Quick Facts about Parliament of Malaysia
- The Parliament House was officially opened on 21 November 1963
- Officiated by: Tuanku Syed Putra of Perlis (3rd King of Malaysia)
- Comprised of: 3-storey main building housing:
- Dewan Rakyat with 222 elected representatives
- Dewan Negara with 70 appointed senators
- 17-storey tower: offices for house representatives
- Cost of Construction: RM18 million
- Area: 15 hectares (35 acres)
- Frequency of Election: no later than 5 years from the last general election
Symbol of Democracy
The Malaysia Parliament House is a symbol of democracy for Malaysia which practices parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch as the paramount ruler. This is where our laws are made and amended. It stands regally atop a hill close to the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens and National Monument of Malaysia.
The Malaysia Parliament House consist of a 3-storey rectangular main building which houses two national assembly halls. They are the Dewan Rakyat or the Lower House of Representatives, and the Dewan Negara or the Senate. Atop this main building are the majestic looking triangular concrete structures.
Next to this main building is the 17-storey tower block which houses the offices of the cabinet ministers and representatives of both houses. At the top of the tower is an open sided terrace that afford a spectacular view of capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysia Parliament House is constructed with heat and light absorbing glass. The design of the tower block resembles that of a pineapple with beehive-like 'kerawang' or ornamental patterns. This provides a controlled environment for light and heat within.
One outstanding feature of the Malaysian Parliament House is the water distribution system which provides treated water which is dyed blue to prevent the growth of moss. It begin from the top of the buildings and continues throughout.
Other facilities in the tower block are:
- surau or Muslim prayer room
- banquet hall with a capacity of 500 pax
- royalty room for the Malaysian King
- press room and lounge
There is also a deer park within the compounds of the Parliament House. Here you will find dozens of deer running freely about within the park.
The Malaysia Parliament consist of
- The King or Yang Di-Pertuan Agong
- The Senate or Dewan Negara with 70 appointed Senators
- The House of Representative or Dewan Rakyat
It is divided into three separate and independent parts, namely:
- Legislative - Parliament
- Executive or Administrative
The Dewan Rakyat
These are Members of Parliament (MP) who were elected in the present election. There are 222 elected MPs. 140 MPs are with the ruling Barisan National and 82 are with the oposition Pakatan Rakyat. They will serve as MPs until the dissolution of Parliament pending the next general election.
Get this very informative book, Understanding the Dewan Rakyat, by The Nut Graph.
The Dewan Negara
The Dewan Negara is made up of 70 appointed members known as Senators. The 13 State Legislative Assembly each appoints 2 senators. The King appoints another 44 senators, on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Each term of senatorship is for 3 years. Each senator may serve up to a maximum of 2 terms. The tenure of the Dewan Negara is not determined by the dissolution of Parliament.
Functions of the Malaysia Parliament
Being the legislative authority of the nation, it makes laws applicable to the whole Federation of Malaysia. It functions are to:
- pass federal laws
- make amendments to the law as the need arise
- examine government policies
- approve government expenditure
- approve new taxes
- act as a forum for public opinion and criticism of national affairs
Passing of a Bill
A bill will customarily start from the Dewan Rakyat. If it is approved here it gets promoted to the Dewan Negara where it is subject to another debate before it is presented to the King for his royal consent. Once it passes this stage it will be gazetted thus making it law.
Planning Your Visit
To visit the Malaysian Parliament you will first need to write a letter of application, addressed to: Head of Administration for Parliament Parliamentary Department of Malaysia Parliament Building 50680 Kuala Lumpur
You must include your telephone and fax numbers.
Dress Code to Visit The Parliament
If you are successful in your application, you are to observe the following dress rule:
- either wear a traditional Baju Melayu with songkok or a formal office attire with necktie.
- Proper working or business shoes are compulsory.
- Do not come in sport shoes or sneakers.
- must be decently dressed.
- You must have clothings that cover all your 'assets', namely your knees and shoulders. And do not wear any body hugging outfit or t-shirts.
- must be in full school uniform.
Do and Don'ts During Your Visit
On your day of visit do bring the letter of approval for your visit together with your identification papers, namely your passport or Malaysian Identity Card.
You are to observe the no-smoking rule within the Parliament area. And do not take photographs while inside the Malaysia Parliament House.
See Parliament of Malaysia for more info
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