8 Stages A Bill Goes Through Before Being Passed As Law In Malaysia

A bill has to be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to obtain his consent.

Cover image via Malay Mail Online/NBC (edited)

1. Recommendation

A draft legislation is proposed by a certain minister or ministry.

For example, Malay Mail Online (MMO) reported Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as saying that a law was needed to curb fake news in the country, before a committee was set up to draft it.

Image via GIPHY

2. Formulation

Contents of the draft legislation is usually formulated by the Attorney General Chambers of Malaysia, before being introduced as a bill into the Parliament.

In the case of the anti-fake news bill, MMO reported that a special committee was formed on 30 January to draft laws on preventing fake news.

Image via GIPHY

3. First reading in Dewan Rakyat

The First Reading is perceived to be just a formality, where a minister in the Dewan Rakyat reads out only the title of the bill.

MPs are not allowed to debate and discuss about the bill yet.

Last month, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani tabled the Supplementary Supply Bill 2018 for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat.

Image via Bernama

4. Second reading in Dewan Rakyat

The second reading is regarded as one of the most crucial stages in this process, where the Bill goes through a parliamentary debate on its principles and contents in the Dewan Rakyat.

Debate over the redelineation report in the Dewan Rakyat.

Image via Berita Daily

5. Discussion

Contents of the Bill is discussed thoroughly at the committee stage in the Dewan Rakyat. According to LawTeacher, MPs group themselves into several committees to deliberate the bill, but they are not allowed to discuss what had been debated in the second reading

For instance, after the anti-fake news bill was passed at second reading, Malaysiakini reported that amendments to the bill were passed at the committee stage. 

6. Third reading in Dewan Rakyat

Members of the Dewan Rakyat will be notified in this stage that the bill has gone through the first three stages. If there is no objection, the bill is ready to be passed to Dewan Negara. 

7. Debate in Dewan Negara

Debate in the Dewan Negara goes through a similar process as it did in the Dewan Rakyat.

Nonetheless, the Dewan Negara can only delay a bill's passage by a maximum of a year before it is sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Star reported that Dewan Negara has only amended less than five Dewan Rakyat bills since 1959. 

Image via theSundaily

8. Submission to Yang di-Pertuan Agong to be gazetted

Once the Bill is passed in the Dewan Negara, it will be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to obtain his consent.

However, Article 66(4A) of the Federal Constitution states that a bill will become law after 30 days, even if the Agong does not assent to it.

For example, the National Security Council Bill was the first bill in Malaysia to be passed without the Agong's consent.

Here are some laws that were recently passed in the Dewan Rakyat:

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