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Malaysia:
Government

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Country name
Definition
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Malaysia
local long form: none
local short form: Malaysia
former: Federation of Malaya
Government type
Definition
constitutional monarchy
note: nominally headed by paramount ruler and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers except Melaka 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 federal constitution; under terms of federation, Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls); Sabah holds 25 seats in House of Representatives; Sarawak has 31 seats
Capital
Definition
name: Kuala Lumpur
geographic coordinates: 3 10 N, 101 42 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Putrajaya is referred to as administrative center not capital; Parliament meets in Kuala Lumpur
Administrative divisions
Definition
13 states (negeri-negeri, singular - negeri) Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, and Terengganu; and one federal territory (wilayah persekutuan) with three components, city of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya
Independence
Definition
31 August 1957 (from UK)
National holiday
Definition
Independence Day/Malaysia Day, 31 August (1957)
Constitution
Definition
31 August 1957 (amended many times, latest in 2007)
Legal system
Definition
based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court at request of supreme head of the federation; Islamic law is applied to Muslims in matters of family law and religion; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage
Definition
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch
Definition
chief of state: Paramount Ruler Sultan MIZAN Zainal Abidin (since 13 December 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister ABDULLAH bin Ahmad Badawi (since 31 October 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak (since 7 January 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament with consent of the paramount ruler
elections: paramount ruler elected by and from the hereditary rulers of nine of the states for five-year terms; election last held on 3 November 2006 (next to be held in 2011); prime minister designated from among the members of the House of Representatives; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins a plurality of seats in the House of Representatives becomes prime minister
election results: Sultan MIZAN Zainal Abidin elected paramount ruler
note: position of paramount ruler is primarily ceremonial; in practice, selection is based on principle of rotation among rulers of states
Legislative branch
Definition
bicameral Parliament or Parlimen consists of Senate or Dewan Negara (70 seats; 44 appointed by paramount ruler, 26 elected by 13 state legislatures; to serve three-year terms with limit of two terms) and House of Representatives or Dewan Rakyat (222 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held on 8 March 2008 (next to be held by March 2013)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - BN coalition 50.3%, opposition parties 46.8%, others 2.9%; seats - BN coalition 140, opposition parties 82
Judicial branch
Definition
Civil Courts include Federal Court, Court of Appeal, High Court of Malaya on peninsula Malaysia, and High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in states of Borneo (judges appointed by the paramount ruler on the advice of the prime minister); Sharia Courts include Sharia Appeal Court, Sharia High Court, and Sharia Subordinate Courts at state-level and deal with religious and family matters such as custody, divorce, and inheritance, only for Muslims; decisions of Sharia courts cannot be appealed to civil courts
Political parties and leaders
Definition
National Front (Barisan Nasional) or BN (ruling coalition) consists of the following parties: Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Party or PGRM [KOH Tsu Koon - acting]; Liberal Democratic Party (Parti Liberal Demokratik - Sabah) or LDP [LIEW Vui Keong]; Malaysian Chinese Association (Persatuan China Malaysia) or MCA [ONG Ka Ting]; Malaysian Indian Congress (Kongres India Malaysia) or MIC [S. Samy VELLU]; Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah or PBRS [Joseph KURUP]; Parti Bersatu Sabah or PBS [Joseph PAIRIN Kitingan]; Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu or PBB [Abdul TAIB Mahmud]; Parti Rakyat Sarawak or PRS [James MASING]; Sabah Progressive Party (Parti Progresif Sabah) or SAPP [YONG Teck Lee]; Sarawak United People's Party (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sarawak) or SUPP [George CHAN Hong Nam]; United Malays National Organization or UMNO [ABDULLAH bin Ahmad Badawi]; United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organization (Pertubuhan Pasko Momogun Kadazan Dusun Bersatu) or UPKO [Bernard DOMPOK]; People's Progressive Party (Parti Progresif Penduduk Malaysia) or PPP [M.Kayveas]; Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party or SPDP [William MAWAN])
People's Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) or PR (opposition coalition) consists of the following parties:: Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik) or DAP [KARPAL Singh]; Islamic Party of Malaysia (Parti Islam se Malaysia) or PAS [Abdul HADI Awang]; People's Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) or PKR [WAN AZIZAH Wan Ismael]; Sarawak National Party or SNAP [Edwin DUNDANG]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Definition
Bersih (electoral reform); Sharia High Court
other: religious groups; women's groups; youth groups
International organization participation
Definition
ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, C, CP, EAS, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ilango KARUPPANNAN
chancery: 3516 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 572-9700
FAX: [1] (202) 572-9882
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador James KEITH
embassy: 376 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur 50400
mailing address: US Embassy Kuala Lumpur, APO AP 96535-8152
telephone: [60] (3) 2168-5000
FAX: [60] (3) 2142-2207
Flag description
Definition
14 equal horizontal stripes of red (top) alternating with white (bottom); there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a yellow crescent and a yellow 14-pointed star; the crescent and the star are traditional symbols of Islam; the design was based on the flag of the US


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