World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

States and federal territories of Malaysia


States and federal territories of Malaysia

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The states and federal territories of Malaysia are the principal administrative divisions of Malaysia. Malaysia is a federation comprising thirteen states (Negeri) and three federal territories (Wilayah Persekutuan).


  • The states and federal territories 1
  • Governance 2
  • Sabah and Sarawak 3
  • Singapore and Brunei 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

The states and federal territories

Eleven states and two federal territories are located on the Malay Peninsula, collectively called Peninsular Malaysia (Semenanjung Malaysia) or West Malaysia. Two states are on the island of Borneo, and the remaining one federal territory consists of islands offshore of Borneo; they are collectively referred to as East Malaysia or Malaysian Borneo.

Flag Emblem State/Federal Territory Capital Royal Capital Population[1] Total Area (km²)[2] Population density (per km²)[2] Licence plate prefix Phone area code Abbreviation ISO FIPS Part Head of state
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur - 1,627,172 243 6696 W 03 KUL MY-14 Peninsular Malaysia -
Federal Territory of Labuan Victoria - 85,272 91 937 L 087 LBN MY-15 MY15 East Malaysia -
Federal Territory of Putrajaya Putrajaya - 67,964 49 1387 Putrajaya 03 PJY MY-16 Peninsular Malaysia -
Johor Darul Ta'zim Johor Bahru Muar 3,233,434 19,210 168 J 07, 06 (Muar & Ledang) JHR MY-01 MY01 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan
Kedah Darul Aman Alor Setar Anak Bukit 1,890,098 9,500 199 K 04 KDH MY-02 MY02 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan
Kelantan Darul Naim Kota Bharu Kota Bharu 1,459,994 15,099 97 D 09 KTN MY-03 MY03 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan
Malacca Malacca City - 788,706 1,664 474 M 06 MLK MY-04 MY04 Peninsular Malaysia Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus Seremban Seri Menanti 997,071 6,686 149 N 06 NSN MY-05 MY05 Peninsular Malaysia Yamtuan Besar (Yang di-Pertuan Besar)
Pahang Darul Makmur Kuantan Pekan 1,443,365 36,137 40 C 09, 03 (Genting), 05 (Cameron) PHG MY-06 MY06 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan
Perak Darul Ridzuan Ipoh Kuala Kangsar 2,258,428 21,035 107 A 05 PRK MY-08 MY07 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan
Perlis Indera Kayangan Kangar Arau 227,025 821 277 R 04 PLS MY-09 MY08 Peninsular Malaysia Raja
Penang George Town - 1,520,143 1,048 1451 P 04 PNG MY-07 MY09 Peninsular Malaysia Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
Sabah Kota Kinabalu - 3,120,040 73,631 42 S 087-089 SBH MY-12 MY16 East Malaysia Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
Sarawak Kuching - 2,420,009 124,450 19 Q 081-086 SWK MY-13 MY11 East Malaysia Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
Selangor Darul Ehsan Shah Alam Klang 5,411,324 8,104 668 B 03 SGR MY-10 MY12 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan
Terengganu Darul Iman Kuala Terengganu Kuala Terengganu 1,015,776 13,035 78 T 09 TRG MY-11 MY13 Peninsular Malaysia Sultan


The governance of the states is divided between the federal government and the state governments, while the federal territories are directly administered by the federal government.[3] The specific responsibilities of the federal and the state governments are listed in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of Malaysia. Theoretically, any matter not set out in the Ninth Schedule can be legislated on by the individual states. However, legal scholars generally view this as a "pauper's bequest" because of the large scope of the matters listed in the Ninth Schedule. The courts themselves have generally favoured a broad interpretation of the language of the Ninth Schedule, thus limiting the number of possible subjects not covered. The Ninth Schedule specifically lists the following matters as those that can only be legislated on by the states: land tenure, the Islamic religion, and local government.[4]

Nine of the peninsular states, based on historical Malay kingdoms, are known as the Malay states. Each Malay state has a hereditary ruler as titular head of state and an executive Chief Minister or Menteri Besar as politically responsible head of government. The rulers of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor and Terengganu are styled Sultans. Negeri Sembilan's elective ruler holds the title of Yamtuan Besar, whereas the ruler of Perlis is titled Raja. The federal head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (commonly referred to as "King" in English) is elected (de facto rotated) among the nine rulers to serve a 5-year term.[5] Former British settlements and crown colonies of Penang and Malacca (both peninsular), and Sabah and Sarawak (both on Borneo) each have a titular Governor (styled Yang di-Pertua Negeri) appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and an executive Chief Minister or Ketua Menteri.

Sabah and Sarawak have additional powers over their immigration controls as part of the 20-point agreement and 18-point agreement drawn up by respective states when they, together with the Federation of Malaya and Singapore formed Malaysia. They have separate immigration policies and controls and a unique residency status.[6] Passports are required even for Peninsular Malaysians for travelling between either state and Peninsular Malaysia, or between the two states, however those who are on social/business visits up to three months are allowed to produce a MyKad or birth certificate and obtain a special printout form in lieu of a passport.

Each state has a unicameral legislature called Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN, State Assembly). Members of DUN are elected from single-member constituencies drawn based on population. The state leader of the majority party in DUN is usually appointed Chief Minister by the Ruler or Governor. The term of DUN members is five years unless the assembly is dissolved earlier by the Ruler or Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. Usually, DUN of the states in Peninsular Malaysia are dissolved in conjunction with the dissolution of the federal parliament, to have state elections running concurrently with the parliamentary election. However, Rulers and Governors hold discretionary powers in withholding consent to dissolve the DUN. Each state sends two senators elected by the DUN to the Dewan Negara (Senate), the upper house of the federal parliament.

The Parliament of Malaysia is permitted to legislate on issues of land, Islamic religion and local government to provide for a uniform law between different states, or on the request of the state assembly concerned. The law in question must also be passed by the state assembly as well, except in the case of certain land law-related subjects. Non-Islamic issues that fall under the purview of the state may also be legislated on at the federal level for the purpose of conforming with Malaysian treaty obligations.[7] Each state is further divided into districts, which are then divided into mukim. In Sabah and Sarawak districts are grouped into "Divisions".[8]

The 3 federal territories were formed for different purposes: Kuala Lumpur is the national capital, Putrajaya is the administrative centre of the federal government, and Labuan serves as an offshore financial centre. Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya were carved out of Selangor, while Labuan was ceded by Sabah. The territories fall under the purview of the Ministry of the Federal Territories, and the Parliament of Malaysia legislates on all matters concerning the territories. Each federal territory elects representatives from single-member constituencies drawn based on population to the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) of the Parliament. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints senators to represent the territories in the Dewan Negara; Kuala Lumpur has two senators, while Putrajaya and Labuan each has one.

The local governments for the territories varies: Kuala Lumpur is administered by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur), headed by an appointed mayor (Datuk Bandar), while Putrajaya is administered by the Putrajaya Corporation (Perbadanan Putrajaya) and Labuan by the Labuan Corporation (Perbadanan Labuan); each corporation is headed by a chairman.

Sabah and Sarawak

The states of Sabah and Sarawak merged with the Federation of Malaya and Singapore pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement in 1963 to form the independent state of Malaysia.[9] Representatives from Sabah and Sarawak demanded a higher degree of autonomy as part of the bargain which were included in the 20-point agreement and 18-point agreement respectively. It has also been argued that Sabah and Sarawak have equal status to that of Malaya as a whole, however the Constitution of Malaysia have listed both these entities as merely 2 of the 13 states of Malaysia,[9] suggesting an equal status with the states of Malaya. Sabah and Sarawak still retains a relatively higher degree of autonomy compared to the peninsular states in areas such as immigration, some control over state revenue and legislative power over land and local government.[9]

Singapore and Brunei

 Singapore was a Malaysian state from the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 until it was expelled from the Federation on 9 August 1965. During its time as a state of Malaysia, Singapore had additional powers in the areas of education and labour.

 Brunei was invited to join the Federation but decided not to at the end due to several issues, such as the status of the Sultan within Malaysia, division of Bruneian oil royalties, and pressure from opposition groups which amounted to the Brunei Revolt.

See also

Administrative divisions:


  1. ^ The code MY10 is not used in FIPS 10-4 but was used for FIPS 10-3[10] (for Sabah)
  2. ^ Territories named in official language for both FIPS 10-4 and ISO 3166-2:MY code lists[11]
  3. ^ Wilayah Persekutuan defined as the territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Used by FIPS only


  1. ^ "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. iv. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. 27. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Federal Territories and State Governments". Retrieved 21 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Wu, Min Aun & Hickling, R. H. (2003). Hickling's Malaysian Public Law, pp. 64–65. Petaling Jaya: Pearson Malaysia. ISBN 983-74-2518-0.
  5. ^ "Malaysia". 14 July 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "NRD: 'H' indicates holder is a Sabahan | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia". 5 June 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ "Malaysia Districts". Retrieved 3 November 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Shad Saleem Faruqi (8 September 2010). "From Malaya to Malaysia". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  10. ^ USAid Geocode
  11. ^ MaxMind GeoIP

External links

  • Local government in Malaysia
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.