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Within Malaysiamarker, the Malay states are the nine states of Peninsular Malaysiamarker that have hereditary Rulers. In practice, these Rulers (titled Raja and Yang di-Pertuan Besar in Perlis and Negeri Sembilan respectively and Sultan elsewhere) are figureheads and follow the principles of constitutional monarchy. The nine Rulers of the Malay states elect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia from among their number.

The Malay states are to be distinguished from the States of Malayamarker, which comprise the Malay states and the two former British settlementsmarker of Penangmarker and Malaccamarker, which do not have native Rulers, but are headed by titular Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governors) appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

In a wider context, the term Malay states may cover the Sultanate of Brunei and the provinces of Narathiwatmarker, Pattanimarker, Satunmarker, Songkhlamarker and Yalamarker of Thailandmarker.

Before the formation of the Malayan Unionmarker in 1946, the Malay states were divided into the Federated Malay Statesmarker (headed by a British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpurmarker with a British Resident in each component state) and the Unfederated Malay States, each headed by the native Rulers but under the tutelage of a British Advisor.

Federated Malay States

Unfederated Malay States

See also

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