Constitutional Law - Legislature - Parliament

Role, Structure and Function

Article 44 of Federal Constitution – Legislative authority of Federation vested on Parliament consist of :


ii. Dewan Negara

iii. Dewan Rakyat

Federal Level : Bicameral

Main Function :

i. Making of Nations law*

ii. Controlling of National Expenditure (Finance) (Article 68, 100, 102, 106, 107 of Federal Constitution)

iii. Ventilation of Grievances (public redress)

Yang di Pertuan Agong


i. Addressing either/both Houses opening

ii. The discretionary power to withholding the consent to a request for dissolution (own decision) Article 40(2) of Federal Constitution.

Act on advise from Government

iii. Appointment of senators – Article 45(1)(b)

iv. Summons and prorogue dissolution of Parliament (Article 55 of Federal Constitution)

v. Signifying assent to Bills (Article 66(4) of Federal Constitution)

Royal Assent

-Before 1984

YDPA has no role in legislation except

i. To assent the Bills passed by legislature

ii. Summon and prorogue the legislature

-After 1984

As a result of constitutional crisis 1983, in 1984 the Federal Constitution was amended

i. YDPA can assent within 30 days from bill presented to him or

ii. Return the Bill (not Money Bill) from where it originated with reason for objection.

The bill will be passed 2nd time and return back for assent and if not assented within 30 days it become law – Article 66 (4A) of Federal Constitution.

-After 1994

Power of YDPA reduced and procedure simplified. Upon sent for assent within 30 days he must assent if automatically becomes law – Article 66(4) & 66(4A) of Federal Constitution.

Officer of Parliament

i. President/Deputy – Article 56 of Federal Constitution

a. Choose from member of Dewan Negara.

b. During his absent his Deputy take over

ii. Speaker/Deputy – Article 57 of Federal Constitution

a. Non Parliament Member but Deputy can be from MP

b. In absent of Speaker, Deputy will take over.

Both have power to regulate and declare customs of House/spokesmen

Dewan Negara (Upper House)

a. Composition – Article 45 of Federal Constitution

i. President/Deputy President – Article 56 of Federal Constitution

ii. 2 from each state : 26

iii. 2 from KL : 2

iv. 1 from Labuan : 1

v. 40 appointed YDPA : 40

Total : 69

b. Qualification – Article 47 of Federal Constitution

i. Malaysian citizen residing in Federation

ii. 30 years above

iii. Not subject to disqualification

c. Term : 3 years / cant hold office more than 2 terms – Article 45(3) & (3A) of Federal Constitution.

d. Role/Functions:

i. Reid Commission : it has limited power because not elected by people

ii. Delaying power for example Money Bill (1 month) & Non Money Bills (1 year) to safeguard against hasty and to get public opinion.

iii. On amendment Bills and Constitutional amendment it has equal power with Dewan Rakyat (veto).

Dewan Rakyat (Lower House)

a. Composition : Article 46 of Federal Constitution - Speaker/Deputy Speaker (Article 57 of Federal Constitution) - 192 members

b. Qualification (Article 47 of Federal Constitution)

i. Malaysian citizen residing in Federation

ii. 21 years and above.

iii. Not Subject to disqualification

c. Terms : 5 years (Article 48(6))

d. Role and Function

i. It has more power than Dewan Negara because elected by people.

ii. Almost all Bills originates from Dewan Rakyat. Money Bill must originate from here (A.68(1))

Disqualification of Membership of Parliament
– Article 48 of Federal Constitution

i. Found / declare unsoundmind

ii. An undischarged bangcrupt

iii. Holds office of profit

iv. As a candidate or election agent fails to lodge any return of election expenses or guilty for election effences

v. Convicted & sentence not less 1 year for example RM2000/- and not receive pardon.

vi. Voluntarily acquired citizenship of any other country/allergiance to it.

vii. Absent without leave from House from every sitting for 6 month or fails to seat for first 3 month.

viii. Please refer to the case of Fan Yew Teng v Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat

Relationship Between Dewan Rakyat & Dewan Negara

i. Dewan Negara

a. Members are appointed

b. Role of revising chamber

c. Power to delay Bills

i. Money Bills (1 month)

ii. Non Money Bills (1 year)

To allow public express opinion check and balance safeguard from hasty. According to

Ben Stephen: so far only once delay.

d. Has equal power in amendment of Bills and Constitution amendment.

e. Bill can originate from Dewan Rakyat but seldom

ii. Dewan Rakyat

a. Members are elected by direct election

b. Higher position than Dewan Negara.

Money Bills only originate from here – Article 68(1) of Federal Constitution

* In the case of Kulasingam v Comm. of Land, Hashim Yeop Sani J said “There is nothing to prevent Parliament from delegating power to legislate on minor/administrative matter. In reality Parliament only general policy of law but detail law are made by officers/minister subsidiary legislation.

1990 (45/478) 1991 (33/481) 1992 (56/493)
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