A general election was held between Saturday, 24 August and Saturday, 14 September 1974 for members of the 4th Parliament of Malaysia. Voting took place in all 154 parliamentary constituencies of Malaysia, each electing one Member of Parliament to the Dewan Rakyat, the dominant house of Parliament. State elections also took place in 360 state constituencies in 12 (out of 13, except Sabah) states of Malaysia on the same day.
Once Parliament had been dissolved on 31 July 1974, the Election Commission fixed 8 August 1974, as Nomination Day and 24 August 1974, as Polling Day. (In Malaysia, the election campaign must last a minimum of two weeks.)
This was the first general election since the Alliance Party was replaced by the Barisan Nasional in 1973. It was also the only election when the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) participated as part of Barisan Nasional, which also marked the first time since independence the federal ruling party obtained a majority in the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly, forming the state government in Kelantan.
Candidates were returned unopposed in 47 constituencies. The 1,060,871 electors from these constituencies therefore did not cast ballots. Another 88 Front members were later successful, thus enabling their alliance to gain an overwhelming majority in the House. Altogether over 50 Opposition candidates lost their deposits.
After the election, Sarawak National Party (SNAP) became the largest opposition party in the Malaysian parliament and James Wong was appointed the opposition leader. After 2 months, he was detained under Internal Security Act. Datuk Seri Edmund Langgau Anak Saga from the SNAP party later succeeded him. James Wong was detained for almost two years before negotiation led by Datuk Amar Leo Moggie Anak Irok resulting in SNAP joining the Barisan Nasional.