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Conference of Rulers in Malaysia

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The Conference of Rulers (Durbar), also known as theCouncil of Rulers, is a royal council comprising the 9 rulers of the Malay states, and the Yang di-Pertua Negeri(Governors) of the other 4 states. The Secretary of the Conference is the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal.
The Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governors) are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and do not participate in matters relating to: * the election or removal of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or his deputy; * privileges of the Malay rulers; and * matters related to the observance of Islam. |
The Conference of Rulers also plays a role in amending the Constitution of Malaysia and some other policies, in particular, those Articles which have been "entrenched", i.e.: * those pertaining to the status of the rulers; * the special privileges of the indigenous Bumiputera(see Article 153 of the Federal Constitution); * the status of the Malay language as the national language; and * the clause governing the entrenchment of such Articles. |

2. Meetings: The Conference of Rulers generally meets 3 times a year. The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal may also convene a meeting at the request of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or of at least 3 members of the Conference. Meetings will also be convened not later than 4 weeks before the end of the 5-year reign of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or whenever there is a vacancy in either his seat or that of his deputy.
The Conference generally meets at the Istana Negara, but may also be held at other venues, should the members of the Conference consent. Each ruler generally takes turns to chair the meetings. When attending Conference meetings, each Malay Ruler and Governor is accompanied by the Menteri Besar or Chief Minister. When the Yang di-Pertuan Agong attends, he is accompanied by the Prime Minister. During the meeting, none of the Malay Rulers take precedence above another and all are considered equal. Even the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has no precedence above the Malay Rulers and serves to represent the Federal Government.
Should a member of the Conference be unable to attend a meeting, a temporary replacement must be designated. Once elected, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong delegates his state representation in the Conference to his Regent. However, he still attends the meetings of the Conference, albeit intermittently, and usually only when the Conference would be discussing national policy or electing a new Yang di-Pertuan Agong. |
3. History: The Conference of Rulers has its origins in the 1897 Council of Rulers for the Federated Malay States, under the British colonial regime. Only the 4 Federated Malay States of Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, andPahang were represented at the Conference, the purpose of which, as described by Resident-General Frank Swettenham, was to "bring home to the Malays, in the most striking manner possible, the reality of federation".
After World War II, a similar body called the "Council of Sultans" was constituted under the short-lived Malayan Union. The Council comprised: * the Governor of the Malayan Union, who acted as President; * the 9 rulers; * the Chief Secretary; * the Attorney-General; and * Financial Secretary. |
The sole functions of the Council of Sultans were to consider legislation related to Islam (a function carried out by a subcommittee of the Council, comprising only the Muslim members) and to advise the Governor of the Malayan Union or the ruler of any state, as necessary. | | |
The first Conference of Rulers was convened on 31 August 1948, the year the British established the semi-autonomous Federation of Malaya, where it was attended by the rulers of all 9 Malay states. It continued after independence, when it was formally established under the Constitution.…...

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