INTRODUCTION: Laws Applicable To Universities.

All public universities in Malaysia are regulated by Acts of Parliament. The powers and functions of their Board of Directors and of their Principle Officers are derived from these Acts.

Laws Relating to IPTAs: The prominent Acts of Parliament relating to public universities are:

• University of Malaya Act, 1961 (No. 44 of 1961)
• Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (Act 30) (as
• Universiti Teknologi MARA Act 1976 (Act 173) (as amended)
• Statutory Bodies (Discipline And Surcharge) Act 2000 (Act 605)
• Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional Act 1997 (Act

Subsidiary Legislation: Under the authority of the above Acts of Parliament, a wealth of subsidiary legislation has been enacted to regulate the working of each IPTA.

Other Acts of Parliament: In addition to the above laws, all IPTAs are also affected by the operation of the ordinary rules of the land. The most relevant of these laws are: the Audit Act 1957, Statutory Bodies (Accounts and Annual Reports) Act 1980, Employees Provident Fund Act 1991, and Employees Social Security Act 1969, Employment Act 1955, Trade Unions Act 1959, Industrial Relations Act 1967, Government Contracts Act 1949, Public Authorities Protection Act 1948, Anti-Corruption Act 1997, Penal Code and the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Directives: The formal provisions of the law are supplemented by periodic directives from the Government and by informal understandings, usages and traditions that “supply the flesh to clothe the dry bones of the law”. Some of these traditions may be common to all the statutory bodies in the country. It is noteworthy, however, that directives, circulars, instructions and schemes framed by the JPA are not automatically binding on IPTAs because a university is a separate statutory body and is not part of the “public services of the Federation” as defined by Article 132(1) of the Federal Constitution. Only such directives from the JPA are applicable as are adopted by a university’s Lembaga Pengarah.

General Orders: IPTA employees are not “government servants” and are not part of the public services of the Federation as defined by Article 132 of the Federal Constitution. The General Orders of the federal government do not apply to IPTAs unless adopted by the IPTAs Lembaga Pengarah.


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