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Question 1

Describe 2 characteristic of federal system

1. Distribution of powers:

An essential feature of a federal Constitution is the distribution of powers between the Central
Government and the Governments of the several units forming the federation. In order to make
the distribution clear and permanent it must be reduced to writing and must be made amenable to
amendments and changes by observing the procedure laid down in the Constitution itself. Left to
unwritten conventions or understanding it would create fluidity which in turn would generate
uncertainty leading to dissatisfaction among the constituent units. The powers of both the central
and the component government are divided formally by the constitution and each level of
government is given particular roles to play.

2. Supremacy of the Constitution:

In a federation, the constitution is supreme. The final authority lies in the constitution. Each of
the two levels of government can exercise their powers only as determined by the constitution.
The Constitution is binding on the Federal and the State Governments. The Central Government
as well as the State Governments derives their powers from the Constitution. Also, neither of the
two Governments should be in a position to override the provisions of the Constitution related to
the powers and status enjoyed by the other. Constitution is regarded as a higher law which is
there for the Union and States to obey and honour. None of the Units has the authority to
override or disregard the Constitution. In some cases the Union may have overriding powers but
not in relation to the divisions of power. Federal Constitutions guard attentively the distribution
of powers and do not tolerate encroachments. Just as Public Corporations derive their powers
from the Act creating them the two sets of Government owe their power to the Constitution and
are in a way controlled by it and function within the limits marked by it.
Question 2

Explain 2 differences between a politician and a civil servant

Public Servants

A common definition of a public servant is an individual who makes public well-being her life's
work. Police officers, firefighters, military service members, city clerks and public works
officials are well known examples of public servants. When you think of a public servant,
teachers, social workers and charity volunteers may also come to mind.


When you think of the politicians, you may think of the president, mayor, governor or
congresswoman. Politicians are surrounded by consultants, media relations officials, fundraisers
and schedulers. These individuals, who are politicians in their own right, help those in political
office to maintain a positive image, to stay informed, to research any background information
pertaining to a potential law and to draft documents. The political office holder delegates
responsibilities to her support team.


A public servant may be promoted into a higher position by a higher ranking authority. To obtain
a higher position, a person who holds a traditional political office, such as a mayor or governor,
cannot receive a promotion – she must campaign and be elected for that position as well. Some
individuals who hold political offices have the power to make laws, whereas some public
servants may enforce laws, but generally do not create them. Politicians are held accountable for
the decisions they make and policies they contribute. When a police officer or military service
member makes a decision, she is generally following protocol and accountability lies with a
higher authority. Additionally, the term public servant covers a wider scope of careers and
individuals than the term politician, which is limited to individuals who run for public office and
those who support them.
Question 3

Distinguish the following

- method of appointing a legislative member

- method of removing a legislative member

METHODS OF APPOINTMENT (Article 45 & Article 46 of Federal Constitution)

(a) In Malaysia, members of lower house are elected through national elections or by-

(b) In Malaysia, members of upper house are appointed by the Government or YDPA (the
Head of The State with the advice from the Head of The Government). The members to be
appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall be persons who in his opinion have rendered
distinguished public service or have achieved distinction in the professions, commerce, industry,
agriculture, cultural activities or social service or are representative of racial minorities or are
capable of representing the interests of aborigines.


Termination refers to a process that causes a person become disqualified from being a member of
any House of legislature. Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for
being a member of either House of Parliament if –

(a) he is and has been found or declared to be of unsound mind; or

(b) he is an undischarged bankrupt; or

(c) he holds an office of profit; or

(d) having been nominated for election to either House of Parliament or to the Legislative
Assembly of a State, or having acted as election agent to a person so nominated, he has failed to
lodge any return of election expenses required by law within the time and in the manner so
required; or

(e) he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia
Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced
to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand
ringgit and has not received a free pardon; or

(f) he has voluntarily acquired citizenship of, or exercised rights of citizenship in, any country
outside the Federation or has made a declaration of allegiance to any country outside the

Question 4

Describe 2 characteristic of unitary system of government

Unitary form of Government is a converse of federation and is a system in which all powers are
centralized in the hands of a central government. A single central government controls the whole
state with full might. Although the state is divided in provinces and other units but these
divisions are administrative in their nature. These sub-divisions completely work under the
supervision and control of the central government. In unitary form of government, the political
authority is centralized. Unitary State is useful in those states where there are no strong
nationalities or in the small states. Unitary system, a system of political organization in which
most or all of the governing power resides in a centralized government. It contrasts with a federal

1. Centralization of Powers
In unitary system, all powers are centralized in the hands of the central government and only
center is the reservoir of all state powers. In this system, there is no a province or provincial
governments and constitution empower the central government to legislate, execute and
adjudicate with full might. There is no any other institution to share governmental powers with
the central government. On one side, central government has full powers to rule without any
external pressure and runs the state administration with confidence without any fear and terror.
On the other hand, the rulers exercise their powers in absolute way without any check.
Centralization of powers is itself an administrative problem. Although in many unitary States,
there is local government system arrangement but powers are delegated to these units with strict
central control or supervision.

2. Single and Simple Government

Unitary form of government is very simple system. With the exception of Britain, there are
neither provincial assemblies and executives nor the upper chambers at the center. There is a
single central government at the center. There is unicameral legislature popularly elected. Central
legislature is to legislate, executive to execute and judiciary to adjudicate without any share.
Their expenses are less and state is run with a unified command. Upper chambers are usually
expensive and' weak states cannot afford it expenses. So, it is a simple and understandable
system. The common citizens easily, understand its structure and powers.

3. Uniformity of Laws
Another characteristic of unitary form of government, that laws of unitary system, unlike
federation, are uniform because laws are made only by a single central government for the whole
state. Laws made by the centre are equally enforced in the rest of the state without any territorial
distinction while in federation nature of law varies from province to province. So, uniformity of
laws in the unitary set-up is according to the principles of justice and nature of human beings. In
federation, sometimes sharp contrast is seen in the laws of the same nature, which complicates
the situation.

4. No Distribution of Powers
Constitutions of the federal form of state distribute powers between the centre and the provinces.
In unitary system, there is no any list of distribution of powers in the constitution. All powers
belong to the central government. In this system government is not in the grip of powers
distribution. It converts government attention on development because government is free of this

5. Flexible Constitutions
The constitutions of the unitary states are ever flexible in nature. A rigid constitution is required
only in federation in order to establish firm and safe relations between the centre and federating
units. Constitution of unitary system has an advantage that it may be changed according to the
needs of time and changing circumstances. A constitution is a document necessary to run a state
according to the changing orientations. People's desires change with the passage of time and
constitutions are amended accordingly. Its flexibility paves way for its progressiveness.
Constitutions of the unitary systems are evolutionary and may face any immediate situation.
Question 5

Explain an advantage of the following

- unicameral legislature

- bicameral legislature

A unicameral legislature refers to the type of legislature in which there is only one house or
chamber. In other words, all the legislators can be found in one house.

1. It is democratic
One advantage of a unicameral legislature is that it is democratic. Democratic tenets postulate
that people who make laws for the masses must be elected in a free and fair election. Members of
a unicameral chamber are directly elected by the people. Therefore, it is democratic.

2. Less expensive
One of the advantages of a unicameral legislature is that it is not expensive to operate. Salaries
and emoluments of members are paid to members of only one chamber. This is buttressed by the
fact that there is no second chamber so no further expenses are made.

3. Speeds up passage of laws

In a unicameral legislature, bills are considered by the only chamber that exists so a lot of time is
saved. There is no need for the consideration of a second chamber and therefore further delays
are avoided.

4. Ensures absence of conflicts

In a bicameral legislature, some form of rivalry is present and unavoidable as the two chambers
struggle for superiority. This kind of conflict is absent in a unicameral legislation.

5. Location of responsibility
The citizens are able to determine exactly who is responsible for legislation. This is because
there is no second chamber that may share the responsibility of making laws with the first

6. Applicable in times of emergency

In times of crisis, matters can be dealt with more expeditiously than when there is second
chamber. For example, when there a war situation, the only chamber available can move into
action where legislation is needed to handle the situation.

A bicameral legislature refers to that system in there is another legislature quite apart from the
one that representatives have been directly elected into. In a bicameral legislature, the second
chamber is referred to variously as the House of Lords in Britain, the Senate in the united States
of America and Nigeria.

1. Applicable in federal states

In a federal state, the component units may not be equal in size and population so the first
chamber has some states dominating in terms of representation. The second chamber is used to
balance that inequality. This is because in the second camber, all the states are equally
represented irrespective of their size and population.

2. Prevents the hasty passage of bills

After the first chamber has passed a bill, it is taken to the second chamber to have a second look.
If the second chamber finds something untoward, it sends it back to the first to correct before the
bill is finally passed into law. The second chamber therefore acts in a way that helps to prevent
the passage of bad laws.

3. Prevents the dictatorship of the legislature

The existence of a one chamber legislature, if unchecked, could become dictatorial. This is
because there would not be any institution looking over its shoulder to make sure it does not do
the wrong thing.
4. Allows for the use expert hands
There are some very experienced politicians and administrators who would want to put their
expertise at the disposal of the nation but would not be willing to go through the rigors of
election. Such people are offered the opportunity to offer their experience when they are
appointed to serve on the second chamber.

5. Buffer against executive influence

The existence of the second chamber, to a very large extent, prevents undue influence from the
executive. This is because the members of the second do not find themselves there on the basis
of party membership but rather based on their qualification.

6. Enlarges the scope of political participation

Since the second chamber allows for people with diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise
to serve there, the opportunity is given to a wide range of people to take part in politics.