UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA
Institute of Neo Education (iNED)
PAD 170 : GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (ADDITIONAL)
1. Define 'election' and explain its functions OR Explain the reasons supporting the importance of an election.
'Election' refers to an act or process of choosing a person or persons for a public or political office.
The functions of an election are:
(i) To give the voters a choice of who should represent them in the legislature or government;
(ii) To elect representatives who will act on behalf of their constituents in relation to government
decisions, policies and government agencies;
(iii) To produce a legislature that reflects the main trends of opinion among the electorate;
(iv) To form a government that is in accordance with the wishes or will of the majority of the voters or the consent
of the governed;
(v) To produce a strong a strong and stable democratic government;
(vi) To allow wide public discussion of issues of national importance;
(vii) To educate citizens and make government more responsive and hold the leaders accountable
to the people for their actions and performance in office;
(viii) To provide legitimacy to the government - that is, to legitimize the acts of the rulers by giving their policies,
programmes, decisions and method of governance the stamp of approval;
(ix) To provide a mechanism to keep political leaders or the government responsible to the people; and
(x) To provide a peaceful and smooth means of changing the government or regime - i.e. without violence, by mobilizing
people to support certain policies, parties or leaders .
2. Explain the functions of political parties.
Political parties perform several functions. These are:
a. They recruit, select , nominate and back up candidates (by campaigning and canvassing) for political office.
b. They represent the will of the people - their interests and concerns- in the legislature.
c. The winning / majority party forms the government, formulates and implements public policies.
d. The opposition parties criticize and scrutinize the actions of the ruling party. They keep themselves in a state of
preparedness to form the government when the opportunity comes.
e. They stimulate and articulate (menyebut dengan terang) the interest of the people as brokers of ideas.
f. They promote a broad set of beliefs and policies to reach their members and independent voters.
g. The opposition parties articulate their views and concerns against the ruling party. By doing this, the opposition parties
give the public an alternative (i.e. policy, platform, programme).
h. Interest articulation and aggregation is another important function of political parties. This means that political parties
educate, instruct, enlighten and make the citizens politically conscious as well as active. 'Aggregation' means to bring
together the interests of different groups in the state and provide a platform where the interests of the various groups
can be combined or aggregated to form broad political policies and programmes.
i. They provide the much-needed connection between the people and the government. They in fact bridge the gap between
citizens and the government.
j. They also serve as instruments or agents of social and economic change.
k. They are one of the main avenues for political debate and discussion in the community. Since most members of parliament
are members of political parties, it follows that parliamentary debate, questioning and scrutiny is focused around their
interests, concerns, issues of the day and preferences.
3. Explain the elements of a two-party system.
The elements of a two-party system are the following:
a. Two major political parties dominate the voting in nearly all elections.
b. All, or nearly all, elected political offices are held by candidates endorsed by the two major parties.
c. One of two major parties typically holds a majority in the legislature (elected chamber) and is referred
to as the Majority Party. The other major party is called the Minority Party or the Opposition Party.
d. Control of government power shits or alternates between the two dominant / major parties.
4. Explain the features of a one-party (single-party) system.
The following are the features of a single or one-party system:
a. The position of the ruling party is guaranteed in the constitution of the state.
b. All forms of political opposition are banned by law.
c. A single political party forms the government and no other parties are allowed to nominate candidates for election.
d. The ruling party controls all aspects of life within the state.
e. In most cases, parties other than the one in power (the ruling party), are banned.
5. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a single-party system.
i. Under a one-party system, there is no waste of money or energy in fighting elections. The party nominates
candidates and they are returned unopposed.
ii. Policies and programmes of the government can be implemented fast and social and economic progress
could be achieved as there would be no opposition parties to delay or criticize them.
iii. Elected representatives can be expected to work with dedication and commitment as they are under a
iv. Under a single-party rule, there is political stability, efficiency and continuity.
i. Under a single-party rule, there is no place for tolerance, discussion, dialogue or compromise. Elected
candidates have to follow the orders of the party. If they disobey the party, they will face serious consequences.
ii. There is no peaceful method to change the government (regime) if it is ineffective or corrupt or autocratic.
iii. A single-party system is against democratic principles (i.e. anti-democratic). It does not give freedom of choice
or the right to people to elect leaders of their own choice.
iv. The people cannot organise themselves into groups for the realisation of their individual interests.
v. Another disadvantage of a one-party-system is the lack of checks and balances, which drives the regime
to misuse and excesses of power and finally bring about disorder and inefficiency.
6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a two-party system.
The advantages of a two-party system are:
i. It is considered to be more stable and political stability can contribute to economic growth.
ii. The system is simple for voters as they only have two parties to choose from. In other words, it offers clear-cut alternative
to the voters as they have to choose one out of the two parties.
iii. There is more harmony and less unruliness in a two-party system than in a multi-party system.
iv. A two-party system also avoids a hung parliament (parlimen tergantung) which can be a feature of a multi-party system.
v. It is very easy to govern, with less friction and stable political environment.
vi. Uncommon, unconventional ideas and ideologies will not be influential in a two-party system. Therefore, policies and
governments would not change rapidly.
vii. It is less prone to revolutions, coups or civil wars.
viii. Formation of governments is easy and simple.
ix. It is easy to fix responsibility under a two-party system for failure of public policy and administration.
x. The system is essential for a successful parliamentary democracy and it reflects the spirit of political democracy.
The disadvantages of a two-party system are the following:
a. There is always a variety of views, schools of thought and ideas and conflicting interests in a country. All these are not
do not get adequate representation or seldom recognized under this system.
b. It destroys the prestige of the legislature, makes the party in power despotic, and paves the way for Cabinet
c. The majority party in the legislature might have been elected with minority of votes and thus the minority may rule in the
name of the majority.
d. It splits the country into two irreconcilable (tidak mungkin berbaik) camps and this could affect national unity and
7. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a multi-party system.
The advantages of a multi-party system are the following:
i. It gives representation to all shades of public opinion in a country. The parliament becomes a true mirror of public mind.
ii. The voters are given many choices during an election.
iii. The government normally represents the majority of voters.
iv. Cabinet dictatorship is not possible under this system as the legislature by grouping and regrouping can oust (memecat)
a Cabinet out of office immediately.
v. It is more democratic as it provides a voice even to minority groups.
The disadvantages of a multi-party system may be stated as follows :
a. A multi-party system is unstable as the many parties in a coalition, with their different ideologies, principles and interests,
can easily breakup and breakaway, resulting in frequent change of government.
b. The opposition consists of various groups having different principles. Such an unorganized opposition is not conducive to
c. Under the multi-party system the voters are not sure as to which party would form the government, because the government
is formed later on by the combination of various groups and negotiations. As a result, the Cabinet is not the direct choice
of the people.
d. Since the Cabinet under the multi-party system is composed of various parties, it is difficult to fix responsibility for failures
and failings of the government or national policies.
e. Under the multi-party system, constitutional crises are common because at times a decisive majority in the legislature
may not be possible. It may lead to political compromises or wheeling and dealing (putar belit).
f. There is no continuity (kesinambungan) in national policy under a multiparty system as the government can collapse at any
g. There is no harmony in the government under a multi-party system as the various parties forming the coalition have separate
programmes, interests and ideologies.
8. Explain the functions of pressure groups (interest groups).
Pressure groups perform the following functions:
a. They carry on effective and widespread publicity to promote their cause and to influence
the government to enact the necessary laws;
b. They provide a forum for groups that are not adequately represented through the electoral
process or by political parties;
c. They try to influence government policy by mobilizing popular support through activities
such as petitions, marches, demonstrations and protests;
d. They communicate with the public and create political consciousness among them;
e. They provide a link between the people and the government and in this way they help the law-makers
and administrators to obtain information on facts and attitudes before making any decisions;
f. They represent minority groups who cannot represent themselves;
g. They perform a role in educating citizens about specific and key issues, such as human rights, electoral reforms,
h. They provide an important access point for those seeking redress of grievance or injustice;
i. They are an important and valuable source of specialist information /expertise for an overloaded legislature and civil
j. They encourage a decentralization of power within the political system. They act as a check and balance to the power
of the executive branch of government.
9. Define 'government' and explain its functions (purposes).
'Government' is a political organisation that administers (mentadbir) a country and enacts and enforces laws in a country.
A government performs several functions. These may be stated as follows:
i. It provides various services to the people (e.g. health care, education, welfare, housing, transportation, public utilities
such as water, electricity, telecommunication).
ii. It governs the country and takes care of the needs and interests of the people.
iii. It administers justice and punishes offenders (pesalah).
iv. It issues currency (matawang).
v. It enacts and enforces laws and policies in the country.
vi. It imposes and collects taxes to finance its programmes and projects.
vii. It protects the people and the country from internal subversion and external attack by maintaining police and armed
viii. It conducts diplomatic, economic, trade, cultural and political relations with foreign r countries and regional and
ix. It maintains law and order in the country.
x. It protects the rights and liberties of its citizens.
10. Explain the characteristics of a government.
The characteristics of a government are the following:
a. It is a political organization.
b. It is the agent or instrument of a national political community.
c. It is formed by a single party or a coalition of parties after a general elction.
d. It consists of three branches or organs - i.e. the legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.
e. It has the legitimate (legal) right to exercise political power over all members of the society.
f. It is an element of a state.
g. It is the agency through which the policies and laws of the state are enacted and enforced.
h. It is responsible for providing various services (such as education, health care, public utilities, welfare, etc) for the people.
i. It determines the day-to-day operations and activities of a state.
j. It is responsible for ensuring public order and maintaining internal and external security.
k. It has a monopoly of the legitimate (yang sah) use of physical force or coercive power within a given territory.
11. Define 'Monarchy' and explain its features.
'Monarchy' is rule by a King, Queen, Emperor, Emir or Sultan. Examples of monarchies are: Malaysia, United Kingdom,
Thailand, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Swaziland, Saudi Arabia, Brunei Darussalam, Oman.
The features of a Monarchy are the following:
a. In a Monarchy, a king, queen or Emperor rules the country.
b. The monarch acts (bertindak) as the Head of State.
c. A monarchy has either a hereditary monarch or an elected monarch: The United Kingdom (UK) or Britain has a
hereditary monarch; Malaysia has an elected monarch - he sis elected for a period of 5 years by the Conference
of Rulers (Majlis Raja-Raja) on a rotational basis from among the rulers of the states.
d. A monarchy may be either a constitutional or absolute monarchy. In a constitutional monarchy, the ruler acts
on the advice of the head of government and rules according to constitutional principles; the monarch is also
appointed according to the rules of the constitution. A constitutional monarchy has nominal and limited powers
whereas in an absolute monarchy, the monarch has unlimited or absolute powers (kuasa yang tidak terbatas
atau kuasa mutlak).
12. Explains the merits of a constitutional monarcy.
The merits of a constitutional monarchy are the following:
a. It provides stability, continuity (kesinambungan) and a focus for national unity, as the Head of State remains the same
even as governments change.
b. The Monarch governs according to the constitution - that is, according to certain rules and principles., rather than
according to his or her own free will. This means that the powers of the Monarch are restricted (terbatas) to those granted
under the constitution and laws of the nation.
c. It separates the Monarch's (Head of State) ceremonial and official duties from party politics.
d. The Sovereign (Monarch) is an impartial (tidak memihak kepada mana-mana pihak) symbolic head of State above politics,
commercial and factional interests.
e. On almost all matters the Sovereign acts on the advice of the Prime Minister / Cabinet.
f. The power to enact laws is in the hands of an elected parliament, not with the Monarch.
13. Explain the characteristics of a Republic.
The characteristics of a Republic are the following:
i. It is a form of government in which the head of government is not a monarch.
ii. The head of state in a republic is usually a president.
iii. The head of state is either elected directly by the people (example: President of Singapore) or indirectly - the
election of the US President is an indirect election; voters elect the electoral college, which then elects the
President or by the legislature (example: President of India).
iv. The term of office (tempoh jawatan) of the head of state is usually limited by the constitution. Examples: the President
of Singapore holds office for a term of six years; the Indian President serves for 5 years; the US President serves for a
period of four years and he can only hold office for a maximum of two terms (i.e. a total of 8 years).
v. It is a form of government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens eligible to vote and is exercised by
elected representatives responsible to them and governing according to law. It is basically a representative democracy
or representative and responsible government.
vi. Some republics are socialist /communist countries (North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, People's Republic of China); some are
democracies (Singapore, India, Kenya) ; and some are Islamic countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia).
14. Explain the characteristics of a Federal government.
The characteristics of a federal government may be stated as follows:
a. A federal state or a federation is a union (gabungan) of several provinces or states. (Example: Malaysia, India, USA,
Australia, Canada, Austria, Brazil).
b. There are two levels or sets of government: a central and several state governments. Both governments derive their
authority from the national constitution.
c. The powers of the government are shared or divided or distributed between the two levels of government.
d. The powers of the two sets of government are clearly spelt out in the constitution to avoid disputes or a political crisis.
e. The central government has more powers than the state or provincial governments.
f. There is an independent apex (superior) court to settle constitutional disputes (pertikaian) that may arise (timbul)
between the states and the central government.
g. The constitution of a federal government is codified or written ( in a single document), is rigid (i.e. requires a strict
procedure to amend the constitution) and is the supreme law of the land.
h. The courts have the power to interpret any law or decide on the constitutionality of any action of the government.
i. The fundamental (basic) rights of citizens are enshrined (termaktub) in the national constitution.
j. Some federal governments have a presidential system and some others have a parliamentary form.
k. In a federal system, the national constitution protects the right of each level of government to exist.
l. The government is restricted by the laws and Constitution (limited government) and it has to operate within
the framework of the laws and Constitution. In other words, it cannot exceed the powers granted to it by the
m. The government is divided into three branches - the Legislative, Executive and Judicial - each with its own functions
and powers. Each acts as a check and balance on the power of the other branches.
n. The individual states/provinces have the right to make decisions and govern on certain issues/matters (as granted
to them by the Constitution) without the consent or agreement of the central government.
15. Explain the features of a unitary system.
The features of a unitary system are the following:
i. A unitary system of government has only a single, centralised national level of government. (Example: Singapore,
United Kingdom (Britain), Japan, France, New Zealand, Egypt, Turkey, Denmark, Thailand, Norway, Fiji, Vietnam).
ii. The entire territory (wilayah) of a unitary state constitutes a single sovereign entity or nation-state and therefore
the central government exercises sovereignty over the whole territory as of right.
iii. All political power is in the hands of the central/national government.
iv. The national government creates (membentuk) lower levels of government (such as local governmnet units / local
authorities) and delegates (mewakilkan) powers to them, but it can withdraw (menarik balik) or curtail (membatasi)
the powers delegated to them at any time. The local units can can exercise only the powers delegated to them;
the central government remains supreme in all matters.
v. In this system of government, the policies and laws of the government are uniform (seragam) and apply to the whole
Examples of Unitary governments are: Britain, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand.
16. Explain the characteristics of a parliamentary government.
The characteristics of a parliamentary government are the following:
a. The political party that obtains most seats in parliament (majority party) during a general election forms the government.
b. The minority party (the party that has won less seats) forms the Opposition and acts as a watchdog over the
activities/actions of the government.
c. Normally, the leader of the majority party in parliament- in the lower house- is appointed as the Prime Minister.
d. The members of the Executive (i.e. Cabinet members) are also members of the legislature. This means that there is
no separation of powers, but fusion and combination of powers, between the Legislature and the Executive. The
Executive is collectively responsible, answerable and accountable to the Legislature.
e. There is always a dual (two) Executive- one is the head of state and the other is the head of government. The head of
state is known as the Nominal Executive whereas the head of government is called the Real Executive. The office of the
head of state is formal and ceremonial and does not exercise any real powers, but acts on the advice of the head of
government. Actual authority and all powers of the government are exercised by the Cabinet under the leadership of
the Prime Minister.
f. The members of the Cabinet (Executive) are the real administrators. They are heads of public agencies. The policies are
collectively formulated by them. They have to quit if they lose the confidence of the lower house of parliament.
g. It is a flexible system of government in the sense that the legislature can be dissolved whenever the government wants
to seek a fresh mandate or verdict from the people. There is no need to wait until the expiry of full duration (usually 5
years) of the lower house.
Examples of parliamentary governments are: Malaysia, Australia, Canada, India.
17. Explain the features of a presidential system of government.
The features of a presidential system of government are:
i. The head of state, known as the President, is elected by the people in a separate election for a fixed period. In the USA, for
example, the President is elected for a four-year term and he cannot serve for more than two terms- i.e. eight years.
ii. The system is based on the the principle of separation of powers. The Executive and Legislature are independent of
each other (i.e. the Executive is not part of the Legislature). This means that the Executive is not responsible to the
iii. There is a single Executive- the President is both the head of state and the head of government. All executive powers are
vested (terletak di tangan) in the President.
iv. The President and his ministers cannot be removed by the legislature. The President can be removed from office if he
commits a serious crime (by a process called " impeachment').
v. The President is the source of all administrative decisions. He is free to dismiss any or all of his ministers whenever he so
vi. The President cannot dissolve (membubarkan) the legislature. The legislature cannot be dissolved before the expiry of its
fixed tenure (term).
Examples of Presidential governments are: United States of Americas(USA); Argentina; Nigeria; the Philippines; Mexico.
18. Discuss the merits (advantages) and demerits (disadvantages) of a unitary government.
a. As there is only one level of government (centralised), there is uniformity (keseragaman) in policies, laws and
administrative system for the whole country. The whole country is administered as a single unit.
b. As political power is not divided, there are no conflicts or quarrels. Local units do not enjoy any original power (only
delegated power). Therefore they cannot challenge the central or national government. In other words, there is greater
stability in the country.
c. There is no duplication (pertindihan) of services and institutions of authority as in a federal government and
therefore the unitary system is simple, effective and less expensive to run.
d. Since it is a flexible system, the central government can delegate powers to local and regional government
according to the situation or as and when required.
e. Decision-making, particularly during a war or emergency, is prompt and speedy (cepat dan pantas).
f. As all the powers are in the hands of a single government, greater skill and efficiency is seen in the mangement
of the economy, domestic and international affairs.
g. A single citizenship secures loyalty (kesetiaan) of people to one government and minimizes chances of civil strifes
(persengketaan / perang saudara). there is no danger of the units seceding (breaking aaway/ berpisah) from the central
h. It assures a sense of unity among the citizens.
i. As there is only one legislature and one administrative system, time is saved and wastage of money is avoided. This
means less financial burden on the people, quick decisions and uniform implementation.
j. As it is a flexible system, laws or the Constitution can be easily changed without any strict procedure.
i. In a unitary system, the central government becomes overburdened/overloaded with work as there is
no distribution of powers. This results in red-tape, delay, inefficiency and corruption in administration.
ii. The central government is out of touch with local problems, issues and concerns because everything is done from the
Centre. This makes it slow in addressing local problems. It often leads to neglect of local administration.
iii. Concentration or centralisation of power (penumpuan/pemusatan kuasa) often leads to abuse of power
(penyalahgunaan kuasa) authoritarianism, dictatorship and arbitrary government.
iv. Military coup (rampasan kuasa) becomes easy in small unitary states as there is only one government to be
v. As the government becomes heavily dependent on the bureaucracy, concentration of power in the hands of civil servants
makes for an unresponsive administration. This, in turn, may lead to lack of cooperation or indifference on the part of the
vi. A unitary system having a single central authority may easily collapse under pressure from within or without.
19. Explain the differences between a federal and a unitary form of government.
The differences between a federal and a unitary form of government may be summarised as follows:
a. In a federal system of government, there are two sets or two levels of government - central or national and several
provincial or state or regional governments- whereas (sedangkan/ manakala) in a unitary government there is only one
set or one level of government - a central or national government.
b. Political power is divided or shared between the central and state governments in a federal system. The central
government and the state/provincial governments derive their authority from the Constitution. The regional governments
are autonomous (self-governing/ independent), not subordinate (rendah), but in the unitary system, on the other hand,
(sebaliknya) the powers of the central government are unlimited; the provinces are not autonomous and their powers
are delegated and could be withdrawn anytime.
c. In a federal government, the constitution is codified (written) whereas in a unitary government the constitution is
d. A federal government has a rigid constitution, but a unitary government has a flexible constitution.
e. In a federal form of government, there are two different sets or types of laws - central government and state government
laws- whereas in a unitary system, there is only one set of laws (uniform laws) applicable to the whole country.
20. Explain the differences between a parliamentary and a presidential government.
The differences between a parliamentary and a presidential government may be stated as follows:
i. In a parliamentary government, there are dual (two ) Executives- head of state (Monarch) and head of government
(Prime Minister) - whereas in a presidential government, there is only a single Executive - the President is both
head of state and head of government.
ii. In a parliamentary system, the Chief Executive (Prime Minister) is part of the legislature or parliament, but in a
presidential system, the Chief Executive (President) is separate from the legislative body. In other words, there is
fusion or combination of powers between the Executive and the Legislature in a parliamentary government, but
separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature in a presidential government. This means that
the Prime Minister is answerable, accountable and responsible to the legislature whereas the President is not
responsible to the legislature.
iii. In a parliamentary government, the head of state (monarch) appoints the leader of the majority party in parliament
as the head of government (Prime Minister), whereas in a presidential government the head of state (President) is
elected separately by the people.
iv. In a parliamentary government, the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers can be dismissed by the legislature if they
lose its confidence, but in a presidential system, the President cannot be removed by the legislature unless he commits
a serious crime (by a process called 'Impeachment').
v. The Prime Minister in a parliamentary government can advise the head of state to dissolve (membubarkan) parliament,
but in a presidential system, the President has no power to dissolve the legislature as he is not part of the legislature.
21. Describe the methods of appointment of judges.
There are three main methods of judicial appointment : (a) Popular election (i.e. election by the people); (b) Election by
the Legislature; and (c) Appointment by the Executive.
Popular election: In some countries the judges are elected by the people. For example, in some of the cantons of
Switzerland, the judges are elected by the people. In some states in the United States of America too this method is
adopted. Elections may be partisan (i.e. a candidate may stand as an acknowledged representative of a particular
party (e.g. Republican or Democrat) or non-partisan (i.e. a candidate does not belong to any party). Voters choose their
judges in ordinary elections and the judge assume office based on the will of the majority. Some of the American states
that use the popular election method are: Michigan, Ohio, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Illinois, Washigton.
Election by the legislature: In some countries some judges are directly elected by parliament. In Germany, for example,
the judges of the Federal Constitutional Court are elected by both the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, according to
a pre-determined quota.
Appointment by the Executive: Appointment of judges by the Executive is the most common method. It is in practice in
nearly all countries in the world as it is thought that the Executive is the most appropriate agency to judge the qualities
necessary for a judicial office. In Malaysia, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State) appoints the judges on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister (Head of Government), after consulting the Conference of Rulers. The Judicial
Appointments Commission assists the Prime Minister in advising the YDPA on the appointment of judges. In the United
States of America, the President nominates and 'by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate' appoints federal
judges. Britain, India and new Zealand are some of the other countries which adopt this method.
22. Distinguish between real and nominal executive.
Nominal executive means that the head of state of a country (i.e. a hereditary king, queen, emperor or sultan) is only a
figure head without any actual or real powers, but real executive means that only the head of government ( i.e. Prime
Minister) has actual executive power. In Malaysia and the United kingdom, the Monarch is the nominal executive. The
Prime minister of Malaysia, as head of the government and the Cabinet, is the real executive.
23. Distinguish between (bezakan antara) single and plural executive.
Single executive means that the executive or decision-making power in a state is in the hands of one person, whereas
plural or collegial executive means that executive or decision-making power is in the hands of a group or council of
members each having equal status. In other words, in a single executive the responsibility for decision-making is
undivided (i.e. the power of decision-making is in the hands of a single person) whereas in a plural executive the
responsibility for decision-making is divided among a group of people. An example of a single executive is the President
of the United States of America (USA). The Federal Council of the Swiss Federation and the Cabinet in Malaysia, United
Kingdom (UK), Australia and Canada are examples of a plural executive.
24. Explain the origins of political parties.
Political parties emerged or were created owing to various circumstances or reasons. These may be summarised as
a. Various political parties were formed because of conflict of social or economic interest among the people.
b. Sometimes parties were formed to promote or safeguard the interest of a particular racial, religious or cultural group.
c. Another reason for the growth of political parties is the personality of a dynamic political leader who could inspire his
followers to support his struggle for social and economic reforms or political power.
d. Political parties were also established to influence government policies or to demand independence from the colonial
masters or demand autonomy from the central government.
e. Parties also emerged as a result of the development of demoracy which gave the people voting rights to choose their
25. Discuss the differences between an autocratic and a democratic form of government.
The differences between an autocratic and a democratic government may be summarised as follows:
a. In an autocratic government one person or a group of people or one party have uncontrolled or unlimited
political power, whereas in a democratic government political power is in the hands of the elected representatives of
b. In a democracy, both the government and the governed (yang diperintah) are subject to (tertakluk kepada) the rule of
law, but in an autocracy, rule of law does not exist.
c. A democratic government is formed with the participation or consent of the people, but an autocratic government
is established through a coup (rampasan kuasa) or military force and violence.
d. Basic liberties (such a freedom of speech, freedom of movement, right to vote, right to own property, freedom of religion)
are guaranteed and protected in a democratic government, but such fundamental liberties (kebebasan asasi) are not
available or protected in an autocracy.
e. In a democracy, the power of the government is limited by the constitution, whereas in an autocracy the power of the
ruler or government is uncontrolled and unlimited.
f. In a democratic government, the people can participate in the political process by forming political parties, but in an
autocratic government, only the ruling party is allowed and opposition parties are regarded as illegal.
g. The economies of these two governments are very different. Democratic governments have a market or free
enterprise system where buyers and sellers decide how to do business, but in an autocracy the economy is a command
where the government controls all business arrangements.
h. In a democracy the people choose their leaders they want to represent them by voting and thus get to have a say in how
their nation is run; but an autocracy is basically a 'dictatorship' where one person rules the country without any say from
the people. The autocrat does not allow the people to vote or to have a say in how the nation is run.
i. In a democracy, there is no press censorship by the government; the media can publish news or provide information
to the public without fear of prosecution. But in an autocratic government there is no press freedom. The media is
controlled by the government.
j. In a democracy there is an independent judiciary to resolve disputes between the people and between the people and the
government, whereas in an autocracy the ruler has all the powers and makes all the decisions.
k. In a democracy the government is accountable to the people, but in an autocracy the ruler is not responsible to the people;
he can do whatever he likes because he has absolute power.
l. In a democracy, governments can be changed by peaceful means (i.e. during an election), but in an autocracy the leader
retains his power and position by force.
26. Explain the functions of public administration.
The functions of public administration are:
i. To implement policies and laws determined by the government of the day.
ii. To provide various services (such as education, health care, welfare, etc) to the people.
iii. It maintains the stability of social institutions in the country; it maintains social unity and harmony by solving social
problems (such as unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, crimes, drug abuse, inequality, etc) .
iv. It acts as an instrument (alat) of social change and economic development. It plans, formulates and implements
various programmes and projects to eradicate poverty, provide jobs, to ensure equitable distribution of wealth,
to industrialize and modernize the country for the purpose of achieving economic prosperity.
v. It regulates and controls trade, businesses and economic activities through licensing and rules and regulations.
vi. It provides continuity when there is regime change. governments may come and go, but administration goes on forever.
27. Explain the functions of bureaucrats.
Bureaucrats are civil or public servants (penjawat awam). Their functions may be summarised as follows:
i. They execute (implement) and enforce the laws enacted by the legislature and the policies decided by the
ii. They provide various services to the people and carry out the administrative tasks (such as tax collection, project
implementation) of the government in line with established government policies.
iii. They provide information and advice to Ministers. When a Minister needs to know something or has to prepare for a
meeting, to make a speech, to answer questions in Parliament or to appear on the media, civil servants in his own
Ministry/Department or from other Departments provide the necessary briefing and advice .
iv. Bureaucrats help Ministers to formulate policy and make decisions by presenting them with alternatives, advice
and expertise (kepakaran), information and policy recommendations.
v. They formulate the detailed rules and regulations to give effect to the laws enacted by the legislature.
vi. Ministers and governments come and go, but civil servants are permanent. Once appointed they continue until
their retirement. Thus bureaucrats provide stability and continuity within the political system during regime change
(change of government).
28. Distinguish between (bezakan antara) Universal Franchise and Limited Franchise.
Franchise means the right to vote (hak untuk mengundi) in an election.
Universal franchise is based on the democratic principle that all men and women are equal and that every citizen,
regardless of race, colour, gender, religion or wealth. should be given the right to vote and choose his or her
representatives or leaders and participate in deciding government policy. But limited franchise is based on the belief that
voting right is not a natural right of all citizens; it is a right conferred (diberi) by the State (negara) and should not be
granted to all citizens because it requires an informed judgment in the choice of representatives.
Under limited franchise the right to vote was restricted (dihadkan) by race, gender (jantina) , belief (kepercayaan) , wealth or
(C) Copyright Peter Johnson 2000-2013
Updated: June 2013