Statutes and Subsidiary Legislation

Legislation consists of Statutes and Subsidiary Legislation.

Statutes consists of Acts of Parliament and State Enactments, whereas Subsidiary Legislation consists of Bylaws, Orders, Proclamations, Rules and Notifications.


In a majority of cases, a government minister or ministry prepares a first draft (Bill) with the assistance of the Attorney-General's Chambers. The Bill is first presented to the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and then the Senate (Dewan Negara) for First Reading, Second and Third Readings respectively. After being debated and passed, the Bill is submitted to the King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) for Royal Assent and is gazetted.

State Enactments also start as Bills and are debated and passed by the respective State Legislative Assemblies.

The Gazette

Section 18 of the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967 (Act 388) states:

The Gazette shall be published in parts as follows:

(a) a part to be known as the Acts Supplement which shall be published as and when necessary and which shall contain all Acts of Parliament and all Ordinances promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong;

[Part (a) consists of Principal Acts and Amending Acts (e.g. A1315 - Environmental Quality (Amendment) Act 2007]

(b) a part to be known as the Legislative Supplement A which shall be published as and when necessary and which shall contain all Royal Proclamations, orders, rules, regulations and by-laws;

[Part (b) consists of PU(A) subsidiary legislation (e.g. PU(A) 276/2011 – Land Public Transport (Compounding of Offences) Regulations 2011]

(c) a part to be known as the Legislative Supplement B which shall be published as and when necessary and which shall contain all subsidiary legislation other than that which is required to be published in the Legislative Supplement A;

[Part (c) consists of PU(B) subsidiary legislation (e.g. PU(B) 460/2011 – Appointment of Members of the Commission (relating to Act 695 – Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2000)]

(d) a part to be known as the Bills Supplement which shall be published as and when necessary and which shall contain all Bills;

[Part (d) consists of Bills introduced into Parliament after first reading in the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)]

(e) a part which shall contain all matter which is required to be published in the Gazette or which the Government deems it necessary to publish for general information other than matter which this subsection requires to be published in the other parts.

Date of law coming into force

Pursuant to Article 66(5) of the Federal Constitution, a law shall not come into force until it is published.  The date a law comes into force may be evident from any one of the following:

i)    The date which is stated in the Act itself;

ii)    On the date appointed by the Minister as stated in the PU(B) Gazette;

iii)    One day after the gazette date;

iv)    On the gazette date.

Amendment of Acts

Principal Acts may be amended by any one of the following methods:

i)    Amendment Acts;

ii)    PU(A);

iii)    PU(B);

iv)    Other Principal Acts.

Subsidiary Legislation may be amended by the following methods:

Federal subsidiary legislation

i)    Legal Notification/LN**;

ii)    Pemberitahu Undangan/PU(A);

iii)    Pemberitahu Undangan/PU(B).

State Enactments and State subsidiary legislation

i)    State Enactments (e.g. Sel. En. 10/2003)

ii)    State PU (e.g. Pg. PU. 7/2009)

Abbreviations and definitions

Am = Amended
B.M.A. = British Military Administration
Cap = Chapter
c.i.f. = date of coming into force
Del = Deleted
En. = Enactment
F.G.N. = Federal Gazette Notification
F.G.N. (N.S.) = Federal Gazette Notification (New Series)
F.L.N. = Federal Legal Notification
F.M. = Federation of Malaya
F.M.S. = Federated Malay States
G.N. = Gazette Notification
Ins = Inserted
L.N. = Legal Notification
Mod. = Modification
M.U. = Malayan Union
Ord. = Ordinance
P.U. = Pemberitahu Undangan (Legal Notification)
para = Paragraph
pt. = Part
Rec. = Rectified
Rep = Repealed
s = section
ss = sections
Sch = Schedule
Sub = Substituted
S.S. = Straits Settlement
w.e.f. = with effect from


*Editor’s Note: This is a general overview of how laws in Malaysia are enacted, published and amended. It is to provide users unfamiliar with legislative procedures and abbreviations with some basic information. The information found here is not exhaustive.

**Pre-independence, subsidiary legislation was published in the Gazette without referencing. From 1949 – 1957, regulations were published in a Legal Notification (LN) series numbered sequentially with each new year beginning  afresh with the number 1.  In September 1957, a new LN series was started and ended with LN 398/1958.  In 1965, the LN series was replaced by the PU (Pemberitahu Undangan) series and from 1967, the PU series was published in two parts, PU(A) and PU(B), which remains to date.