Malaysia Premier League

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Liga Premier
Malaysia Premier League logo.png
Organising bodyMalaysia Football League
Founded2004; 16 years ago (2004)
Number of teams12 (from 2010)
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toMalaysia Super League
Relegation toMalaysia M3 League
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
Malaysia Cup
Challenge Cup
International cup(s)AFC Champions League (possible via FA Cup)
Current championsPenang (1st title)
Most championshipsFelda United
(2nd titles)
TV partnersMycujoo (Live Streaming)
2020 Malaysia Premier League

Malaysia Premier League (Malay: Liga Premier) is the current second-tier football league in Malaysia. The league replaced the former second-tier league Liga Perdana 2 in Malaysian football league system.

Premier League is contested by 12 clubs. Seasons run from February to October. The season starts in early February and lasts until late October, with a Ramadan break for a month. Teams play 22 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 132 matches in the season.[1] Most games are played on Fridays, with a few games played during weekdays.

The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Liga Super for promotion and Liga FAM for relegation.

In 2015, Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was created in the course of privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of Liga Super and Liga Premier including FAM as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[2] FMLLP owns, operates and runs five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which include Liga Super (MSL), the Liga Premier, the Piala FA, the Piala Malaysia and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aims to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

From the 2016 season to the 2018 season, the league was known as 100plus Liga Premier for sponsorship reason.[3][4]

The current champion is Penang which won the league in 2020.



Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) decided to privatise the Malaysian League in 2004 season onwards where Liga Super and Liga Premier was formed.[5] Teams in Liga Perdana 1 and Liga Perdana 2 was then was put through a qualification and playoff to be promoted into Liga Super. Teams that failed the qualification was put into now a new second-tier league, the Liga Premier.

The Liga Perdana 1 was the nation's top-tier league from 1994 until 2003 when it was succeeded by the formations of professional football league, Liga Super in 2004 by Football Association of Malaysia. The Liga Perdana 2 then was replaced by the new Liga Premier where the teams was divided into two different groups.

The inaugural season for the new second-tier league started in 2004 with 18 teams divided into 2 groups.[6]

Between 2004 and 2006, Liga Premier was divided into two groups of 8 teams:

  • First Division: Liga Super
  • Second Division: Liga Premier Group A
  • Second Division: Liga Premier Group B

At the end of the season, the top team from each group of the Liga Premier was promoted to the Liga Super. The teams which finished bottom of each group were relegated to the Liga FAM. The two group champions also faced-off to determine the Liga Premier championship.

2007 league revamp as a single group[edit]

For the 2006-07 season, the Liga Premier was reorganised into a single league of 11 teams instead of being a competition involving two separate groups of teams. There were a fewer number of teams due to more teams being promoted to Liga Super, as part of the league expansion, while some others withdrew from Liga Premier.

From 2007 onwards, Liga Premier was combined into one single league.

  • First Division: Liga Super
  • Second Division: Liga Premier

2010 league season with 12 teams[edit]

Over the years since its formation, the league has witnessed numerous changes to its format in order to accommodate the changes to rules and number of teams competing in the league where only since 2010 the number of teams competing has been stabilised with 12 teams.

In 2015, Football Malaysia LLP was created in the course of privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of Liga Super and Liga Premier including FAM as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[2][7][8][9] The company owns, operates and runs five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which include Liga Super, the Liga Premier, the Piala FA, the Piala Malaysia and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aims to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

Club licensing regulations[edit]

Every team in the Liga Premier must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations. As part of privation effort for the league, all clubs compete in MSL and MPL will be required to obtained FAM Club Licensing.[10][11]

As a preliminary preparation towards the total privatisation of the league, FAM Club Licensing Regulation is being created with the hope of it being enforced throughout MSL fully by the end of 2018 and MPL by end of 2019.[10][11]

Privatisation of league football clubs[edit]

In November 2016, Melaka United Soccer Association became the third FAM affiliates to separate itself from the management of football team with the privatisation of its football team as separate entity called as Melaka United Football Club for 2017 Liga Super season onwards. The other two are Pahang Football Association with Pahang F.C. and Johor Football Association with Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. in early 2016.[12]

The state Football Association such as Johor Football Association will now changing its focus to state football development and managing state league.

In February 2017, FMLLP has released a statement regarding the official status of Johor Darul Ta'zim and Johor Darul Ta'zim II where Johor Darul Ta'zim II has now become an official feeder club for Johor Darul Ta'zim since the feeder club agreement between both club has been approved in 19 Ogos 2016.[13] Through the agreement, both clubs will be allowed additional four players transfer quota which can be used outside normal transfer windows for player between both clubs. The feeder club will also required to register a minimum of 12 players under the age of 23 for its squad from 2017.[13] A feeder club will be required to be in the league below the main club at all times which mean Johor Darul Ta'zim II will never be allowed to reach promotion even if the club won the Liga Premier. By 2018, the feeder club must field four players under the age of 23 in their first eleven during match day and the feeder club is not allowed to play in other cup competition where the parent club compete such as Piala Malaysia and Piala FA.[13]

Logo evolution[edit]

Since the inception of the league as the second-tier league in 2004, numerous logo has been introduced for the league to reflect the sponsorship purpose. In its inaugural season, Dunhill logo was incorporated as title sponsors and it was the only season sponsored by the tobacco company before tobacco advertising was banned in the country.[14]

From 2004 to 2010, the Liga Premier incorporated the TM brand as part of its logo as the title sponsor.[15]

After the end of TM sponsorship for seven consecutive years, FAM launched a new logo for the 2011 season where it has been partnering with Astro Media as strategic partner for Malaysian League marketing.[16] The Astro brand was only incorporated as part of the Liga Premier logo from 2012 season including the wording of Malaysia and the partnership continue until the end of 2014 season.

In 2015 season, no title sponsor was incorporated when the league was sponsored by MP & Silva.[8] For 2016 season a new logo was introduced as part of the takeover of the league by FMLLP where 100PLUS has been announced as title sponsor.[3]


Season Sponsors League Name
2004 Dunhill[14] Dunhill Liga Premier
2005–10 TM[15][16] TM Liga Premier
2011 No sponsor Liga Premier
2012–14 Astro Media[16] Astro Liga Premier Malaysia
2015 No sponsor Liga Premier Malaysia
2016–18 100PLUS[3] 100PLUS Liga Premier Malaysia
2019–20 No sponsor Liga Premier Malaysia


The FMLLP will introduce the merit-point system starting in 2016 season. Points will be awarded based on a team’s league position, progress in the Cup competitions (Piala FA and Piala Malaysia) and the number of live matches shown. A point in season’s Malaysian League will be worth RM41,000.[1]

The money will be distribute twice per season. First during early season where the team will received a basic payment out of that particular year league sponsorship and the second payment will be received at the end of the season where all merit-point has been calculated.[17] For 2016 season, the first basic payment will consist of 30 percent cut out of RM 70 Million league sponsorship that equal to RM 21 million which will be distributed among 24 teams of Liga Super and Liga Premier.[17]

Team in Malaysian league has quite often involved in financial problem as their spending is more than their revenue. The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) is one of the active member in pursuing the issue of unpaid salaries. In January 2016, PFAM president's suggest a couple solutions to promote financial sustainability on the competing team's part where the team's should make long-term investments by operating according to their budgets and requiring teams wage bills to be no bigger than 60 percent of their total spending. Other suggestion including for the salaries to be deducted directly from team grants and winning prizes, for points to be deducted from teams experiencing payment issues, and a ruling that requires teams to settle all their late salary payments before the start of every new season.[18]

In response to this issues, FMLLP decided starting 2016 season, football clubs would be given warnings with the deduction of three league points if they failed to pay player's salary.[19][20] If the problem persists, it will affect the licence of the clubs. When the club licence is withdrawn, the team will not be able to compete next season. If the team don't adopt the right structure, they will be left behind and club licensing will be a problem for them, and the team will drop out from competing in the league.[19][20]

Other than this, each teams do raise revenue from sponsorship from local, regional and international sponsors for their team.[21][22][23][24][25]

Media coverage[edit]

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), a free-to-air channel has been broadcasting Malaysian league for a years even before the formation of Liga Super. They continued to broadcast the league most of the times exclusively until end of 2010 where Astro Media was announced as sponsors and to manage the broadcasting right of the league for four years spanning from 2011 until 2014 season.[26] During this time, the league was broadcast on one of the cable channel of Astro Media, which is Astro Arena alongside the RTM for the free-to-air broadcast. In 2015, Astro lost the broadcasting right for the league where the right was given to Media Prima, a parent company of multiple free-to-air channel alongside the broadcast with RTM.[27][28][29] In 2016, RTM has stopped broadcast Malaysia Premier League. However, the broadcasting right for 2016 season has been given to Media Prima for 3 years with a maximum of three games in each gameweek will be shown live on television.[30]

In 2019, Mycujoo wins the Premier League rights. For 2019 season, Mycujoo will aired up to 3 games per week and in 2020, will aired all 140 games per season.

Although the broadcasting rights were held by the broadcasters, the Liga Premier has not shown live matches for quite some time as most of the production has been fully utilised for the Liga Super matches. As a result, most of the time, matches from Liga Premier were only shown as highlights for the sports news segment.

Season TV Broadcasters
2004–2015, 2018 RTM
2005, 2015–2017 Media Prima[5][27][28][30] (TV3, NTV7 (2005 only), TV9)
2011–14 Astro Arena[26][27]
2019–present Mycujoo[31]


Since Liga Premier inception as second-tier league in 2004, Kedah has become the most winners of Liga Premier with two titles.

Season Champions Runners-up
2004 MPPJ TM
2005 Selangor Negeri Sembilan
2005–06 Kedah Malacca
2006–07 PDRM UPB-MyTeam
2007–08 Kuala Muda Naza PLUS
2009 Harimau Muda T-Team
2010 Felda United Sabah
2011 PKNS Sarawak
2012 ATM Pahang
2013 Sarawak Sime Darby
2014 PDRM Felda United
2015 Kedah Penang
2016 Melaka United PKNS
2017 Kuala Lumpur Terengganu FC
2018 Felda United Felcra
2019 Sabah Johor Darul Ta'zim II
2020 Penang Kuala Lumpur

Best performing teams[edit]

Table below is the list of number of championship wins by winners since 2004.

# Club Titles
1 Felda United 2
Kedah 2
2 Penang 1
Sabah 1
Selangor 1
Kuala Muda Naza 1
Harimau Muda 1
Sarawak 1
Melaka United 1
Kuala Lumpur 1

Great honours[edit]

Great honours for Premier League are titled for the team who won 2 trophies (double) and 3 trophies (treble) in the same season. It covers Liga Premier, Piala FA and Piala Malaysia.


Year Teams Titles
2005 Selangor Liga Premier, Piala FA & Piala Malaysia


Golden Boot winners[edit]

Below is the list of golden boot winners of Liga Premier since its inception as second-tier league in 2004.

Season Players Clubs Goals
2004 Argentina Brian Fuentes Selangor 25
2005 Indonesia Bambang Pamungkas Selangor 23
2005–06 Argentina Gustavo Fuentes Malacca 18
2006–07 Croatia Marin Mikac UPB-MyTeam 13
2008 Senegal Mohamed Moustapha N'diaye Kelantan 27
2009 Malaysia Haris Safwan Kamal T-Team 24
2010 Malaysia Muhammad Zamri Hassan PKNS 11
2011 Malaysia Mohd Fitri Omar MP Muar 16
2012 Malaysia Khairul Izuan Abdullah PDRM 27
2013 Croatia Karlo Primorac Sime Darby 24
2014 Republic of Ireland Billy Mehmet Kedah 23
2015 Liberia Francis Forkey Doe Negeri Sembilan 17
2016 Montenegro Ilija Spasojević Melaka United 24
2017 Brazil Guilherme de Paula Kuala Lumpur 27
2018 Brazil Casagrande Felcra 19
2019 Montenegro Žarko Korać UKM 13

Foreign players[edit]

Foreign players policy has changed multiple times since the league inception.[32] In 2009, FAM took a drastic measure when they change the foreign players policy when they were banned from playing in the league until 2011.[32] Foreign players were only allowed be back to the league starting from the 2012 season onwards.[32]

All foreign players must obtain International Transfer Certificate from their previous national football governing body that their previous clubs affiliated before they can be register with FAM in order to play in Liga Premier.[32]

  • 2009–2011: foreign players banned.
  • 2012: 2 foreign players.
  • 2013: 3 foreign players.
  • 2014: 4 foreign players and only 3 can be on the field at a time.
  • 2015–present: 4 foreign players including 1 Asian quota.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Eric Samuel (7 May 2015). "More domestic football on TV next season". The Star. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Press Release: FAM Inks deal with MP & Silva to formalise FMLLP". Football Association of Malaysia. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Zulhilmi Zainal (5 February 2016). "New MSL and MPL emblems revealed by FMLLP". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ Zulhilmi Zainal (2 February 2018). "Malaysia Super League gets title sponsor in RM480 million deal". Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b Amran Mulup (24 January 2005). "Empat syarikat 'sambung nyawa' FAM" (in Malay). Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Saingan tiga pusingan 2004 -- Liga Super, Perdana lebih kompetitif" (in Malay). Utusan Malaysia. 12 January 2004. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ Ooi Kin Fai (7 May 2015). "Malaysian football going for the German way". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b Seng-Foo Lee (4 February 2015). "MP & Silva in for the long term, says Managing Director". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  9. ^ "MP & Silva appointed as Football Association of Malaysia Global Advisor for Media & Commercial Rights until 2030". MP & Silva. 20 January 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Club Licensing in Malaysia". Football Association of Malaysia. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Club Licensing" (PDF). Football Malaysia LLP. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  12. ^ Sharenaanes Murad (1 November 2016). "Musa kini dikenali sebagai MUFC" (in Malay). Stadium Astro. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Perjanjian 'Feeder Club' di antara Johor Darul Ta'zim dan Football Malaysia LLP sebagai langkah positif ke arah Pelesenan Kelab (Club Licensing)" (in Malay). Football Malaysia LLP. 10 February 2017. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b Amran Mulup (23 October 2004). "Negeri terhimpit" (in Malay). Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Liga M dapat tajaan lumayan RM220 juta" (in Malay). Utusan Malaysia. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Wan Fakhrul Bakar (22 January 2011). "Logo baru Liga M dilancar Rabu" (in Malay). Kosmo!. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ a b FMLLP jamin bayaran pertama selesai Februari (02:45) (in Malay). Astro Awani. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  18. ^ Zulhilmi Zainal (12 January 2016). "Hai-O claims FMLLP neglects player salary issues". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  19. ^ a b "FAs warned over non-payment of salary". Bernama. Daily Express. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  20. ^ a b Suryati Mohd Nor (16 January 2016). "Gaji Tertunggak, FMLLP Sedia Potong Mata Pasukan" (in Malay). mStar. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  21. ^ CLDN (28 December 2015). "Melaka United gets RM5mil funding". Sarawak Crocs. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Melaka Utd ready for Premier League season with four foreign signings". Bernama. The Malay Mail. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  23. ^ "JDT sponsorships are not based on publicity". Johor Southern Tigers. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  24. ^ Rossa Calla (30 December 2013). "Senarai Sponsor Pasukan JDT & JDT II Tahun 2014" (in Malay). Panduan Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Kuala Lumpur FA seek legal redress over sponsorship". The Star. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  26. ^ a b K. Rajan (22 February 2014). "Football: Fox Sports Asia eyeing M-League rights?". The Star. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  27. ^ a b c "Media Prima insider defends their M-League telecasts". 6 March 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Plans underway to improve Media Prima's match telecasts". 9 March 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  29. ^ "RTM to broadcast JDT vs Pahang". 29 January 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Media Prima raih hak penyiaran Liga Bola Sepak untuk 3 tahun" (in Malay). Football Malaysia LLP. 11 February 2016. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  31. ^ Ismail, Sulaiman (30 January 2019). "Siaran Langsung Liga Premier 2019 Boleh Ditonton Menerusi Mycujoo". Semuanya BOLA. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  32. ^ a b c d "Sejarah Perubahan Format & Peraturan Liga Bola Sepak Malaysia Dari 1982 Hingga 2016" (in Malay). Semuanya Bola. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.