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Monday, 13 June 2011

Penang Governance and Law

The present Governor is Tun Dato' Seri Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas. His consent is required to dissolve the Legislative Assembly. In practice the Governor is a figurehead whose functions are chiefly symbolic and ceremonial. Actual executive powers lie with the Chief Minister and the State Executive Council whose members he appoint from the Legislative Assembly. The Chief Minister is in theory appointed by the Governor from am
Penang, being a former British settlement, is one of only four states in Malaysia not to have a hereditary Malay Ruler or Sultan. The other three are Malacca, also a British settlement whose sultanate was ended by the Portuguese conquest in 1511, and the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak.
The head of the state executive is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia). ong the elected assemblymen whom in his opinion commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, but in practice is invariably the leader of the party that wins the most seats in the state elections. The State Secretariat heads and coordinates the various departments and agencies of Penang's civil service.
The Chief Minister of Penang is Lim Guan Eng from the Democratic Action Party (DAP). Following the 12th general elections of 8 March 2008, the coalition of DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) formed the state government with the chief ministership going to the former for being the single largest party in the state legislature. Penang holds the distinction of being the sole state in Malaysia whose chief ministership has been continuously held by an ethnic Chinese since independence.

Local Authorities
The City Hall housing the Municipal Council of Penang Island
The State Assembly Building
A Committee of Assessors was formed in 1801 as the first town-planning agency.[86][87] The Enactment of Act XXVII “An Act For Appointing Municipal Commissioners And For Levying Rates And Taxes In The Several Stations Of The Settlement Of Prince Of Wales Island, Singapore And Malacca” was considered to be the establishment of the first local government in Penang.[88][89] The first Municipal Council in Malaya, the Municipal Council of George Town was established in 1857[90], later becoming the the City Council of George Town in 1957. In 1974, the City Council of George Town and the Rural District Council of Penang Island were merged into one local authority.[91]
Though Penang in 1951 was the first state in the then Malaya to hold local elections, local councillors have been appointed by the state government ever since local elections were abolished in Malaysia in 1965 as a result of the Indonesian Confrontation.[92] There are two local authorities in Penang, the Municipal Council of Penang Island (Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang) [4] and the Municipal Council of Province Wellesley (Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai)[5]. Both municipal councils are made up of a president, a municipal secretary and 24 councillors. The president is appointed by the State Government for a two-year term of office while the councillors are appointed for one-year terms of office.[93] The state is divided into 5 administrative regions, each headed by a district officer:

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