Political Instability and Enhanced Monarchy in Malaysia


About the Webinar

In relation to the role and function of the Yang di–Pertuan Agong (the Federal Monarch) and the nine State Sultans, the Malaysian Constitution is largely fashioned on the British model of constitutional monarchy but with local adaptations. The overall scheme appears to be that the Yang di–Pertuan Agong is head of state but not head of government. Except for some enumerated situations when royal discretion is explicitly conferred, the King is supposed to act on advice. He reigns but does not rule. The real wielder of political power is the prime minister whose advice is binding on the King.

Lately, however, this view is being increasingly challenged both by the royal houses as well as by influential groups of citizens. Due to a trust deficit by the citizens in most political and public institutions, there are calls for the monarchs to provide leadership, to play an enhanced role, to become constitutional auditors and to provide check and balance against discredited political institutions. The devastating Covid-19 crisis and the political instability that engulfed the nation after the fall of the elected government in 2020, resulted in a vastly enhanced role for the federal and state monarchs. Are these changes an ephemeral response to passing events or do they reflect an evolution from a Westminster system of government to an “Eastminster type” of autochthonous Constitution? This webinar will unpack these searching questions.

About the Speaker

Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqui is the holder of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Foundation Chair at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur; Adjunct Professor at Taylor’s University Malaysia; an Elected Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia; and former Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.

In the past he has held office as a Member of the Malaysian Judicial Appointments Commission; a Member of the post GE-14 “Institutional Reform Committee”; and Holder of the Noah Foundation Chair at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia. He is an Emeritus Professor at UiTM.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Dec 14 2021


10:00 am - 11:15 am