Sarawak State Legislative Assembly

The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly is a component of the unicameral legislature of the Malaysian state of Sarawak; the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri of Sarawak forms the other part of the legislature. The Assembly is derived from the traditions of the Westminster parliamentary system, which originates from the practices of the British Parliament. The executive branch of government is drawn from the elected members of the Assembly. The State Legislative Assembly sits at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building located in Petra Jaya in Kuching, the state capital.

Sarawak State Legislative Assembly

Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak
ديوان اوندڠن نڬري سراوق
Gempuru Besai Menua Sarawak
18th Assembly
Founded8 September 1867
Abdul Taib Mahmud
since 1 March 2014
Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, GPS-PBB
since 15 November 2000
Deputy Speaker
Gerawat Gala, GPS-PBB
since 19 May 2016
Chong Chieng Jen, PHDAP
since 10 June 2013
Semawi Mohamad
Political groups
(As of 24 October 2019)

Government (68)
     Gabungan Parti Sarawak (68)

  •      PBB (47)
  •      PRS (11)
  •      SUPP (7)
  •      PDP (3)

Confidence and supply (4)
     PSB (4)

Opposition (10)
     Pakatan Harapan (10)

  •      DAP (7)
  •      PKR (3)
Last election
7 May 2016
Next election
By 7 September 2021
Meeting place
New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, Petra Jaya, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

The Legislative Assembly, as of 2019, consists of 82 members, making it the largest state legislature in Malaysia. Members are elected from single-member constituencies throughout the state under the first-past-the-post voting system, with elections held no more than five years apart. Sarawak does not practice compulsory voting, and eligible citizens are not automatically registered to vote in elections. Elections for the Assembly have been out-of-sync with the rest of Malaysia since 1978.

The Assembly is also the oldest legislature in Malaysia and one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world, being established on 8 September 1867 as the General Council under the Raj of Sarawak. In 1903, the General Council became the Council Negri (lit.State Council),[2] which lasted through the remainder of the Raj and continued throughout the colonial period and into the early years of the federation. However, the legislature was not directly elected until 1969.[3]

The executive is formed by the party or parties who commands the confidence and supply of the Assembly, with the leader of said party or parties becoming the Chief Minister, the head of government of the state. The formal appointment of the Chief Minister is performed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri. Since 2018, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak coalition holds a majority in the Assembly after its component parties split off from the Barisan Nasional coalition. Abang Abdul Rahman Johari Abang Openg has been the Chief Minister since 2017.


The first legislative assembly in Sarawak was formed during the rule of the White Rajahs. The General Council (Majlis Umum) of the Kingdom of Sarawak was convened on 8 September 1867 by Charles Brooke, the Rajah Muda under the orders of James Brooke, then the Rajah of Sarawak. Its members were chosen from local tribe leaders who were thought to be capable of assisting Brooke in administering the kingdom. The General Council later evolved into the Council Negri in 1903. The Council Negri first met in Bintulu.[2]

It continued to function even after Sarawak was ceded to the British Empire in 1946. Since 1963, when Sarawak joined with Malaya, Singapore and North Borneo (now known as Sabah) to form the Federation of Malaysia, in line with the federal and state constitutions, members of the Assembly have been elected representatives.[3]

The Assembly originally had 48 seats. That expanded to 56 in 1985, to 62 in 1985 and to 71 in 2005. In 2014 the Assembly passed a Bill to take the number of constituencies to 82. It has a greater number of seats than any other state assembly in Malaysia.[4]


The Legislative Assembly is constituted under article 13 of the state constitution.[5]:art. 13 The Assembly has the power to legislate on any matter for the state, except those that are within the exclusive domain of the federal Parliament as set out in the Federal List of the ninth schedule of the federal constitution.[6]:sch. 9 The Concurrent List (including the supplement) in the same schedule specifies the subjects that both the Assembly and Parliament may legislate for; however, the federal law prevails where they conflict.[6]:art. 75 The State List (including the supplement) are matters that are exclusively under the jurisdiction of the state. However, the Assembly also has residual powers over any matters that are not specified in the schedule.[6]:art. 77

Primary legislation successfully passed in the Assembly are styled Ordinances.[7] The Assembly must sit at least once a year (and often only does so once a year) to approve taxation to and supply from the state's consolidated fund. This is done during the tabling of the budget by the executive Cabinet.[8] Aside from administrative matters, members of the Assembly are free to speak on any issues, as stipulated in the Privileges, Immunities and Powers Ordinance 1963. Members of the Assembly are responsible for scrutinising the executive government's actions.[9]

The Speaker presides over proceedings in the Assembly. They are appointed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Speaker does not vote in any proceeding except to break a tie, and even then would only vote according to Speaker Denison's rule by convention.[10]


Membership and elections

Sarawak is, as of 2019, divided into 82 state constituencies, each directly electing one member to the Legislative Assembly under the first-past-the-post voting system. The Assembly may legislate to alter the number of members in the Assembly.[5]:art. 14(b)

The conduct of elections and electoral matters are bound by part 8 of the federal constitution, but other unspecified electoral matters are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.[6]:sch. 9 All elections and boundary determinations are therefore conducted by the federal Election Commission of Malaysia and are not overseen by any state authority.

State elections are triggered whenever the Assembly is dissolved. Dissolution is a prerogative of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri,[5]:art. 21(2) but by convention this is only done so on the advice of the Chief Minister. Notwithstanding this, the Assembly is automatically dissolved five years after the first sitting following an election.

Articles 16 & 17 of the state constitution provides the eligibility criteria for persons to be elected into the Assembly. Any Malaysian resident in Sarawak who are at least age 21 may be a member, unless they were convicted of an offence in Malaysia that has not been pardoned, are a bankrupt, holding an office of profit (except that of a native chief), are of unsound mind, convicted of electoral fraud or possess voluntary citizenship of another country.[5]:arts. 16–17 On the other hand, article 119 of the federal constitution regulates the eligibility of voters. Only Malaysian citizens resident in Sarawak, or are last resident in Sarawak if residing outside Malaysia, and are registered on the electoral roll may vote in state elections.[6]:art. 119 Overseas Sarawakians retain the electoral franchise regardless of the duration they are away from the country.

A member is formally styled "Member of the Legislative Assembly" and may use the post-nominal letters "MLA". Informally and in the media, they are often titled "state assemblyman" or "state assemblywoman" as appropriate.




The State Assembly also consists of committees that handle administrative matters. The committees include:[11]

  • Selection and Standing Order Committee
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • House Committee
  • Public Petitions Committee
  • Privileges Committee
  • Events Committee

Current members

68 4 10
47 11 7 3 7 3

Following the state election that was held on 7 May 2016, Barisan Nasional was able to form the next state government with a majority of 72 seats out of 82.[12] There were several candidates from breakaway parties such as TERAS and UPP that had their members contest seats under the Barisan banner as direct election candidates under a deal by Adenan Satem after their parties were prevented from joining Barisan after opposition from parties such as PDP and SUPP.[13] On 12 June 2018, all Sarawak-based BN parties including Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) officially left Barisan Nasional forming a new coalition Sarawak Parties Alliance due to Barisan Nasional's defeat in general elections on 9 May 2018.[14]

No. State constituency Member Coalition (Party) Post
GPS 68 | PH 10 | PSB 4 | IND 0
N01OparRanum Anak Mina[N 1][15]PSB N/A
N02Tasik BiruHenry JinepGPS (PDP)
N03Tanjong DatuJamilah Anu[N 2][16]GPS (PBB)
N04Pantai DamaiAbdul Rahman JunaidiGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N05Demak LautHazland Abang HipniGPS (PBB) N/A
N06TupongFazzrudin Abdul RahmanGPS (PBB)
N07SamariangSharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman GhazaliGPS (PBB)
N08SatokAbang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang OpengGPS (PBB) Chief Minister
N09PadunganWong King WeiPH (DAP) N/A
N10PendingViolet Yong Wui WuiPH (DAP)
N11Batu LintangSee Chee HowPH (PKR)
N12Kota SentosaChong Chieng JenPH (DAP) Leader Of Opposition
N13Batu KitangLo Khere ChiangGPS (SUPP) N/A
N14Batu KawahSim Kui HianGPS (SUPP) Minister
N15AsajayaAbdul Karim Rahman HamzahGPS (PBB) Minister
N16Muara TuangIdris BuangGPS (PBB) N/A
N17StakanMohamad Ali MahmudGPS (PBB)
N18SerembuMiro Simuh[N 3][17]GPS (PBB)
N19MambongJerip Susil[N 4][15]GPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N20TaratRoland Sagah Wee InnGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N21TebeduMichael Manyin JawongGPS (PBB) Minister
N22KedupMaclaine Ben @ Martin BenGPS (PBB) N/A
N23Bukit SemujaJohn Ilus[N 5][17]GPS (PBB)
N24Sadong JayaAidel LariwooGPS (PBB)
N25SimunjanAwla IdrisGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N26GedongMohd Naroden MajaisGPS (PBB) N/A
N27SebuyauJulaihi NarawiGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N28LinggaSimoi PeriGPS (PBB) N/A
N29Beting MaroRazaili GaporGPS (PBB)
N30Balai RinginSnowdan LawanGPS (PRS) Assistant Minister
N31Bukit BegunanMong DagangGPS (PRS) N/A
N32SimanggangFrancis Harden HollisGPS (SUPP) Assistant Minister
N33EngkililiJohnical Rayong Ngipa[N 6][15]PSB N/A
N34Batang AiMalcom Mussen LamohGPS (PRS) Assistant Minister
N35SaribasRicky @ Mohamad Razi Bin SitamGPS (PBB) N/A
N36LayarGerald Rentap JabuGPS (PBB)
N37Bukit SabanDouglas Uggah EmbasGPS (PBB) Deputy Chief Minister
N38KalakaAbdul Wahab AzizGPS (PBB) N/A
N39KrianAli BijuPH (PKR)
N40KabongMohd Chee KadirhGPS (PBB)
N41Kuala RajangLen Talif SallehGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N42SemopAbdullah SaidolGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N43DaroSafiee AhmadGPS (PBB) N/A
N44JemorengJuanda JayaGPS (PBB)
N45RepokHuang Tiong SiiGPS (SUPP)
N46MeradongDing Kuong HiingGPS (SUPP)
N47PakanWilliam Mawan IkomGPS (PBB)
N48MeluanRolland Duat JubinGPS (PDP)
N49NgemahAlexander VincentGPS (PRS)
N50MachanAllan Siden GramongGPS (PBB)
N51Bukit AssekIrene Mary Chang Oi LingPH (DAP)
N52DudongTiong Thai King[N 7][18]PSB
N53Bawang AssanWong Soon Koh[N 8][18]PSB
N54PelawanDavid Wong Kee WoanPH (DAP) N/A
N55NangkaAnnuar RapaeeGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N56DalatFatimah AbdullahGPS (PBB) Minister
N57TellianYussibnosh BaloGPS (PBB) N/A
N58BalingianAbdul Yakub ArbiGPS (PBB)
N59TaminChristopher Gira SambangGPS (PRS)
N60KakusJohn Sikie TayaiGPS (PRS) Assistant Minister
N61PelagusWilsong Nyabong IjangGPS (PRS) N/A
N62KatibasAmbrose Blikau EnturanGPS (PBB)
N63Bukit GoramJefferson Jamit UnyatGPS (PBB)
N64BalehJames Jemut MasingGPS (PRS) Deputy Chief Minister
N65BelagaLiwan LagangGPS (PRS) Assistant Minister
N66MurumChukpai UgonGPS (PRS) N/A
N67JepakTalib ZulpilipGPS (PBB) Minister
N68Tanjong BatuChiew Chiu SingPH (DAP) N/A
N69KemenaStephen Rundi UtomGPS (PBB) Minister
N70SamalajuMajang RenggiGPS (PRS) N/A
N71BekenuRosey Yunus[N 9][17]GPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N72LambirRipin LamatGPS (PBB) N/A
N73PiasauSebastian Ting Chiew YewGPS (SUPP) Assistant Minister
N74PujutTing Tiong ChoonPH (DAP) N/A
N75SenadinLee Kim ShinGPS (SUPP) Minister
N76MarudiPenguang ManggilGPS (PDP) Assistant Minister
N77Telang UsanDennis NgauGPS (PBB) N/A
N78MuluGerawat Jala[N 10][17]GPS (PBB)Deputy Speaker
N79Bukit KotaAbdul Rahman IsmailGPS (PBB) Assistant Minister
N80Batu DanauPaulus Gumbang[N 11][17]GPS (PBB) N/A
N81Ba'kelalanBaru BianPH (PKR)
N82Bukit SariAwang Tengah Ali HassanGPS (PBB) Deputy Chief Minister
  • Padungan assemblyman, Wong King Wei was suspended by the Speaker from attending the state assembly for 12 months effectively on 30 April 2019 corresponding of 24 Syaaban 1441H. No by-election was held by the Election Commission of Malaysia due to his suspension since his seat wasn't declared as Vacant.

Seating arrangement

N40 KabongN36 LayarN46 MeradongCSergeant-at-ArmBN19 MambongN47 PakanN72 Lambir
N70 SamalajuN63 Bukit GoramN44 JemorengN27 SebuyauN53 Bawang AssanN35 Saribas
N50 MachanN25 SimunjanN2 Tasik BiruN32 SimanggangN78 Mulu (Deputy Speaker)N24 Sadong Jaya
N66 MurumN6 TupongN45 RepokN26 GedongN73 PiasauN22 Kedup
VacantN43 DaroN23 Bukit SemujaN52 DudongN60 KakusN42 SemopN5 Demak LautVacant
VacantN58 BalingianN18 SerembuN16 Muara TuangN75 SenadinN30 Balai RinginN49 NgemahVacant
VacantN48 MeluanN61 PelagusN57 TellianN15 AsajayaN76 MarudiN33 EngkililiVacant
VacantN59 TaminN13 Batu KitangN29 Beting MaroN67 JepakN55 NangkaN80 Batu DanauVacant
N77 Telang UsanDAN69 Kemena
VacantVacantVacantVacantN14 Batu KawahN79 Bukit KotaN28 LinggaVacant
VacantVacantVacantVacantN56 DalatN34 Batang AiN1 OparVacant
VacantVacantVacantN11 Batu LintangN21 TebeduN7 SamariangN17 StakanVacant
VacantVacantN74 PujutN10 PendingN82 Bukit Sari (Deputy Chief Minister III)N4 Pantai DamaiN31 Bukit BegunanVacant
VacantN51 Bukit AssekN81 Ba'kelalanN64 Baleh (Deputy Chief Minister II)N20 TaratN38 Kalaka
VacantN54 PelawanN68 Tanjong BatuN37 Bukit Saban (Deputy Chief Minister I)N41 Kuala RajangN62 Katibas
VacantN9 Padungan (suspended)N12 Kota Sentosa (Opposition Leader)the MaceN8 Satok (Chief Minister)N71 BekenuN3 Tanjong Datu
VacantN39 KrianSecretaryN65 BelagaVacant
Yang Di-Pertua Negeri

Previous Assemblies

List of Speakers

Speakers of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, 1963–present
No.SpeakerTerm startTerm end
2William Tan Ho Choon19681973
3Shahbuddin Y.K. Cheng19731976
4Abang Abu Bakar Abang Mustapha19761981
5Celestine Ujang Jilan19811987
6Robert Jacob Ridu19871994
7Wong Soon Koh19941996
8Song Swee Guan19962000
9Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar2000Incumbent

List of Leaders of the Opposition

Leaders of the Opposition in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, 1963–present[19]
No.Opposition LeaderNo. – State ConstituencyCoalition (Party)Term startTerm end
1Ong Kee HuiN03 – Kuching BaratSUPP19631966
2Stephen Yong Kuet TzeN03 – Kuching BaratSUPP19661969
3Stephen Kalong NingkanN20 – LayarSNAP19691974
4Dunstan Endawie EnchanaN22 – KrianSNAP19741976
5James Wong Kim MinN47 – LimbangSNAP19811986
6Edmund Langgu SagaN22 – KrianPBDS19871991
7Daniel Tajem MiriN20 – Bukit BegunanPBDS19911996
8Wong Ho LengN39 – Bukit AssekDAP19962001
9Chiew Chiu SingN53 – KidurongDAP20012006
8 (2)Wong Ho LengN45 – Bukit AssekDAP20062013
10Chong Chieng JenN12 – Kota SentosaPR (DAP)2013Incumbent

See also


  1. Ranum Anak Mina contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, rejoin his previous party PSB on 11 August 2016.
  2. Jamilah Anu was elected as a Barisan Nasional assemblyman on 18 February 2017 in a byelection following the death of assemblymen and Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
  3. Miro Simuh contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, joining PBB on 16 August 2016.
  4. Jerip Susil contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, rejoin his previous party UPP on 13 August 2016.
  5. John Ilus contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, joining PBB on 16 August 2016.
  6. Johnical Rayong Ngipa contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, rejoin his previous party PSB on 12 August 2016.
  7. Tiong Thai King contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, rejoin his previous party PSB after the election.
  8. Wong Soon Koh contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, rejoin his previous party UPP after the election.
  9. Rosey Yunus contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, joining PBB on 16 August 2016.
  10. Gerawat Jala contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, joining PBB on 16 August 2016.
  11. Paulus Gumbang contested the state election as a direct Barisan Nasional candidate, joining PBB on 16 August 2016.


  1. "Abang Johari Ketua Menteri baharu Sarawak". BH Online. Berita Harian. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  2. Sejarah Dewan Undangan Negeri 1 (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  3. Sejarah Dewan Undangan Negeri 2 (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  4. "Sarawak state assembly increase number of reps to 82". The Malaysian Insider. 11 November 2004. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  5. Constitution of the State of Sarawak. Available online at: Retrieved 16 December 2019. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019.
  6. Federal Constitution. Available online at: Retrieved 16 December 2019. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019.
  7. Kuasa Perundangan (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  8. Pengenalan (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  9. Fungsi (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  10. Speaker (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  11. Jawatankuasa Peraturan-peraturan Mesyuarat dan Pemilihan (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. Retrieved 14 June 2010
  12. "Blue wave sweeps across Sarawak". MalaysiaKini. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  13. Yu Ji (29 April 2016). "Proxy fights in limelight". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  14. "Sarawak parties exit Malaysia's BN, leaving former ruling coalition in tatters". The Straits Times. 12 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  15. "'UPP ready to soar to greater heights'". Borneo Post. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  16. "Landslide win for BN in Tanjung Datu by-election". Free Malaysia Today. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  17. "PBB now controls 45 of 82 Sarawak state seats". Free Malaysia Today. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  18. "Mawan in a Catch-22 situation". Borneo Post. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
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