The third institution in Malaysia after Monarchy and Executive is the Legislative Branch. The Legislature body in Malaysia is called as The Parliament of Malaysia (Malay = Parlimen Malaysia). The Parliament was closely based on the Westminster System. Malaysia Parliament is a bicameral type parliament and consists of two parts, The Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) and the Dewan Negara (Senate).
Dewan Negara (Senate)
The Senate is the upper house in the Parliament, specifically to revise and to check any bills that have been passed by the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives). There are 70 seats all together in the Senate, where the members shall be known as Senators. All bills approved by the Dewan Rakyat shall be presented to the Senate. If the bills were passed by the Senate, it will be sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (The Supreme Ruler) for royal assent. Nevertheless, if the Senate rejects a bill, it can only delay the bill’s passage to the Supreme Ruler by a year before it is sent to the Supreme Ruler.
There are two types of memberships of the Dewan Negara (Senate) :
- An appointed member by the Supreme Ruler on the advice of the Prime Minister. There are 44 appointed members by the Supreme Ruler.
- Each 13 States Legislatives shall send 2 persons to become a member of the Senate. There are 26 members chosen by 13 states.
Term of membership :
- Senator shall serves for 3 years term.
- Can be re-elected only once and can serve for maximum 2 terms, consecutively or non-consecutively.
The Senate is headed by the President of the Dewan Negara. The incumbent President is Tan Sri Abu Zahar bin Dato’ Nika Ujang. He was sworn in as the President of the Dewan Negara on 26th April 2010.
Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)
Dewan Rakyat is the lower House in the Parliament and the ultimate legislative body in Malaysia. It is responsible for passing, amending and repealing acts of law. There are currently 222 seats all together in the Dewan Rakyat, where all the members are known as Member of Parliament, MPs (Malay = Wakil Rakyat). The Supreme Ruler of Malaysia shall choose the Prime Minister from the members of Dewan Rakyat, usually a leader from the largest political party in the Dewan Rakyat. Later, the Prime Minister shall choose his Cabinets members and commonly from the members of Dewan Rakyat. The Opposition Leader exists in the Parliament as a check and balance to the Prime Minister and his cabinets. Since independence, the largest party in the Dewan Rakyat has always be Barisan Nasional (Previously known as The Alliance).
To become a member of Dewan Rakyat, he/she must be a Malaysian citizens and been elected from the General Elections. The Dewan Rakyat is headed by the Yang di-Pertua (Speaker) of Dewan Rakyat. The incumbent Speaker of Dewan Rakyat is Tan Sri Pandikar Amin bin Haji Mulia.
Here are among the videos during the debate session in Dewan Negara.
Here are among the videos during the debate session in Dewan Rakyat.