State governments in Malaysia

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The state governments in Malaysia are the governments ruling the 13 states in the federation of Malaysia. All 13 states adopts the Westminster Parliamentary system and each has a unicameral state legislative assembly. The state government structure in all 13 states is similar to the government system of the federal government of Malaysia except for minor native judiciary powers in Sabah and Sarawak and that the state legislatures consist of only a single chamber.

Heads of state[edit]

The heads of state for the 9 monarchical states are their respective monarchs (7 out of them Sultans). The 9 states are Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan and Perlis. The heads of state for Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak are their respective Yang di-Pertua Negeri sometimes referred to as Governor. All 13 heads of state forms the Conference of Rulers but only the 9 monarchs can become the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia). The role of the heads of state are largely ceremonial other than the power to appoint the chief minister or menteri besar (according to the state constitution) and to withhold consent to dissolve the state legislature. The heads of state are required by convention to give their approval or assent to every legislation passed by the state legislature.[citation needed]

Heads of government[edit]

The heads of government for all 13 states is the chief minister. The chief ministers in the monarchies are known as menteri besar (great minister) while the other states are known as ketua menteri (chief minister).

Powers and functions[edit]

Pursuant to Article 73-79 of the Federal Constitution, the state legislature is empowered to legislate on matters such as land matters, public works, local government, agriculture and forestry, Islamic law and public holidays. Pursuant to Article 80 of the Federal Constitution, the state executive in turn has administrative power over all matters which the state legislature may legislate under the constitution. Federalism in Malaysia is quite strong whereby the federal government retains by far more powers compared to the respective state governments. This is also reflected in the budget allocation towards the state and federal government.[1]

State government[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tricia Yeoh (14 November 2011). "What’s in the budget for state governments?". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 25 April 2012.