Ben Bury and Julie-Anne Pemberton
14.1 Outline of Malaysia’s legal environment
14.1.1 Constitutional structure
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a federal system of government. Having its origins in the Malay Kingdom in the 18th century, much of Malaysia was colonised by the British as part of the Straits Settlements (comprising Penang, Singapore, and Malacca and, by the 19th century, states in Peninsula Malaysia). 1 In 1946, Peninsular Malaysia unified to become the Malayan Union. On 31 August 1957, the Malayan Union achieved independence from Great Britain (known as Merdeka Day) and was restructured as the Federation of Malaya. 2 In 1963, the Federation of Malaya merged with Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak to form the independent state of Malaysia. On 9 August 1965, Singapore left Malaysia to become its own independent nation.
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