Leader of the Opposition (Malaysia)
The Leader of the Opposition in Malaysian Federal Politics is a Member of Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat. By convention, the position is held by the leader of the political party not in government that has the most seats in the House; when in parliament, the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the centre table, in front of the Opposition and opposite the Prime Minister. The Opposition Leader is elected by the minority party of the House according to its rules. A new Opposition Leader may be elected when the incumbent dies, resigns, or is challenged for the leadership. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and is based on the Westminster model; the Opposition is an important component of the Westminster system, with the Opposition directing criticism at the Government's policies and programs, give close attention to all proposed legislation and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore known as the'government in waiting' and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system.
Since May 2018, BN and PAS has been the largest Malaysian Opposition. The longest-serving Opposition Leader had been Lim Kit Siang, who served for a total of 28 years. Colour key: PMIP/PAS LPM DAP SNAP PKR PH BN Lim Kit Siang Edmund Langgu Saga Abdul Hadi Awang Wan Azizah Wan Ismail Anwar Ibrahim Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Monarchies of Malaysia
The monarchies of Malaysia refer to the constitutional monarchy system as practised in Malaysia. The political system of Malaysia is based on the Westminster parliamentary system, with the features of a federation. Nine of the states of Malaysia are constitutionally headed by traditional Malay rulers, collectively referred to as the Malay states. State constitutions limit eligibility for the thrones to male Malay Muslims of royal descent. Seven are hereditary monarchies based on agnatic primogeniture: Kedah, Johor, Pahang and Terengganu. In Perak, the throne rotates among three branches of the royal family loosely based on agnatic seniority. One state, Negeri Sembilan, is an elective monarchy. All rulers, except those of Perlis and of Negeri Sembilan, use the title of Sultan; the ruler of Perlis is styled the Raja, whereas the ruler of Negeri Sembilan is known as the Yang di-Pertuan Besar. Every five years or when a vacancy occurs, the rulers convene as the Conference of Rulers to elect among themselves the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the federal constitutional monarch and head of state of Malaysia.
As the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected among the rulers, Malaysia, as a whole, is an elective monarchy. Each of the nine rulers serves as the head of state of his own state, as well as the head of the religion of Islam in his state; as with other constitutional monarchs around the world, the rulers do not participate in the actual governance in their states. However, the ruler of each state has discretionary powers in appointing the Menteri Besar that commands a majority in the state legislative assembly, refusing a dissolution of the state assembly when requested by the Menteri Besar; the powers of the monarchs have been restricted over time, although there is debate about the precise limits of their powers. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the federal head of state, his symbolic roles include being the Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces, carrying out diplomatic functions such as receiving foreign diplomats and representing Malaysia on state visits. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of Islam in his own state, the four states without rulers and the Federal Territories.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is required to delegate all his state powers to a regent, except for the role of head of Islam. Similar to other rulers, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong acts on the advice of the Prime Minister, has discretionary powers in appointing the Prime Minister that commands a majority in the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of the Parliament, refusing a dissolution of the Parliament; the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, the ceremonial governors for the four states without rulers, on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of the states. A unique feature of the constitutional monarchy in Malaysia is the Conference of Rulers, consisting of the nine rulers and the four Yang di-Pertua Negeris; the Conference convenes triannually to discuss various issues related to state and national policies. The most important role of the Conference is to elect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong every five years or when a vacancy occurs. Only the rulers participate in the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as well as discussions related to rulers' privileges and religious observances.
The Conference's other role in the federal governance of the country is to give consent to amendments of certain entrenched provisions of the federal constitution, namely those pertaining to the status of the rulers, the special privileges of the Bumiputra, the status of the Malay language as the national language, the status of Islam as the religion of the federation. Various Malay kingdoms flourished on the Malay peninsula; the earliest kingdoms were influenced by Hindu culture, the most notable being Langkasuka in present-day Kedah. In the 15th century, the Malacca Sultanate became the dominant power on the peninsula; the Malacca Sultanate was the first Malay Muslim state based on the peninsula, a real regional maritime power. After the fall of Malacca in 1511, several local rulers emerged in the northern part of the peninsula which fell under Siamese influence, while two princes of the Malaccan royal family founded Johor and Perak respectively; the Sultanate of Johor emerged as the dominant power on the peninsula.
The vast territory of Johor led to some areas gaining autonomy, which developed into independent states. In the 19th century, as various infighting among the Malay aristocracy threatened British economic interests in the region, the British began a policy of intervention; the British concluded treaties with some Malay states, installing “residents” as advisors to the rulers, who soon became the de facto ruling powers of their states. These residents held power in everything except in Malay customs. In 1895, the governance of Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Selangor were combined as the Federated Malay States, headed by a Resident General based in Kuala Lumpur; the British wrestled Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu from Siamese influence, in turn they each received a British "advisor". Johor was the last state to succumb to British pressure, receiving an advisor in 1914; these five states were known as the Unfederated Malay States. In 1946, after World War II, the British combined the Federated Malay States and the Unfederated Malay States, together with two of the Straits Settlements and Malacca, to form the Malayan Union, headed by a British governor.
Prime Minister of Malaysia
The Prime Minister of Malaysia is the head of government and the highest political office in Malaysia. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints Prime Minister as a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most to command the confidence of a majority of MPs; the Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet of the de facto executive branch of government. On 18 October 2018, 7th Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, announced a two-term limit to all Cabinet Profolio. After the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya, became Prime Minister of Malaysia. From independence until the 2018 general election, the Prime Minister had always been from the United Malays National Organisation party of Barisan Nasional. Following a general election, Mahathir Mohamad took office on 10 May 2018, as the first Prime Minister of the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan. Mahathir is the first Prime Minister not to represent the Alliance/Barisan Nasional coalition.
He is the first Malaysian Prime Minister to serve from two different parties and on non-consecutive terms. Mahathir and the PH coalition have confirmed that, after a period of around 2 years, People's Justice Party leader Anwar Ibrahim will take over as Prime Minister. On 11 June 2018, Mahathir said he's prepared to stay as Prime Minister for more than two years if, what members of the public wants. According to the federal constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Prime Minister to preside over the Cabinet and requires such Prime Minister to be a member of the Dewan Rakyat who in his judgment is to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House and must not a Malaysian citizen by naturalisation or by registration; the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the Prime Minister's advice shall appoint other Ministers from either Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negara. The Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers must take and subscribe in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the oath of office and allegiance as well as the oath of secrecy before they can exercise the functions of office.
The Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to Parliament of Malaysia. The members of the Cabinet shall not hold any office of profit and engage in any trade, business or profession that will cause conflict of interest; the Prime Minister's Department is the body and ministry in which the Prime Minister exercises its functions and powers. If a government cannot get its appropriation legislation passed by the House of Representatives, or the house passes a vote of "no confidence" in the government, the Prime Minister is bound by convention to resign immediately; the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's choice of replacement prime minister will be dictated by the circumstances. Ministers other than the Prime Minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, unless the appointment of any Minister shall have been revoked by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the Prime Minister but any Minister may resign his office. Following a resignation in other circumstances, defeated in an election or the death of a prime minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong will appoint as Prime Minister the person voted by the governing party as their new leader.
The power of the prime minister is subject to a number of limitations. Prime ministers removed as leader of his or her party, or whose government loses a vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives, must advise a new election of the lower house or resign the office; the defeat of a supply bill or unable to pass important policy-related legislation is seen to require the resignation of the government or dissolution of Parliament, much like a non-confidence vote, since a government that cannot spend money is hamstrung called loss of supply. The prime minister's party will have a majority in the House of Representatives and party discipline is exceptionally strong in Malaysian politics, so passage of the government's legislation through the House of Representatives is a formality. Under the Constitution, the Prime Minister’s role includes advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on: the appointment of the federal ministers. Under Article 39 of the Constitution, executive authority is vested in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
However, Article 40 states that in most cases, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is bound to exercise his powers on the advice of the Cabinet or a minister acting under the Cabinet's general authority. Thus, most of the day-to-day work of governing is done by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Under Article 55 of Constitution of Malaysia, the lower house of Parliament unless sooner dissolved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with his own discretion on the advice of the prime minister shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. Article 55 of the Constitution permits a delay of
Parliament of Malaysia
The Parliament of Malaysia is the national legislature of Malaysia, based on the Westminster system. The bicameral parliament consists of the Dewan Negara; the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Head of State is the third component of Parliament. The Parliament assembles in the Malaysian Houses of Parliament, located in the national capital city of Kuala Lumpur; the term "Member of Parliament" refers to a member of the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of the Parliament. The term "Senator" refers to a member of the Dewan Negara, the upper house of the Parliament. None of the states forming the Federation of Malaysia had parliaments before independence, save for Sarawak which had its own Council Negri which enabled local participation and representation in administrative work since 1863. Although the British colonial government had permitted the forming of legislative councils for Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak, these were not the supreme makers of law, remained subordinate to the British High Commissioner or the Rajah, in case of Sarawak.
The Reid Commission, which drafted the Constitution of Malaya — Malaya gained independence in 1957, ahead of the other states that would form Malaysia – modelled the Malayan system of government after the British system: a bicameral parliament, with one house being directly elected, the other having limited powers with some members being appointed by the King, as is the case with the British House of Commons and House of Lords. In line with the federal nature of the new country, the upper house would have members elected by state legislative assemblies in addition to members appointed by the King; the Constitution provided for the pre-independence Federal Legislative Council to continue to sit as the legislative body of the new country until 1959, when the first post-independence general election were held and the first Parliament of Malaya were elected. Parliament first sat at the former headquarters building of the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force on a hill near Jalan Tun Ismail; the Dewan Negara met in a hall on the ground floor while the Dewan Rakyat met in the hall on the first floor.
With the completion of Parliament House in 1962, comprising a three-storey main building for the two houses of Parliament to meet, an 18-storey tower for the offices of Ministers and members of Parliament, both houses moved there. In 1963, when Malaya, Sabah and Singapore merged to form Malaysia, the Malayan Parliament was adopted for use as the Parliament of Malaysia. Both Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara were expanded to include representatives from the new states; when Singapore seceded from Malaysia in 1965, it ceased to be represented in the Parliament of Malaysia. Significant change regarding the composition of Dewan Negara occurred during this period. Under the 1957 Constitution of Malaya, senators elected by the state assemblies were in the majority, totalling 22 members with 2 for each state, while there were only 16 appointed members; the 1963 Constitution of Malaysia retains the provision that each state sends two senators, but subsequent amendments increased the number of appointed members to 40, leaving state-elected members in the minority and diminishing the states' representation in Dewan Negara.
Parliament has been suspended only once in the history of Malaysia, in the aftermath of the 13 May race riots in 1969. From 1969 to 1971 – when Parliament reconvened – the nation was run by the National Operations Council. Debates in Parliament are broadcast on radio and television such as during the tabling of a budget. Proposals from the opposition to broadcast all debates live have been rejected by the government; the prohibitive cost was cited as a reason. In 2006, Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin cited the controversy over speeches made at the United Malays National Organisation — the leading party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition – annual general assembly as a reason to avoid telecasting Parliamentary debates. Zainuddin said that "our society has not attained a mental maturity where it is insensitive to racial issues", citing the controversy over a delegate who said Malays would fight "to the last drop of blood" to defend the special provisions granted to them as bumiputra under the Constitution.
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Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country; the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire, along with the British Straits Settlements protectorate.
Peninsular Malaysia was unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with North Borneo and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation; the country is multi-cultural, which plays a large role in its politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians, indigenous peoples. While recognising Islam as the country's established religion, the constitution grants freedom of religion to non-Muslims; the government system is modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on common law. The head of state is the king, known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he is an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister; the country's official language is a standard form of the Malay language.
English remains an active second language. Since independence, Malaysian GDP has grown at an average of 6.5% per annum for 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism and medical tourism. Today, Malaysia has a newly industrialised market economy, ranked fourth largest in Southeast Asia and 38th largest in the world, it is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. The name "Malaysia" is a combination of the word "Malay" and the Latin-Greek suffix "-sia"/-σία; the word "melayu" in Malay may derive from the Tamil words "malai" and "ur" meaning "mountain" and "city, land", respectively. "Malayadvipa" was the word used by ancient Indian traders. Whether or not it originated from these roots, the word "melayu" or "mlayu" may have been used in early Malay/Javanese to mean to accelerate or run.
This term was applied to describe the strong current of the river Melayu in Sumatra. The name was adopted by the Melayu Kingdom that existed in the seventh century on Sumatra. Before the onset of European colonisation, the Malay Peninsula was known natively as "Tanah Melayu". Under a racial classification created by a German scholar Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, the natives of maritime Southeast Asia were grouped into a single category, the Malay race. Following the expedition of French navigator Jules Dumont d'Urville to Oceania in 1826, he proposed the terms of "Malaysia", "Micronesia" and "Melanesia" to the Société de Géographie in 1831, distinguishing these Pacific cultures and island groups from the existing term "Polynesia". Dumont d'Urville described Malaysia as "an area known as the East Indies". In 1850, the English ethnologist George Samuel Windsor Earl, writing in the Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, proposed naming the islands of Southeast Asia as "Melayunesia" or "Indunesia", favouring the former.
In modern terminology, "Malay" remains the name of an ethnoreligious group of Austronesian people predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula and portions of the adjacent islands of Southeast Asia, including the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, smaller islands that lie between these areas. The state that gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1957 took the name the "Federation of Malaya", chosen in preference to other potential names such as "Langkasuka", after the historic kingdom located at the upper section of the Malay Peninsula in the first millennium CE; the name "Malaysia" was adopted in 1963 when the existing states of the Federation of Malaya, plus Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak formed a new federation. One theory posits the name was chosen so that "si" represented the inclusion of Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak to Malaya in 1963. Politicians in the Philippines contemplated renaming their state "Malaysia" before the modern country took the name. Evidence of modern human habitation in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years.
In the Malay Peninsula, the first inhabitants are thought to be Negritos. Traders and settlers from India and China arrived as early as the first century AD, establishing trading ports and coastal towns in the second and third centuries, their presence resulted in strong Indian and Chinese influences on the local cultures, the people of the Malay Peninsula adopted the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Sanskrit inscriptions appear as early as the fifth century; the Kingdom of
Nazrin Shah of Perak
Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah is the 35th Sultan of Perak. He became the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, elected on 14 October 2016, before Sultan Muhammad V abdicated on 6 January 2019, he is the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He is a half-third cousin of Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, since both share a common ancestor. Sultan Nazrin Shah was born on 27 November 1956 at George Town, Malaya. During the reign of his grandfather, Sultan Yussuff Izzuddin Shah, he is the eldest son of the late Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuff Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-lah and the former Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Bainun Binti Mohd Ali. He studied at Sekolah Rendah Jalan Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur from 1962 to 1967 followed by lower secondary stage at St. John Institution, Kuala Lumpur from 1968 to 1970, furthered his upper secondary and sixth form at The Leys School, Cambridge until 1975. Sultan Nazrin Shah was born at Penang, Malaya, 27 November 1956 as the first child of late Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuff Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-lah Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak, his wife Tuanku Bainun Binti Mohd Ali His siblings are: sister Raja Azureen brother Raja Ashman Shah sister Raja Eleena sister Raja Yong Sofia Sultan Nazrin was educated at St. John's Institution and holds a BA degree in Philosophy and Economics from Worcester College, Oxford.
He holds an MPA degree from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a PhD degree in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Sultan Nazrin’s research interests are in the area of economic and political development in South-East and North-East Asia, historical national income accounting and economic growth in developing countries; the sultan has written articles and spoken on a wide range of issues including the role of the constitutional monarchy in Malaysia, Islam, ethnic relations and economic development. He has assumed the role of Financial Ambassador of the Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre, has been Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya since 1989 and is the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar, he is an Eminent Fellow of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia. He was proclaimed the Raja Muda of Perak on 15 April 1984, taking over from his father, Sultan Azlan Shah, who had become the Sultan of Perak two weeks earlier.
Raja Dr. Nazrin's full name and official title is In Malay: Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, Raja Muda Perak Darul Ridzuan, D. K, D. K II, D. K. A,D. K. S. A, S. P. M. P, S. P. C. M, S. P. T. S, Ph in English: His Royal Highness Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, The Raja Muda of Perak Abode of Grace and its dependencies, D. K, D. K II, D. K. A, D. K. S. A, S. P. M. P, S. P. C. M, S. P. T. S, Ph. D On 29 May 2014 he became the 35th Sultan of Perak on the death of Sultan Azlan. Sultan Nazrin's full name and official title is in Malay: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfurlah, Yang di-Pertuan dan Raja Pemerintah Negeri Perak Darul Ridzuan dan Jajahan Takluknya, D. K. D. K. S. A. D. K. A. D. M. N. D. K. D. K. S. P. C. M, S. P. T. S, S. P. M. P. Ph. D, MPA. in English: His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfurlah, The Sultan, Sovereign Ruler and Head of the Government of Perak Abode of Grace and its dependencies, D.
K. D. K. S. A. D. K. A. D. M. N. D. K. D. K. S. P. C. M, S. P. T. S, S. P. M. P. Ph. D, MPA.. He was appointed Regent of Perak when his father became the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1989 to 1994; as the Sultan of Perak he is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Malaysian Army's Royal Army Engineers Regiment. Sultan Nazrin was elected as the Deputy Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia on 14 October 2016; the appointment took effect on 13 December 2016. On 2 November 2018, Sultan Nazrin was proclaimed as the Acting Yang Di-Pertuan Agong after Sultan Muhammad V was on medical leave, he ended his duties on 31 December 2018. However, due to the sudden abdication of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on 6 January 2019, he became again acting King the next day whilst the Conference of Rulers elects the 16th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on 24 January 2019 and the subsequent swearing-in ceremony on 31 January 2019. In the 251st Meeting of the Conference of Rulers, while Sultan Abdullah of Pahang was elected as the 16th Yang Di Pertuan Agong, Sultan Nazrin was re-elected as the Deputy King for a new 5-year term effective on 31st January 2019.
His regency as Acting King ends effective at the stroke of midnight on 31st January 2019. Sultan Nazrin of Perak married Zara Salim Davidson at Istana Iskandariah, Bukit Chandan, on 17 May 2007. Sultan Nazrin and Tuanku Zara had known each other for eight years before the wedding; the day after the wedding there was a ceremony to bestow Tuanku Zara with the official title of Raja Puan Besar of Perak. Nazrin's father had proclaimed Zara Salim Davidson as the Raja Puan Besar of Perak and conferred the Darjah K
Conference of Rulers
The Conference of Rulers in Malaysia is a council comprising the nine rulers of the Malay states, the governors or Yang di-Pertua Negeri of the other four states. It was established by Article 38 of the Constitution of Malaysia, is the only such institution in the world, according to the Malaysian National Library, its main responsibility is the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his deputy, the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which occurs every five years or when the positions fall vacant. Although its position in the process of elective monarchy is unique, the Conference of Rulers plays a role in amending the Constitution of Malaysia and some other policies, in particular, those Articles which have been "entrenched", namely those pertaining to the status of the rulers, the special privileges of the indigenous Bumiputra, the status of the Malay language as the national language, the clause governing the entrenchment of such Articles; the Conference of Rulers has its origins in the 1897 Durbar, the Council of Rulers for the Federated Malay States, which were not under the British colonial regime, with the British playing the advisory role on only a few administrative items and the full authority to govern remaining with the Sultan of those states.
Only the four Federated Malay States of Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang were represented at the Durbar, which first convened in 1897. The purpose of the Durbar, as described by Resident-General Frank Swettenham, was to "bring home to the Malays, in the most striking manner possible, the reality of federation". After World War II, a similar body called the Council of Sultans was constituted under the short-lived Malayan Union; the Council comprised the Governor of the Union, who acted as President, the nine rulers, the Chief Secretary, Attorney-General and Financial Secretary as ex officio members. The sole functions of the Council were to consider legislation related to Islam and to advise the Governor of the Union or the ruler of any state as necessary; the first Conference of Rulers was convened on 31 August 1948, the year the British established the semi-autonomous Federation of Malaya, where it was attended by the rulers of all nine Malay states. The Conference of Rulers continued after independence, when it was formally established under the Constitution.
The membership of the Conference depends on the succession of the Malay sultans, the appointment of the governors. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints the governors, while each state has its own procedure for succession to the throne. One, Negeri Sembilan, is itself an elective monarchy. Only the rulers of the Malay states of Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Kedah, Pahang and Perak are permitted to participate in the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and stand as candidates; the governors of the other states do not participate when the Conference of Rulers meets to decide matters related to the election or removal of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or his deputy, those related to privileges of the Malay rulers and those related to the observance of Islam. Should a member of the Conference be unable to attend a meeting, his or her state must designate a temporary replacement. Once elected, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong delegates his state representation in the Conference to the Regent he has selected to rule in his stead in his home state.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong still attends the meetings of the Conference, though he does so intermittently only when the Conference would be discussing national policy or electing a new Yang di-Pertuan Agong. When attending Conference meetings, each ruler and governor is accompanied by the Menteri Besar or Chief Minister of his state; when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong attends, he is accompanied by the Prime Minister. Every meeting of the Conference is chaired by one of the nine Malay rulers, appointed rotationally; the National Library has called the Conference of Rulers "the supreme institution in the country", which would mean Parliament is subordinate to it. However, its role is de facto symbolic, as the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong follows a fixed order based on the seniority of the Malay rulers at the time of independence in 1957. In policy-making, if the Conference of Rulers is involved, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is constitutionally required to consult with not only the Prime Minister and the members of the Conference, but with the Menteri Besar of each state.
The Conference's role in amending the Constitution was first set out by the Constitution Act 1971, one of the first pieces of legislation passed by Parliament after the catastrophic May 13 Incident, which saw at least 200 deaths after racial rioting in the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur. The Act named Article 152, 153, 181, Part III of the Constitution as specially protected; the provisions in question covered the social contract, a quid pro quo agreement between the Bumiputra and the non-Bumiputra. In return for the granting of citizenship to the non-Bumiputra, the Bumiputra were guaranteed special r