conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Malaysia

local long form: none

local short form: Malaysia

former: British Malaya, Malayan Union, Federation of Malaya

etymology: the name means "Land of the Malays"

Government type
federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

note: all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka (Malacca) and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government; powers of state governments are limited by the federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls)

Capital
name: Kuala Lumpur; note - nearby Putrajaya is referred to as a federal government administrative center but not the capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur

geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the Malay word for "river junction or estuary" is "kuala" and "lumpur" means "mud"; together the words render the meaning of "muddy confluence"

Administrative divisions
13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri); Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu; and 1 federal territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) with 3 components, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya

Independence
31 August 1957 (from the UK)

National holiday
Independence Day (or Merdeka Day), 31 August (1957) (independence of Malaya); Malaysia Day, 16 September (1963) (formation of Malaysia)

Constitution
history: previous 1948; latest drafted 21 February 1957, effective 27 August 1957

amendments: proposed as a bill by Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Parliament membership in the bill’s second and third readings; a number of constitutional sections are excluded from amendment or repeal; amended many times, last in 2019

Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic (sharia) law, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Federal Court at request of supreme head of the federation

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Malaysia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 out 12 years preceding application

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal (2019)

Executive branch
chief of state: King Sultan ABDULLAH Sultan Ahmad Shah (since 24 January 2019); note - King MUHAMMAD V (formerly known as TUANKU Muhammad FARIS Petra) (selected on 14 October 2016; installed on 13 December 2016) resigned on 6 January 2019; the position of the king is primarily ceremonial, but he is the final arbiter on the appointment of the prime minister

head of government: Prime Minister ISMAIL SABRI Yaakob (since 21 August 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among members of Parliament with the consent of the king

elections/appointments: king elected by and from the hereditary rulers of 9 states for a 5-year term; election is on a rotational basis among rulers of the 9 states; election last held on 24 January 2019 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister designated from among members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader who commands support of the majority of members in the House becomes prime minister

Legislative branch
description: bicameral Parliament of Malaysia or Parlimen Malaysia consists of:
Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 members appointed by the king and 26 indirectly elected by 13 state legislatures; members serve 3-year terms)
House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms) (2019)

elections: Senate - appointed
House of Representatives - last held on 9 May 2018 (next national elections are not scheduled until 2023 but are widely expected to be called in 2022)

election results:
Senate - appointed; composition - men 54, women 14, percent of women 20.6%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - PH 45.6%, BN 33.8%, PAS 16.9%, WARISAN 2.3%, other 1.4%; seats by party/coalition - PH 113, BN 79, PAS 18, WARISAN 8, USA 1, independent 3; composition - men 199, women 23, percent of women 10.4%; note - total Parliament percent of women 12.8%

note: as of May 2022, seats by party/coalition - PH 90, PN 50, BN 42, GPS 18, WARISAN 7, PEJUANG 4, PBM 3, PSB 1, MUDA 1, independent 4, vacant 2

Judicial branch
highest courts: Federal Court (consists of the chief justice, president of the Court of Appeal, chief justice of the High Court of Malaya, chief judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, 8 judges, and 1 "additional" judge); note - Malaysia has a dual judicial hierarchy of civil and religious (sharia) courts

judge selection and term of office: Federal Court justices appointed by the monarch on advice of the prime minister; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 66 with the possibility of a single 6-month extension

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Sessions Court; Magistrates' Court

Political parties and leaders
National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN:
United Malays National Organization (Pertubuhan Kebansaan Melayu Bersatu) or UNMO [Ahmad Zahid HAMIDI]
Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan Cina Malaysia) or MCA [Wee Ka SIONG]
Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [Vigneswaran SANASEE]
United Sabah People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) or PBRS [Joseph KURUP]
United Malays National Organization or UMNO [Zahid HAMID]

Coalition of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) or PH:
Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [LIM Guan Eng]
National Trust Party (Parti Amanah Negara) or AMANAH [Mohamad SABU]
People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [ANWAR Ibrahim]
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (Pertubuhan Pasko Momogun Kadazan Dusun Bersatu) or UPKO [Wilfred Madius TANGAU]

Coalition Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) or PN
Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) or PPBM/BERSATU [Tan Sri MUHYIDDIN Yassin]
People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [ANWAR Ibrahim]
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam se Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]
United Sabah Party (Parti Bersatu Sabah) or PBS [Maximus ONGKILI]
Malaysian People's Movement Party (Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia) or GARAKAN/PGRM [Dominic Lau Hoe CHAI]
Homeland Solidarity Party (Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku) or STAR [Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan]
Sabah Progressive Party [Yong Teck LEE]
Sarawak Parties Alliance (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) or GPS [ABANG JOHARI Openg]
United Traditional Bumiputera Party (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersata) or PBB
Sarawak People's Party (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) or PRS [James MASING]
Progressive Democratic Party or PDP [TIONG King Sing]
Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sarawak) or SUPP [Dr. SIM Kui Hian]

Other:
Sabah Heritage Party (Parti Warisan Sabah) or WARISAN [SHAFIE Apdal]
Fighters of the Nation Party (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air) or PEJUANG [Mukhris MAHATIR]
Sarawak Workers Party or PBM [Larry Sng Wei SHIEN]
Malaysian United Democratic Alliance or MUDA [Syed SADDIQ bin Syed Abdul Rahman]
United Sarawak Party (Parti Sarawak Bersatu) or PSB [WONG Soon Koh]
United Sabah Alliance or USA (Gabungan Sabah)
Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) or PPBM [Tan Sri MUHYIDDIN Yassin]