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Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories. These are divided between two regions, with 11 states and two federal territories on Peninsular Malaysia and the other two states and one federal territory in East Malaysia. Governance of the states is divided between the federal and the state governments, and the Federal government has direct administration of the federal territories.
The 13 states are based on historical Malay Kingdoms, and 9 of the 11 Peninsular states, known as the Malay states, retain their royal families. The King is elected by and from the nine rulers to serve a five-year term. Each state has a unicameral legislature known as the State Legislative Assembly. The states of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) have separate immigration policies and controls, and a unique residency status. For citizens of one of these states or Peninsular Malaysia, the other areas of Malaysia are considered foreign countries under immigration laws. Each state is further divided into districts, which are then divided into mukim. In Sabah and Sarawak districts are grouped into divisions.
The federal parliament is permitted to legislate on issues of land, the Islamic religion and local government, in order to provide for a uniform law among all states. It may also intervene at the request of the state assembly concerned. Except for some land related laws, the in question must also be passed by the state assembly. Non-Islamic issues that fall under the purview of the state may also be legislated at the federal level for the purpose of conforming with Malaysian treaty obligations.
Read more about this topic: Malaysia
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