Explain the powers and function of the Executive in Malaysian Constitution

(1) Introduction

Every state has its own state structure, and its constitution usually specifies its state structure. Similarly, Constitution of Malaysia also specifies state structure of Malaysia. In the Malaysian state structure, the executive consists of the King Conference of Rulers, Prime Minister, cabinet and public services. Each part of the executive has its own role to play.

(2) Powers & Functions Of Malaysian Executive

According to the Malaysian Constitution, powers and functions of the Malaysian ‘executive can be explained in the following words:

  • (i) The King
  • (ii) Conference of Rulers
  • (iii) Prime Minister
  • (iv) Cabinet
  • (v) Public services

(i) The King

The King is the Supreme Head of the Federation. In fact, he is the constitutional monarch of Malaysia. Followings are his powers and functions:

  • (a) Obligatory Powers & Functions
  • (b) Advisory powers & functions
  • (c) Discretionary powers & functions

Obligatory powers & functions

Article 153 describes his obligatory power and function; it is the responsibility of the King to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities.

(b) Advisory Powers & Functions

There are some advisory powers and functions of the King. In some matters, he is to act on the advice of the Malaysian Prime Minister and cabinet:

  • (b-i) Appointment of judges
  • (b-ii) Appointment & dismissal of ministers
  • (b-iii) Proclamation of emergency
  • (b-iv) Summoning or adjournment of session of House of Representative

(b-i) Appointment Of Judges

He is to act on the advice of the Prime Minister to appoint judges of High Courts, Court of Appeal and Federal Court.

(b-ii) Appointment & Dismissal Of Ministers

He is to act on the advice of the Prime Minister to appoint and dismiss the ministers.

(b-iii) Proclamation Of Emergency

He is to act on the advice of the cabinet to proclaim emergency.

(b-iv) Summoning Or Adjournment Of Session Of House Of Representative

He is to act on the advice of the Prime Minister to summon or adjourn the session of the House of Representative.

(c) Discretionary Powers & Functions.

Followings are the discretionary powers and functions of the King:

  • (c-i) Appointment of Prime Minister
  • (c-ii) Dissolution of Parliament
  • (c-iii) Meeting of Conference of Rulers

(c-i) Appointment Of Prime Minister

He has discretion to appoint Prime Minister. However, he is to appoint a member of the House of Representative, who has the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of epresentatives.

(c-ii) Dissolution Of Parliament

He has discretion to withhold the consent to a request to dissolve Parliament.

(c-iii) Meeting Of Conference Of Rulers

It is his discretion to call a meeting of the Conference of Rulers that is solely concerned with the privileges, position, honors and dignities of Their Royal Highnesses.

(ii) Conference Of Rulers

Followings are the powers and functions of the Conference of Rulers:

  • (a) Election & removal of Malaysian King
  • (b) Election of King’s deputy
  • (c) Islamic ceremonies
  • (d) Consultation before federal appointments
  • (e) Appointment of two members of Special Court
  • (f) Deliberation on national policy & any other matter
  • (g) Consent for legislation

(a) Election Of & Removal Malaysian King

It elects and can remove the King.

(b) Election Of King’s Deputy

It also elects the King’s deputy.

(c) Islamic Ceremonies

It has control over Islamic ceremonies in Malaysia.

(d) Consultation Before Federal Appointments

Its consultation is required before some federal appointments. For instance, it is consulted before the appointment of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judges of the High Courts, other judges of the superior courts, the Auditor-General and members of the Election Commission.

(e) Appointment Of Two Members Of Special Court

It appoints two out of five members of the Special Court; this court is established for proceedings by or against the King or the Ruler of a State.

(f) Deliberation On National Policy & Any Other Matter

It can deliberate on questions of national policy and any there matter that it thinks fit.

(g) Consent For Legislation

Its consent is needed for some legislation:

  • (g-i) Law affecting privileges, position, honours dignities of Rulers
  • (g-ii) Law altering boundaries of state
  • (g-iii) Constitutional amendment relating to matters in Article 159
  • (g-iv) Amendment of Article 152

(g-i) Law Affecting Privileges, Position, Honours Or Dignities Of Rulers

Its consent is essential for the law that affects the privileges, position, honours or dignities of the Rulers.

(g-ii) Law Altering Boundaries Of State

A law, which alters the boundaries of a state, must not be passed without the consent of that state and of the Conference of Rulers.

(g-iii) Constitutional Amendment Relating To Matters In Article 159

Constitutional amendment, which relates to the matters in Article 159, must not be passed without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.

(g-iv) Amendment Of Article 152

Its consent is necessary for amendment of Article 152, which declares Malay language as national language.

(iii) Prime Minister

The Malaysian Prime Minister is head of the federal government, and he gives advice to the King regarding different matters:

  • (a) Appointment of senators
  • (b) Summoning & adjournment of session of House of Representatives
  • (c) Appointment of judges
  • (d) Appointment of Attorney General & Auditor General Different appointments
  • (e) Appointment of Governors of Malacca, Penang, Sabah & Sarawak

(a) Appointment Of Senators

He gives advice to the King for the appointment of 44 out of 70 Senators.

(b) Summoning & Adjournment Of Session Of House Of Representatives

He gives advice to the King for the summoning and adjournment of session of the House of Representatives.

(c) Appointment Of Judges

He gives advice to the King for the appointment of judges of the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

(d) Appointment Of Attorney General & Auditor General

He gives advice to the King for the appointment of the Attorney General and the Auditor General.

(e) Different Appointments

He gives advice to the King for the appointment of the chairmen and members of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, Election Commission, Police Force commission, Education Service Commission, National Finance Council and Armed Forces Council.

(f) Appointment Of Governors Of Malacca, Penang,

Sabah & Sarawak He gives advice to the King for the appointment of the Governors of Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak.

(iv) Cabinet

The Cabinet consists of all ministers and is the highest policymaking body in the Federation. These ministers run and control the functions of the various ministries that govern the country.

(v) Public Services

The public services of Malaysia include the armed forces the judicial and legal service, the general public service of the Federation, the police force, the joint public services, the public service of each state and the education service. The members of the public service are responsible for the day-to-day running of the ministries and government departments.

(3) Conclusion

It can be finally stated that the Malaysian executive is gaining more and more powers with the passage of time. Even it has been granted extensive legislative power by the Parliament; it possesses power to make subsidiary legislation. For example, the executive can make laws to punish someone by way of a fine or by a jail term. This situation is not good for system of balance of powers among the three branches of the Malaysian government.

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