Overview and context
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Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Modelled on the Westminster system, the Malaysian Parliament is bicameral. The two chambers are the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Parliament is the ultimate legislative body in Malaysia. Its main function is to pass, amend, and repeal acts of law. It is subordinate to the King who is the Head of State.
The House of Representatives consists of 222 members. General elections take place every five years and are based on the first-past-the-post-system, with the next election due to be held in 2018. The party with the most votes forms the federal government and supplies the Prime Minister. The Senate has 70 members. Membership is made up of two categories: 26 members elected by the State Legislative Assembly to represent 13 states (each state represented by two members); and 44 members appointed by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister, including two members from the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, and one member each from the Federal Territory of Labuan and Putrajaya.
Laws are introduced to Parliament as bills and go through three parliamentary readings. Typically, bills are introduced by a government ministry and read by either the Minister of the Deputy Minister of the ministry concerned. Bills can also be introduced by members of the House of Representatives or the Senate. The first reading principally consists of the act of submission, i.e. the introduction of the bill to parliament. At the second reading, the bill is debated at length. It then goes through a committee stage before being returned to the House of Representatives for a third and final reading and vote. Bills that pass the House of Representatives are referred to the Senate. The Senate may choose not to pass the bill. However, non-approval by the Senate can only delay and not prevent a bill from being passed. The legislative process is completed when the King signs the bill into law (Royal Assent). Laws take effect once they are published in the Government Gazette.
Malaysia operates as a federated system of government, with federal and state governments having specific legislative and executive authority as provided for in the Federal Constitution. Matters related to natural resources generally fall within the legislative purview of the state government, but as climate change is not specifically referred to in the constitution, matters relating to aspects of climate change (particularly adaptation) can also be deemed to fall within the state government purview.