Federalism in Malaysia

Several states are today moving away from other types of administration and are embracing federalism. According to He and, " Breen (2017), federal government works well and bring about growth. The best case study of a nation that has embraced federalism is the USA. Federalism is a subdivision of power into units. There is the central régime that is left some special federal supremacy along with the unit administration that enjoys rights of the state. The Unit states are under the central management that unites all other small groups. Federalism is dissimilar from other categories of government; this has got just one overriding unit of the government, as well as a coalition government, which has units that are autonomous. The vital building block of a national government structure is egalitarian rules.  Every unit of supremacy has the rights to make their laws, however, conform to the interest of the federal government. Rules in the smaller unit state to be in agreement with the national constitution (Breen, 2017).

Case Study: Malaysia

The presence of federalism in Malaysian antiquity dates back in 1895 throughout the institution of the Federal Malay States that are the “Protected Countries” of Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, and Selangor. Confederation of Malaya, therefore, came later in 1948 with the alliance of the nine Malay states along with the Settlements of Malacca and Penang by the British. K.C, Wheare described Federal principle as “the way of dividing powers to make regional and general governments be within a sphere co-ordinate and autonomous.” The definition of K.C, Wheare explains that under the central system, there lies a sovereign sphere of command that resides in all regional and general governments which can be exercised freely of the other levels[1]. Definition of K.C, Wheare on national principle is the distinctiveness of the regional and central powers, and this provides the difference between national government and other types of government (Breen, 2017). A.V. Dicey, similarly another scholar acknowledged three prominent characteristics of an “entirely developed federalism” in this encompassing the distribution of authorities among constitutional bodies (each with coordinate and limited controls), together with the constitutional power and the power of courts as the exegetists of the constitution. All through this approximately 118 years from 1895, Malaysia has been changing in the use of this centralized principle, being practiced the federal legislative democracy with constitutional monarchs. This paper will examine whether or not Malaysia is using the true notion of federalism in which lies the manifestation of separate regional and central powers. It is also to be taken as a key concern whether or not Malaysia is only applying a “quasi-federation” system. Facts and additional analyses of eminent novelists will be provided to support this essay with factual legalities (Breen, 2017).

Federal Constitution of Malaysia

To identify the federalism in Malaysia, one must know the overall important attributes of the federal government in spite of its multiplicities. First, the federation is the founding of states association whereby several states, be it semi-independent or independent from the governmental unity of national government in matters taking care of specific affairs without endangering their respective novelties (He and, " Breen, 2017).  In a federation there should equally exist dyad of government; the national government together with the elected régime of every cantons, provinces, and state. This summarizes that both the regional and central governments are directly subjected to all citizens, this is, the value of “non-centralization.” Non-centralization can be done via a constitutionally-assured dissemination of power. The dissemination of supremacy guarantees by implementing it from unilaterally being distributed. Therefore, in issues relating to the amendment of all matters specifically in Malaysia which encompasses boarders of a state require the consensuses by the Meeting of Rulers and Parliament of the state troubled. Federalism similarly links interest groups in a resilient, but the limited unification of common accord to safeguard each of their particular innovations. This builds a sense of semi-autonomous unit. In other words, state government doesn’t detriment their power in relation to the whole matters of the central government. They intended to achieve the advantage of common interests on the regime. Another attribute of the federal system is a limitation of supremacies. Limitation of authority among the parliament, judicial, executive, and economics has to be appropriately divided constitutionally. The division must be capable of establishing a state relationship thru union agreement in which sharing or division of power is meticulously outlined (Breen, 2017).

Federalism acts as a device to guard tyranny. One of the important points in undertaking federalism is acting as a deterrent to oppression or runway authority. Federalism divides authority between national régime and state regime[2]. Autocracy or runway of supremacy has seen the collapse of government, however, the deterrent to the federalism helps to prevent autocracy or runway of power. Federalism disseminates the power since the three branches of government will have access to enough power. Surplus power in a state or group has a tendency to influence rise in bribery. It increases participation of the citizen (He, Allison-Reumann, and Breen, 2017). This is attained via the state control that is closer to the people compared to the national government. Populations take an essential part in the execution of regime policy and the making of laws. Federalism similarly assists in the management of conflict by permitting different community states to make their own choice in terms of policy creating concord. Those with robust differences can resolve their differences in the national government. Federalism is effective since, by dissemination of power, it is easy to define places with different glitches. This is an advantage l to the federal government as power running is effective.  Innovation in law and law is encouraged as the state régime can simply use those policies also those assumed can simply be noted. The national government will consequently pursue to adjust the policy to suit the citizens.

Federalism has its power is entirely divided into a fundamental authority and political components such as province and states (He, Allison-Reumann, and Breen, 2017). It is similarly a system where national government shares the constitutional and democratic rights with the state or province, consequently forming a federation. Adolf Hitler observed fidelity as a deterrent to his goals during Nazmas 1933 to 1945. Systematically, individuals who had powerfully not supported for deism up-to-date in South Sudan, for instance, possess the similar the Hitler had. Chinese didn’t support deisms as they thought deism could act as an entrance of succession and power control will be in the state or central community. Because of this, fideism has brought its advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of Federalism

Federalism is the best apposite for large states. This enables the national government to divide the big regions into smaller constituencies and have replica components of the administration in such areas. People become close to the power thru this division. Individuals have got the right to control the resources in their areas providing the national government obtains a certain percentage of the income. This will enhance and encourage development than when the federal government is allowed to make all resolutions. Local leaders are close to citizens and will, therefore, make policies which are important and relevant to the area. Having smaller power units similarly helps to eradicate the likelihood of having a concentration of powers. Some supremacies are decentralized to the provincial units and hence easing the work of federal government. The local groups similarly act as training grounds for the state leaders[3]

Shortcomings of Federalism

The major weakness is that inhabitants are ignorant. Citizens are never keen to comprehend the responsibilities of the regional and federal regime. Federalism may occasionally make it challenging to form state policies particularly when it is time for distribution of coffers and use of resources in the regional area. Having small government units means having the similar functions, which are in the federal government in the regions formed. This would lead to replication of offices and posts. This leads to a conflict of powers.

View on the issue and my position

The federal government is a good system of government even though it has its weaknesses. Countries that have practiced Federalism has had immense growth and development as citizens feel the power is close to them and easily have their views aired. The federal government has three branches of government such as executive, judiciary, and parliament. The regional and state government in federalism must work together for the benefits of the citizens. The regional government understands the need of the citizens in their areas of jurisdiction and make laws which help in solving problems the citizens. Since the national government controls all resources in the country, it is my view that they should give the regional government over sixty-percent of the resources as regional governments are close to people. Federalism promotes corruption, and tribalism so it is not the best system of government to be advocated in countries that are not developed.


In summary, federalism has brought with it some advantages and disadvantages. As power is dispersed to the states, it is important to remember that it has its shortcomings since power can influence change in society and implement programs, minimizes oppression, encourages citizens to take part in government projects and improve standards of living since the government is close to the citizens. Nevertheless, the national government needs to evade tribal conflict caused by federalism, effectively use state resources and make sure that all sectors receive the equal share to evade inequality.


Breen, M. G. (2017). The Origins of Holding-Together Federalism: Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 48(1), 26-50.

He, B., Allison-Reumann, L., " Breen, M. (2017). The Covenant Connection Reexamined: The Nexus between Religions and Federalism in Asia. Political Studies, 0032321717731660.

[1] He, B., Allison-Reumann, L., " Breen, M. (2017). The Covenant Connection Reexamined: The Nexus between Religions and Federalism in Asia. Political Studies, 0032321717731660.

[2] He, B., Allison-Reumann, L., " Breen, M. (2017). The Covenant Connection Reexamined: The Nexus between Religions and Federalism in Asia. Political Studies, 0032321717731660.

[3] Breen, M. G. (2017). The Origins of Holding-Together Federalism: Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 48(1), 26-50.

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