This Course is an extension of  the "Introduction to Political Science" Course (PAD 120).  It  introduces students to the structure, organization, functions and powers  of the various  institutions of  democratic governments; the different forms of government; the roles of the political parties and pressure groups; the electoral/representation  systems and voting behaviour; and public administration.  While focusing on Malaysian Government  structure and institutions and politics, the Course will also have an international perspective,  dimension and comparison.



On completion of the Course, students should be able to:

a.      Explain  clearly the roles of  democratic governments and their various institutions;

b.      Distinguish between the various forms of government;

c.      Describe the different electoral systems and their respective merits and demerits;

d.      Identify the various factors that contribute to the outcome of elections; 

e.    Identify the differences between political parties and pressure groups; and

f.      Explain the principles of public administration and identify the various issues concerning

       public administration.



a.        Definition & classification of  “government”? What is ‘politics’?

b.        The Legislature: Definition & functions; appointment and removal of members of the legislature; differences between types of legislatures; the powers of Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara; differences between the “Upper House” and “lower House” in the US, Britain and Malaysia. The legislative process and constitutional amendments (special reference to Malaysian Legislative process-  i.e. How laws are made in Malaysia)); Delegated legislation and subsidiary legislation; Direct legislation: referendum – advantages and disadvantages; Initiative – advantages and disadvantages; Legislatures from the Islamic perspective.

c.        The Executive:  Definition and functions of the Executive; differences between the various types of Executive (i.e. political executive; non-political executive; real executive; nominal executive; single executive; plural executive; methods of selection of the Executive; comparison between the Executive in Parliamentary and Presidential system;  the roles of the Malaysian Cabinet, the Prime Minister  and the YDPA.

d.        The Judiciary:   Definition and  functions of the judiciary; the concept of independence of the judiciary- meaning & significance and its evaluation in the context of the US and Malaysia;  and how is it secured in Malaysia; the structure and jurisdiction of  the courts in Malaysia; Rule of Law/Rule by law; The Judiciary from the Islamic perspective.

e.        The Civil Service:  Definition, principles, characteristics and functions of the civil service; its weaknesses and  how to make it effective; the concept of the neutrality of the civil service; issues in public administration; the principle of the politics-administration dichotomy; Islamic perspective of politics-administration dichotomy.

f.         Political Parties: Definition & functions; the concept of No party system; origins of political parties; Classification of party systems: single-party system; two-party system; plural-party system; coalition/alliance system.

g.        Pressure Groups: Definition & functions; differences between political parties and pressure groups; types of pressure groups; methods used by pressure groups to gain influence.

h.        Representation Systems: Elections, Electoral systems and Voting behaviour: Political franchise; various electoral  (representation) systems; why and how do people vote in an election (i.e. the factors that influence voters’ behaviour in elections)

i.          Forms of government:  Parliamentary & presidential systems; unitary &

        federal systems; absolute versus constitutional monarchy; autocratic

        versus democratic systems;  Authoritarianism; Oligarchy; Totalitarianism; Liberal


        Students should familiarize themselves with the characteristics, differences,

        merits and demerits of these forms of government.



a.      Seminar discussion

b.      Question & Answer session (Q& A)

c.      Quiz administration

d.      Group  research presentation

e.      Lecture




Abdul Rashid Moten & Syed Sirajul Islam (2009), Introduction to Political Science, Thomson: Singapore


Kapur, A.C. (2009), Principles of Political Science, S. Chand & Co. Ltd: New Delhi


Roskin, Michael (2000), Political Science, Prentice-Hall, Inc.: New Jersey


Rod, Hague (2001), Political Science, Palgrave: New York


Shively, Phillips (2001), Power & Choice- An Introduction to Political Science, Random House: New York.


Federal Constitution (with the  latest amendments)




©   Peter Johnson 2005 - 2011(Revised)