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Media Law And Ethics: Malaysian Legal System

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Discuss about the Media Law and Ethics for Malaysian Legal System.



The Malaysian legal system is primarily based on the common Law legal system. The Constitution of Malaysia is considered as the supreme law of the land that outlines the legal structure and the rights of the citizens of Malaysia (Tan 2016). Malaysia follows parliamentary democracy under the administration of a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as the head of the state. The legislative authority is the power to legislate laws that are applicable to the Federation under Article 66(1) of Federal Constitution. At the Federal level, the legislative power is vested in a bicameral Parliament that is led by the Yang Di-pertuan Agong and include the Dewan Negara (House of Senate) and Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives).

The Parliament exercises its power to enact Law by passing Bills in both the Houses. A bill is originated in either House except for ‘Money Bill’ which must be originated in the House of Representatives and a Minister can only introduce the Bill as laid down under Article 67 of the Federal Constitution. When a bill is introduced in a House, it shall be sent it to the other House after the bill is passed by the house where it was initially introduced. After the Bill is passed by both the houses, it shall be presented before Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for his assent as stipulated under Article 66(3) of the Federal Constitution.


In both the Houses of Parliament, a Bill has to go through several stages of ‘Reading’ before it is finally passed. During the First reading stage, the Minister introduces the bill in Dewan Rakyat by giving a reading on the short title of the Bill (Shin and Aslam 2015). During the second reading stage, the contents of the Bill are discussed in detail and are debated at length by all the members of the Dewan Rakyat. Thereafter, the Bill goes through a committee stage where the committee members discuss the technical details of the content of the Bill. During this stage, the committee members shall examine the Bill and consider any amendment if it is necessary. The report of amendment shall be circulated to all the members of the Dewan Rakyat. At the stage of the third reading, the Bill shall be sent to the Dewan Negara where the Bill shall go through the same process before it is passed by the house and sent to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for his assent. After the bill is sent to the Dewan Negara, it may recommend necessary recommendations and send the same to the Dewan Rakyat for consideration of the recommended amendments. The House of Representatives may accept or reject such recommendations made the House of Senates (Mokhtar 2017).

According to Article 66(4) of the Federal Constitution, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) must give his assent to the Bill by affixing a pubic seal thereto. However, under Article 66(4) and 4 A of the Federal Constitution, the YDPA must assent the Bill within 30 days from the date the Bill is presented before him. After the expiry of the 30 days, it shall be deemed that the YDOA has assented to the Bill and it will automatically become a Law. The Bills assented by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong becomes law, however, no bill shall be deemed to be a legislation unless the same has been gazette and published under Article 66(5) of the Federal Constitution. Further, at the time of emergency, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong may frame laws by way of issuing emergency ordinances and in order to enact the laws during the time of emergency, the YDPA need not follow the legal procedure to enact law (Ariffin et al. 2014). 


Reference List

Ariffin, M.Y.M., Liaw, J.O.H., Abdullah, M.R.T. and Husin, W.N.W., 2014. The Practices of Protocol in Malaysian Society.

Mokhtar, K.A., 2017. Institutions and mechanisms for internal conflict resolution: legal and non-legal means in resolving dispute and attaining justice in Malaysia. Jurnal Media Hukum, 23(2), pp.171-185.

Shin, T.Y. and Aslam, M., 2015. MALAYSIA: MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND THE BUDGET PLAN. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 18(1).

Tan, K.Y., 2016. 4 Judicial review of elections in Malaysia. Judicial Review of Elections in Asia, p.57.


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