- History in Brief
the heart of Southeast Asia at one of the world's major crossroads, Malaysia
has always been pivotal to trade routes from Europe, the Orient, India
and China. Its warm tropical climate and abundant natural blessings made
it a congenial destination
for immigrants as early as 5,000 years ago when the ancestors of the Orang
Asli, the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia, settle here, probably
the pioneers of a general movement from China and Tibet. They were followed
by the Malays, who brought with them skills in farming and the use of metals.
Around the first century BC, strong trading links were established with
China and India, and these had a major impact on the culture, language
and social customs of the country. Evidence of a Hindu-Buddhist period
in the history of Malaysia can today be found in the temple sites of the
Bujang Valley and Merbok Estuary in Kedah in the north west of Peninsular
Malaysia, near the Thai border. The spread of Islam, introduced by Arab
and Indian traders, brought the Hindu-Buddhist era to an end by the 13th
century. With the conversion of the Malay-Hindu rulers of the Melaka Sultanate
(the Malay kingdom which ruled both side of the Straits of Malaka for over
a hundred years),, Islam was established as the religion of the Malays,
and had profound effect on Malay society.
arrival of Europeans in Malaysia
brought a dramatic
change to the country. In 1511, the Portuguese captured Malaka and the
rulers of the Melaka Sultanate fled south to Johor where they tried to
establish a new kingdom. They were resisted not only by the Europeans but
by the Acehnese, Minangkabau and the Bugis, resulting in the sovereign
units of the present-day states of Peninsular Malaysia. The Portuguese
were in turn defeated in 1641 by the Dutch, who colonized Melaka until
the advent of the British in the Dutch exerted any profound influence on
Malay society. The British acquired Melaka from the Dutch in 1824 in exchange
for Bencoolen in Sumatra. From their new bases in Malaka, Penang and Singapore,
collectively known as the Straits settlements, the British, through their
influence and power, began the process of political intergration of the
Malay states of Peninsular Malaysia.
After World War II and the Japanese occupation from 1941-45,
the British created the Malayan Union 1946.This was abandoned in 1948 and
the Federation of Malaya emerged in its place. The Federation gained its
independence from Britain on 31 August 1957.In
September 1963, Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah, and initially Singapore united
to form Malaysia, a country whose potpourri of society and customs derives
from its rich heritage from four of the world's major cultures - Chinese,
Indian, Islamic and Western.
© 1997 by REGIT Sdn Bhd.All rights reserved.
-Founding of Melaka by Prince Parameswara
1511 - Melaka conquered by Portuguese. Malay Sultanate
re-established in Johor.
1541 - Portuguese rule in Melaka overthrown by Dutch.
1699 - Sultan Mahmud murdered, ending Melakan dynasty.
1786 - Francis Light founds British trading settlement on Penang.
1819 - Thomas Stamford Raffles establishes trading post on Singapore.
1824 - Anglo-Dutch Traty of London confirms Dutch rule in Indonesian
archipelago; Britain retains Straits Settlements (Penang,Melaka & Singapore)
1841 - James Brooke becomes first 'White Rajah' of Sarawak.
1881 - Establishment of British North Borneo Company in present-day
1895-1900 - Mat Salleh's rebellion in British North Borneo.
1896 - Formation of Federated Malay States (Perak, Pahang, N.Sembilan
& Selangor) as British Protectorate, with Kuala Lumpur as its capital.
1909 - Accepted of British Residents by Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan
& Terengganu (Unfederated Malay States)
1914 - Johor becomes last state to enter Malay Federation.
1941-45 - Japanese occupation.
1948 - creation of Federation of Malaya and begining of Malayan
1957 - Malaya declared independent.
1963 - Malaya joined by Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore to create Malaysia,
under first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman.
1963-6 - Indonesian Konfrontasi campaign.
1965 - Singapore becomes republic.
1969 - Racial tension culminates in May 13 Riot and emergency rule.
1971 - Formation of new national ideology designed to overcome ethnic
1981 - Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad becomes Malaysia's fourth