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The Dewan Rakyat (Malay for House of Representatives, literally People's Hall) is the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia, consisting of members elected during elections from federal constituencies drawn by the Election Commission.

House of Representatives
Dewan Rakyat
14th Parliament of Malaysia
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
To be elected
Deputy Speaker
To be elected
Deputy Speaker
To be elected
Secretary
Roosme Hamzah, Independent
Since 26 December 2007
Structure
Seats 222 Members of Parliament (MPs)
Quorum: 26[1]
Simple majority: 112
Two-thirds majority: 148
DewanRakyat12052018.svg
Political groups

(As of 24 June 2018)
Government:
     Pakatan Harapan (116)

Confidence and supply:
     WARISAN (8)
     UPKO (1)
     Independent (1)

Opposition:
     Barisan Nasional (56)

  •      UMNO (53)
  •      MIC (2)
  •      MCA (1)

     Gabungan Parti Sarawak (19)

  •      PBB (13)
  •      PRS (3)
  •      PDP (2)
  •      SUPP (1)

     Gagasan Sejahtera (18)

  •      PAS (18)

     United Sabah Alliance (1)

     United Alliance (1)

  •      PBS (1)
     PBRS (1)
Committees
Elections
Plurality: First-past-the-post (222 single-member constituencies)
Last election
9 May 2018
Next election
2023 or earlier
Meeting place
Insidedewanrakyat.jpg
Website
www.parlimen.gov.my

The Dewan Rakyat usually proposes legislation through a draft known as a 'bill'. All bills must usually be passed by both the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) and the Dewan Negara, before they are sent to the King for royal assent. However, if the Dewan Negara rejects a bill, it can only delay the bill's passage by a maximum of a year before it is sent to the King. Like the Dewan Negara, the Dewan Rakyat meets at the Malaysian Houses of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur.

Contents

MembershipEdit

Members of the Dewan Rakyat are referred to as "Members of Parliament (MPs)" or "Ahli Dewan Rakyat" (literally "member of the Dewan Rakyat") in Malay. The term of office is as long as the member wins in the elections.

A member of the Dewan Rakyat must be at least 21 years of age and must not be a member of the Dewan Negara. The presiding officer of the Dewan Rakyat is the Speaker, who is elected at the beginning of each Parliament or after the vacation of the post, by the MPs. Two Deputy Speakers are also elected, and one of them sits in place of the Speaker when he is absent. The Dewan Rakyat machinery is supervised by the Clerk to the House who is appointed by the King; he may only be removed from office through the manner prescribed for judges or by mandatory retirement at age 60.[2]

As of the 2018 general election, Dewan Rakyat has 222 elected members. Members are elected from federal constituencies drawn by the Election Commission. Constituency boundaries are redrawn every ten years based on the latest census.

Each Dewan Rakyat lasts for a maximum of five years, after which a general election must be called. In the general election, voters select a candidate to represent their constituency in the Dewan Rakyat. The plurality voting system is used; the candidate who gains the most votes wins the seat.

Before a general election can be called, the King must first dissolve Parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister.[2] According to the Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the right at his own discretion to either grant or withhold consent to dissolve the parliament.

Powers and procedureEdit

As the ultimate legislative body in Malaysia, Parliament is responsible for passing, amending and repealing acts of law.

Parliament's members are permitted to speak on any subject without fear of censure outside Parliament; the only body that can censure an MP is the House Committee of Privileges. Such "Parliamentary immunity" takes effect from the moment a member of Parliament is sworn in, and only applies to when that member has the floor; it does not apply to statements made outside the House. An exception is made by the Sedition Act passed by Parliament in the wake of the 13 May racial riots in 1969. Under the Act, all public discussion of repealing certain Articles of the Constitution dealing with Bumiputra privileges such as Article 153 is illegal. This prohibition is extended to all members of both houses of Parliament.[3] Members of Parliament are also forbidden from criticising the King and judges.[4]

The executive government, comprising the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, is usually drawn from members of Parliament; most of its members are typically members of the Dewan Rakyat. After a general election or the resignation or death of a Prime Minister, the King selects the Prime Minister, who is the Head of Government but constitutionally subordinate to him, from the Dewan Rakyat. In practice, this is usually the leader of the largest party in Parliament. The Prime Minister then submits a list containing the names of members of his Cabinet, who will then be appointed as Ministers by the King. Members of the Cabinet must also be members of Parliament. If the Prime Minister loses the confidence of the Dewan Rakyat, whether by losing a no-confidence vote or failing to pass a budget, he must either advice the King to dissolve Parliament and hold a general election or submit his resignation to the King. The King has the discretion to grant or withheld consent to the dissolution. If consent is withheld, the government must resign and the King would appoint a new Prime Minister that has the support of the majority of members of Parliament. The Cabinet formulates government policy and drafts bills, meeting in private. Its members must accept "collective responsibility" for the decisions the Cabinet makes, even if some members disagree with it; if they do not wish to be held responsible for Cabinet decisions, they must resign. Although the Constitution makes no provision for it, there is also a Deputy Prime Minister, who is the de facto successor of the Prime Minister should he die or be otherwise incapacitated.[5]

A proposed act of law begins its life when a particular government minister or ministry prepares a first draft with the assistance of the Attorney-General's Department. The draft, known as a bill, is then discussed by the Cabinet. If it is agreed to submit it to Parliament, the bill is distributed to all MPs. It then goes through three readings before the Dewan Rakyat. The first reading is where the minister or his deputy submits it to Parliament. At the second reading, the bill is discussed and debated by MPs. At the third reading, the minister or his deputy formally submit it to a vote for approval. A simple majority is usually required to pass the bill, but in certain cases, such as amendments to the constitution, a two-thirds majority is required. Should the bill pass, it is sent to the Dewan Negara, where the three readings are carried out again. The Dewan Negara may choose not to pass the bill, but this only delays its passage by a month, or in some cases, a year; once this period expires, the bill is considered to have been passed by the house.[6]

If the bill passes, it is presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who has 30 days to consider the bill. Should he disagree with it, he returns it to Parliament with a list of suggested amendments. Parliament must then reconsider the bill and its proposed amendments and return it to the King within 30 days if they pass it again. The King then has another 30 days to give the royal assent; otherwise, it passes into law. The law does not take effect until it is published in the Government Gazette.[7]

The government attempts to maintain top secrecy regarding bills debated; MPs generally receive copies of bills only a few days before they are debated, and newspapers are rarely provided with copies of the bills before they are debated. In some cases, such as a 1968 amendment to the Constitution, an MP may be presented with a bill to be debated on the same day it is tabled, and all three readings may be carried out that day itself.[8] In rare circumstances, the government may release a White paper containing particular proposals that will eventually be incorporated into a bill; this has been done for legislation such as the Universities and University Colleges Act.[9]

Although the process above assumes only the government can propose bills, there also exists a process for Private Member's Bills. However, as in most other legislatures following the Westminster System, few members of Parliament actually introduce bills.[10] To present a Private Member's Bill, the member in question must seek the leave of the House in question to debate the bill before it is moved. Originally, it was allowed to debate the bill in the process of seeking leave, but this process was discontinued by an amendment to the Standing Orders of Parliament.[11] It is also possible for members of the Dewan Negara to initiate bills; however, only cabinet ministers are permitted to move finance-related bills, which must be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.[12]

It is often alleged that legislation proposed by the opposition parties, which must naturally be in the form of a Private Member's Bill, is not seriously considered by Parliament. Some have gone as far as to claim that the rights of members of Parliament to debate proposed bills have been severely curtailed by incidents such as an amendment of the Standing Orders that permitted the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to amend written copies of MPs' speeches before they were made. Nevertheless, it is admitted by some of these critics that "Government officials often face sharp questioning in Parliament, although this [i]s not always reported in detail in the press."[13]

Current compositionEdit

Latest election resultEdit

e • d Summary of the 9 May 2018 Malaysian Dewan Rakyat election results
Party Vote Seats
Votes % Won % +/–
Pakatan Harapan[a] PH 5,615,822[14] 45.56 113 52.25   45
People's Justice Party PKR 2,096,776 17.10 47 22.52   17
Democratic Action Party[b] DAP 2,098,068 17.38 42 18.92   4
Malaysian United Indigenous Party PPBM 696,087 5.77 13 5.86   13
National Trust Party[c] AMANAH 648,274 5.37 11 4.95   11
Barisan Nasional[d] BN 4,080,797 33.80 79 35.59   54
United Malays National Organisation UMNO 2,548,251 21.10 54 24.32   34
United Traditional Bumiputera Party PBB 220,479 1.83 13 5.86   1
Sarawak People's Party PRS 59,218 0.49 3 1.35   3
Malaysian Indian Congress MIC 167,061 1.39 2 1.35   2
Progressive Democratic Party PDP 59,853 0.50 2 0.90   2
Malaysian Chinese Association MCA 639,165 5.30 1 0.45   6
Sarawak United People's Party SUPP 122,540 1.01 1 0.45  
United Sabah Party PBS 49,994 0.41 1 0.45   3
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation UPKO 57,062 0.47 1 0.45   2
United Sabah People's Party PBRS 57,062 0.10 1 0.45  
Malaysian People's Movement Party Gerakan 128,973 1.07 0 0   1
Liberal Democratic Party LDP 8,996 0.07 0 0  
People's Progressive Party myPPP 7,422 0.06 0 0  
Gagasan Sejahtera GS 2,050,686 16.98 18 8.11   3
Malaysian Islamic Party PAS 2,041,580 16.91 18 8.11   3
Malaysian National Alliance Party[e] IKATAN 9,025 0.07 0 0  
Pan-Malaysian Islamic Front Berjasa 81 0.00 0 0  
Sabah Heritage Party (Pakatan Harapan ally) WARISAN 280,520 2.32 8 3.61   8
United Sabah Alliance USA 66,902 0.55 1 0.45   1
Homeland Solidarity Party STAR 21,361 0.18 1 0.45   1
Sabah People's Hope Party PHRS 37,708 0.31 0 0  
Sabah Progressive Party SAPP 6,090 0.05 0 0  
Sabah People's Unity Party PPRS 1,743 0.01 0 0  
Love Sabah Party PCS 8,603 0.07 0 0  
Socialist Party of Malaysia PSM 3,782 0.03 0 0   1
Malaysian People's Party PRM 2,372 0.02 0 0  
Malaysian United Party MUP 2,102 0.02 0 0  
State Reform Party STAR 1,299 0.01 0 0  
Sabah Native Co-operation Party Anak Negeri 1,173 0.00 0 0  
People’s Alliance For Justice of Peace PEACE 1,005 0.00 0 0  
Penang Front Party PFP 892 0.00 0 0  
New Sarawak Native People's Party PBDSB 538 0.00 0 0  
Love Malaysia Party PCM 502 0.00 0 0  
Land of the Hornbill Party PBK 392 0.00 0 0  
People's Alternative Party PAP 302 0.00 0 0  
Independents IND 70,770 0.59 3 1.35   3
Valid votes 12,082,431[14]
Invalid/blank votes 217,083[14]
Total votes (voter turnout: 82.32%) 12,299,514 100.00 222 100.00 TBA
Did not vote 2,641,110
Registered voters[f] 14,940,624
Ordinary voters[f] 14,636,716
Early voters[f] 300,255
Postal voters[f] 3,653
Voting age population[g] (aged 21 years and above) 18,359,670
Malaysian population[h] 32,258,900

Source: Election Commission of Malaysia (SPR)[15]

Notes
  1. ^ Contested using People's Justice Party election symbol on the ballot papers.
  2. ^ Contested using rocket election symbol on the ballot papers in East Malaysia.
  3. ^ Contested using white mountain election symbol on the ballot papers in Batu Sapi, Sabah.
  4. ^ Contested using dacing election symbol on the ballot papers.
  5. ^ Contested using green moon election symbol on the ballot papers in the election.
  6. ^ a b c d Abdullah, Mohd. Hashim (10 April 2018). Urusan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 (in Malay). SPR Media Statement. Retrieved on 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ The estimates are correct as at February 2018. See Zulkipli, Nur Lela (12 February 2018). 3.6 juta orang muda belum daftar pengundi (in Malay). Berita Harian. Retrieved on 9 May 2018.
  8. ^ Malaysia (6 February 2018). Perangkaan Demografi Suku Tahun Keempat (ST4) 2017, Malaysia (in Malay). Department of Statistics Malaysia Media Statement. Retrieved on 9 May 2018.


Members per state and federal territoryEdit

State /
federal territory
Number of seats Population
(2010
census)
Population per seat
  F. T. Kuala Lumpur at-large 11 1,627,172 147,925
  F. T. Labuan 1 85,272 85,272
  F. T. Putrajaya 1 67,964 67,964
  Johor at-large 26 3,233,434 124,363
  Kedah at-large 15 1,890,098 126,007
  Kelantan at-large 14 1,459,994 104,285
  Malacca at-large 6 788,706 131,451
  Negeri Sembilan at-large 8 997,071 124,634
  Pahang at-large 14 1,443,365 103,098
  Penang at-large 13 1,520,143 116,934
  Perak at-large 24 2,258,428 94,101
  Perlis at-large 3 227,025 75,675
  Sabah at-large 25 3,120,040 124,802
  Sarawak at-large 31 2,420,009 78,065
  Selangor at-large 22 5,411,324 245,969
  Terengganu at-large 8 1,015,776 126,972

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Standing Order 13 (1) of the Dewan Rakyat
  2. ^ a b "Government: Parliament: Dewan Rakyat". Retrieved 8 February 2006. Archived 14 June 2004 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Means, Gordon P. (1991). Malaysian Politics: The Second Generation, pp. 14, 15. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-588988-6.
  4. ^ Myytenaere, Robert (1998). "The Immunities of Members of Parliament". Retrieved 12 February 2006.
  5. ^ "Branches of Government in Malaysia" Archived 7 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 3 February 2006.
  6. ^ Shuid, Mahdi & Yunus, Mohd. Fauzi (2001). Malaysian Studies, pp. 33, 34. Longman. ISBN 983-74-2024-3.
  7. ^ Shuid & Yunus, p. 34.
  8. ^ Tan, Chee Koon & Vasil, Raj (ed., 1984). Without Fear or Favour, p. 7. Eastern Universities Press. ISBN 967-908-051-X.
  9. ^ Tan & Vasil, p. 11.
  10. ^ Ram, B. Suresh (16 December 2005). "Pro-people, passionate politician" Archived 27 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. The Sun.
  11. ^ Lim, Kit Siang (1997). "Consensus Against Corruption". Retrieved 11 February 2006.
  12. ^ Henderson, John William, Vreeland, Nena, Dana, Glenn B., Hurwitz, Geoffrey B., Just, Peter, Moeller, Philip W. & Shinn, R.S. (1977). Area Handbook for Malaysia, p. 219. American University, Washington D.C., Foreign Area Studies. LCCN 771294.
  13. ^ "Malaysia". Retrieved 22 January 2006.
  14. ^ a b c Koh Aun Qi (15 May 2018). "Discrepancies in media reports of GE14 popular vote". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  15. ^ "Dashboard PRU 14". Pilihan Raya Umum Malaysia 14 (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 11 May 2018.