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16

INTRODUCTION TO MALAYSIA

Malaysia has had 6

Prime Ministers since

independence; Tunku

Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj

(1957-70); Tun Abdul Razak

(1970-76); Tun Hussein Onn

(1976-81); Tun Dr Mahathir

Mohamad (1981-2003); Tun

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

(2003-09); and Dato’ Sri

Mohd Najib Abdul Razak

(2009-present), who is

the eldest son of Tun

Abdul Razak. The longest

serving Prime Minister

was Tun Dr Mahathir

Mohamad, who held the

position for 22 years.

Malaysia is made up of

thirteen states and three

Federal Territories. Nine

states have hereditary

rulers (Perlis, Kedah,

Perak, Selangor, Negeri

Sembilan, Pahang, Kelantan,

Terengganu and Johor),

while the remaining four

(Pulau Pinang, Melaka,

Sabah and Sarawak),

have governors, who are

appointed by the

Yang

di-Pertuan Agong

.

All 13 states have their

own State Legislative

Assemblies (

Dewan

Undangan Negeri

), elected

every five years. The three

Federal Territories of

Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya

and Labuan are governed

directly through the

Ministry of Federal

Territories and Urban

Wellbeing in conjunction

with local authorities,

namely Kuala Lumpur City

Hall, Putrajaya Corporation

and Labuan Corporation.

The national flag, the

Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of

Glory), comprises a field of

14 alternating red and white

stripes which represent

the equal status of the 13

member states and the

federal government. The

blue canton bears a yellow

crescent, representing

Islam, the country’s official

religion, and a 14-point

star representing the unity

between the member states

and the federation. The

yellow colour of the star

and crescent is the royal

colour of the Malay rulers.

Their Majesties the

Yang di-Pertuan Agong

and the

Raja Permaisuri Agong

(Malaysia’s King and Queen) pictured

together with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister (left) and their wives.