History of Malaysia

Today Malaysia is a prosperous country with a population of over 32 million.

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country. On the south of Thailand lies Peninsular Malaysia. The Sabah and Sarawak are situated across the South China Sea and structure part of Borneo's island. The small country of Brunei and the Kalimantan that is an Indonesian part of the island, is bordered by them. Malaysia's environmental highlights are the mangrove swamps, low plains, sandy beaches, and mountains. Rainforest covers more than 60%.

The Early History

The first-ever inhabitants to exist in Malaya (now Malaysia) were Stone Age hunter-gatherers. They showed up as early as 8,000 BCE. Later, farmers of the stone age came to Malaya and uprooted them. The farmers brought the burn and slash agriculture practices. They got a region free from the rainforest by burning and growing crops. Following a couple of years, the land was worn-out, and the farmers would clear another area. However, within a few years, the old territory would get canvassed in vegetation and would become fertile once more.

After 1,000 BCE, farmers that used metal arrived. They made tools from iron and bronze, and they settled along the coast and streams. They lived mostly by growing crops or fishing. In the second and third centuries, centralized states emerged in Malaya. The Malayans turned out to be profoundly cultivated. Malayan progress was vigorously affected by India. The religions of Buddhism and Hinduism were likewise brought into Malaya around then.

Srivijaya Period

In the 7th and 8th centuries, the state of Srivijaya of Sumatra rose to overwhelm quite a bit of Malaya. It was a kingdom in Sumatra with Palembang as its capital. The coast of Java, part of Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula were controlled by Srivijaya. Anyway, Srivijayan dominated the coast only. Their impact did not reach out far inland.

The success of Srivijaya depended on trade with India and China. Srivijaya rules the fundamental route between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, known as the Malacca Straits. Thus, it grew powerful and rich. Srivijaya ruled until the 11th century. At that point, its force declined, and by the 13th century, Srivijaya had completely failed over the power.

Melaka Period

Later Melaka came into the rule of Malaya. A man named Parameswara established it at the end of the 14th century. He started to rule the Island of Singapore called Temasek. However, he was overthrown by the Thais. Parameswara escaped for certain devotees and settled by a stream called Bertram.

It is heard that once he was chasing a mouse, a deer kicked one of his dogs. Parameswara accepting this as a sign, chose to establish a settlement there. Since he was remaining under a tree of Melaka, therefore he named it Melaka. Parameswara changed over to Islam – Islam initially arrived in the region during the 8th century. It made numerous conversions between the 14th and 16th centuries). During the 15th century, the new settlement succeeded and prospered. The sailing of Indian ships and trade with the Chinese and Arabs were the reason for power and wealth.

In 1511, the Portuguese noticed and launched an expedition which was led by Alfonso de Albuquerque to seize it. Melaka soon falls for it. However, the son of Melaka later found Johor.

Johor and Dutch Period

Johor became one of the powerful trading states. In the mid 16th century, Johor made a few unsuccessful attempts to recover Melaka. In the mid 17th century, they made an alliance with the Dutch against the Portuguese. After two failed attempts, in 1641, the Dutch laid an attack on Melaka once more with the help of Johor. After a terrible siege, Melaka finally falls for the Dutch. Another rich and ground-breaking state in Sumatra was the Aceh. The Sultanate of Aceh arrived at its top in the 17th century and then faced decline. Brunei was another incredible state. Effectively solid in the 15th century, it developed further in the 16th after the Portuguese caught Melaka. The force of Brunei was at its top in the 16th century. However, it declined toward the century's end.

In the 17th century, the Dutch drove out the remaining Europeans. For the rest of the 17th century, the district was ruled by the two companions. Later, in 1699 Sultan Mahmud was killed. This became the reason for the end of Johor's power.

Bugis Period

In the 18th century, a new power emerged, the Bugis people originated from the Sulawesi. They started to settle in the region of Johor at the end of the 17th century. And soon, they became powerful.

Raja Kecil, in 1717, claimed that he was the son of Sultan Mahmud and, along with his followers, seized Johor's capital. The kingdom of Abu Jalil was overthrown. After setting up a rival court against Raja Kecil, Abu Jalil was murdered. The Bugis turned on Raja Kecil seizing the capital and announcing Sulaiman, the son of Abu Jalil as the ruler. Since then, Bugis had control.

British Colonialism

In the late 18th century, the British East India Company exchanged with and controlled a part of India. Around then, they started searching for a base in Malaya. In 1786 Penang was captured, and Georgetown was established by the British under Francis Light. In 1800 they took over Province Wellesley. In 1819 a British trading port was established by Sir Stamford Raffles. According to London's treaty, in 1824, the Dutch and British split the state between them, and the Dutch gave up Melaka to the British.

Control of Sarawak by the British started in 1841. In 1840 a man named James Brooke assisted the Sultan of Brunei to pound a rebellion. As a prize, he was an offered area to rule, and in 1841 he conceded the title of Raja of Sarawak. Brooke's region was broadened in 1853.

Treaty of Pangkor

In 1853, there was a boom in tin exports as the British removed the duties on imports of tin from Malaya. In 1869 the opening of the Suez-canal and the steamships further increased the businesses making Chinese flock to Malaya for work.

In 1871, the Sultan of Perak expired, and there was a fight about who should succeed him. Moreover, China's secret societies argued about who might control the tin mines. It disrupted the tin supplies to Britain. So, Raja Abdullah, who claimed to be the righteous heir to Sultan, settled on an agreement with the British called Pangkor Agreement. The British perceived Abdullah as the Sultan of Perak. Consequently, he consented to a British adviser at his court who might advise him on all issues aside from those regarding the Malayan customs and religion.

Until 1874 the British limited themselves to trade and tried not to get engaged with Malayan legitimate issues. The treaty of Pangkor was the start of British political control of Malaya.

British Malaya Period

The British slowly expanded their rule over Malaya. More states had to acknowledge the protection of the British. In 1888 North Borneo, Brunei, and Sarawak and became British protectorates. In the early 20th century, the British expanded their impact over the Northern Malay states. In 1914 Johor additionally went under British principle.

In the 20th-century rubber industry grew in Malaya. The Malayan tin industry additionally succeeded, and an oil industry started in Singapore. During the 1920s, the Malayan economy was affluent; however, in the 1930s, during the depression, trades fell.

Japanese Rule in Malaya

In 1941 the Japanese attacked the Malay Peninsula, and they rapidly assaulted it. In 1942 the last British soldiers gave up across the straits into Singapore Island. This was a military tragedy for the British. In the meantime, Japanese soldiers attacked Borneo. They caught Kuching in 1941 and Jesselton in 1942.

Malaya's Independence

In 1944, when the Japanese were defeated, the British government chose to join all the Malayan states into a single state called the Malayan Union, excluding Singapore. There was a lot of resistance to this plan, and it was rejected. Later, the Federation of Malaya was shaped in 1948.

Malayan nationalism was growing, as a result, Kesatuan Melayu Singapura was framed in 1926. Others immediately followed it. In 1946, Malay associations consolidated to frame the Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu. The Malayan Communist Party was established in 1930. In 1948 they started to assault European estate managers. Subsequently, the government introduced the state of emergency. Socialist action declined after 1949 when the British parliament guaranteed independence. In 1955 the Reid Commission was formed to set up a constitution for Malaya. Malaya became independent in1957.

State of Emergency

In the 1960s, there was tension among non-Malays and Malays. It ended in viciousness after an election in 1969. The opposition party acquired seats while the governing party lost seats. The different sides got into a fight. Following two days of brutality, the government announced a state of emergency, and parliament was suspended.

Gradually the parliament was resumed in 1971. The Malaysian government at that point embraced another effective policy.


During the 1970s, 1980's and 1990's Malaysia transformed exclusively from being an agricultural, poor country to a modern, industrialized and rich one. The way of life of the Malaysian people rose significantly. Today Malaysia is a prosperous country. The population in Malaysia in 2020 was 32 million.

history of Malaysia
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