yang di- Pertuan Agong on 24 January 2019, and began his five-year term on 31 January 2019.

His coronation took place on 30 July 2019 at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Deputy Sovereign

The present Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah of Perak. He was born on 27 November 1956. He is the 35th Sultan of Perak.

He was elected as deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 14 October 2016. He began his five-year term on 13 December 2016. He as the acting Yang Di-Pertuan Agong during the medical leave of Sultan Muhammad V from 2 November 2018 to 31 December 2018, and again after the abdication of Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 6 January 2019. On 24 January 2019 he was re-elected as the Deputy King for a new 5-year-term starting on 31 January 2019.

Other details

The country’s motto is Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu, which means Unity is Strength.

Postal address

Istana Negara
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Succession

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy. Nine of the Malay states have royal families: Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu. The nine rulers of these Malay states and the governors of the other four states form the Conference of Rulers (Majlis Raja-Raja). They are responsible for the election of both the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and can also remove them from their functions. After having served as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong a ruler may not stand for election until all rulers of the other states have also stood for election. Elections are being held every five years and carried out by a secret ballot. A ruler can’t be a minor.

The supreme head of the Federation, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, shall take precedence over all persons in the Federation and shall not be liable to any proceedings whatsoever in any court. The Consort of the Yang di- Pertuan Agong (the Raja Permaisuri Agong) shall take precedence next after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over all other persons in the Federation. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall be elected by the Conference of Rulers for a term of five years, but may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Conference of Rulers or be removed from office by the Conference of Rulers, and shall cease to hold office on ceasing to be a Ruler. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not exercise his functions as Ruler of his State except those Head of the religion of Islam. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong shall not hold any appointment carrying any remuneration, and they shall not actively engage in any commercial enterprise. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not receive any emoluments of any kind payable or accruing to as the Ruler of his State under the provisions of the Constitution of that State or of any State law. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not, without the consent of the Conference of Rulers, be absent from the Federation for more than fifteen days, except on a State visit to another country. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall be the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the Federation. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites in respect of all offences which have been tried by court-martial and all offences committed.

There shall be a Deputy Supreme Head of the Federation (to be called the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong) who shall exercise the functions and have the privileges of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during any vacancy in the office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and during any period during which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is unable to exercise the functions of his office owing to illness, absence from the Federation or for any other cause, but the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall not exercise those functions during any inability or absence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong which is expected to be less than fifteen days, unless the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to exercise such functions. The Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall be elected by the Conference of Rulers for a term of five years, or if elected during the term for which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was elected, for the remainder of that term, but may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Conference of Rulers and shall cease to hold office on ceasing to be a Ruler. If during the term for which the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong was elected a vacancy occurs in the office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong his term shall expire on the cessation of the vacancy. Parliament may by law provide for the exercise by a Ruler of the functions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in cases where those functions would fall to be exercised owing to a vacancy in the office of the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong or to his illness, absence from the Federation or to any other cause; but such a law shall not be passed without the consent of Conference of Rulers.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall before exercising his functions take and subscribe before the Conference of Rulers and in the presence of the Lord President of the Supreme Court (or in his absence the next senior judge of the Supreme Court available) the oath of office, and the oath shall be attested by two persons appointed for the purpose by the Conference of Rulers. The Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall before exercising his functions, other than the functions exercisable for the purpose of convening the Conference of Rulers, take and subscribe before the Conference of Rulers and in the presence of the Lord President of the Supreme Court (or in his absence the next senior judge of the Supreme Court available) the oath of office.

Parliament shall by law provide a Civil List of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong which shall include provision of an annuity to be paid to the Raja Permaisuri Agong, and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s continuance in office. Parliament shall by law make provision for the renumeration of the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any other person authorized by law to exercise the functions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during any period during which he exercises those functions and the renumeration for which provision is made in pursuance of this Clause shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

Subject to the precedence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his Consort, the Rulers and Yang di-Pertua-Yang di- Pertua Negeri of the States shall take precedence over all other persons and each Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri shall in his own State take precedence over the other Rulers and Yang di-Pertua-Yang di-Pertua Negeri. The Rulers shall take precedence over the Yang di-Pertua-Yang diPertua Negeri and, among themselves, in accordance with the dates on which they acceded as Rulers, and the Yang di-Pertua-Yang di-Pertua Negeri shall take precedence among themselves in accordance with the dates on which they were appointed as Yang di-Pertua-Yang di-Pertua Negeri, and if Yang di-Pertua-Yang di-Pertua Negeri were appointed on the same day the older shall take precedence over the younger.

The Federation shall guarantee the right of a Ruler of a State or a Ruling Chief of Negeri Sembilan to succeed and to hold, enjoy and exercise the constitutional rights and privileges of Ruler of that State in accordance with the Constitution of that State; but any dispute as to the title to the succession as Ruler of any State shall be determined solely by such authorities and in such manner as may be provided by the Constitution of that State.

Titles

The head of state is titled the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. His consort is called the Raja Permaisuri Agong. They are addressed as His Majesty (Seri Paduka Baginda) and Her Majesty. The Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong is titled the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agongs of Malaysia

Tuanku Abdul Rahman (1895-1960)Negeri Sembilan1957-1960
Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah (1898-1960)Selangor1960
Tuanku Syed Putra (1920-2000)Perlis1960-1965
Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah (1907-1979)Terengganu1954-1970
Tuanku Abdul Halim (1927-2017)Kedah1970-1975
Sultan Yahya Petra (1917-1979)Kelantan1975-1979
Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Mustain Billah (1930- )Pahang1979-1984
Sultan Iskandar (1932-2010)Johor1984-1989
Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah (1928-2014)Perak1989-1994
Tuanku Jaafar (1922-2008)Negeri Sembilan1994-1999
Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz (1926-2001)Selangor1999-2001
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin (1943- )Perlis2001-2006
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin (1962- )Terengganu2006-2011
Tuanku Abdul Halim (1927-2017)Kedah2011-2016
Sultan Muhammad V (1969- )Kelantan2016-abd. 2019
Sultan Abdullah (1959- )Pahang2019-

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