Institute of  Neo Education (iNED)



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

             totalitarian regime.

     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,

               pollution, etc;

        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

                service; and

         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

                international organisations.

        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

                 national Constitution.

       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

                 uncodified (unwritten).

          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

                    the people.

             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

                    political executive.

              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

        social status.


 (C)  Copyright Peter Johnson 2000-2013

 Updated: June 2013