Constitutional Law - Legislative Procedure


1. Parliament can only make laws which are authorized by Constitution (Federal/Concurrent List) and it cannot make law which is contrary to express provision of constitution i.e Article 4 of Federal Constitution.

2. Almost all Bills are government Bills and originate from Dewan Rakyat. Private members Bills and Bills originate from Dewan Negara are rare.

3. Although anybody can introduce a Bill but usually a minister introduce a Bills.

4. Types of Bills

a. Public Bills-measures concerning community, moved by minister (Dewan Rakyat Standing Order :48)

b. Private Bills-by ordinary MP, dealing with local & personal matters (Dewan Rakyat Standing Order :49)

c. Hybrid Bills-combine both (Dewan Rakyat Standing Order : 50)

How Bills Are Made (Article 66 of Federal Constitution)

1. The Minister concern who wish to introduce a Bill will draw a policy and consult AG and seek approval from Cabinet. A Draft Bill will be drafted by Draughtsman and it will be supplied to all members. Then the Minister may give notice to Clerk of the House.

2. The Bill will go through 4 stages

a. First Reading

The minister gives at least 1 day notice to the clerk his intention to have read 1st time. It is only a formality representing the introduction of the Bill into parliament. It may be done even the Bill is not yet prepared as long as its short title/long title is there.

b. Second Reading

Most important stage. The Bill is printed and circulated to MPs and the House then debate its principles. The Bill must be printed, unless the Speaker finds it urgent.

c. Committee Stage

After 2nd reading the House resolve to be a committee of house and the members will discuss in details and sequent. Thus us the usual procedure. But if the Bill needs more detail scrutiny, the House may refer to a Select Committee. The Committee then refers back to the House.

d. Third Reading

The Minister then reports to the House that the Bill had been considered in committee with or without amendments then he moves the Bill for third reading. This is a formality stages and the Bill will be Accordingly Passed.

3. The Bills then will be sent to the House other than in which it was originated. If it comes from Dewan Rakyat then it will be sent to Dewan Negara likewise.

4. The Bills then will go through the same procedure as above.

5. Then the Bill will be sent to YDPA for assent and the consent of Conference of Rulers if any (Article 38 of Federal Constitution). The assent must be given within 30 days from the time it is presented for assent, if not the Bill becomes law automatically (Article 66(4B). It will be published in Government Gazette and becomes Act of Parliament and becomes law.

Making Law in State Assembly

8 Schedule Para 11(1) of Federal Constitution – after state assembly pass sent for Ruler assent. Then published it then it become law.

Dewan Negara Delaying Powers

1. Dewan Rakyat has more power than Dewan Negara. It can override the objection from Dewan Negara.

2. The Dewan Negara only has the power to delay a Bill and not veto it.

3. Article 67 of Federal Constitution provides that a Money Bill signified by the Finance Minister to be more than incidental cant be introduced except by a minister in the Dewan Rakyat.

4. Article 68 provides that a Money Bill passed by Dewan Rakyat must be sent to Dewan Negara at least one month before the end of the session and if not passed before it without amendment within a month, it may be present for Royal assent provided that the speaker certify that the provision in Article 68 of Federal Constitution is complied before Royal Assent.

5. If not a Money Bill (Article 68 of Federal Constitution) provides that the Dewan Negara may delay the Bill for one year. If it is not passed within one year or there is again amendment not acceptable by Dewan rakyat, the Bill is again passed by Dewan Rakyat and sent to Dewan Negara. If this time it is not passed, the Bill will be sent for Royal assent. In fact during the 1st year if not passed by Dewan Negara, the Dewan Rakyat can sent for Royal assent direct, if it so.

6. Although the Dewan Negara has only delaying power in legislation, but for constitutional amendments and other amendment it has a full veto power.


1. Law made by Parliament : Act

2. Law made by State Assembly : Enactment

3. By Sarawak : Ordinance

4. Emergency Proclamation : Ordinance

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