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About Malaysia /

History

A bit of history.

Malaysia's recorded history dates back to the first century BC. Located strategically at the crossroads between the East and West, Peninsula Malaysia had attracted early travellers from different parts of the world. Evidence of ancient civilisations such as tomb stones can be found in Bujang Valley and Merbok Valley in the state of Kedah, as well as Hindu-Buddhist influences from India and China.
Islamic influence came during the Melaka Sultanate in the 1400s with traders from the Middle East and India. It spread across the nation when the Sultan of Melaka embraced the religion and personally helped spread it across the nation. The reign of the Sultanate also created trade ties with the Kingdom of China.
Melaka's spice trade led to its attack by the Portuguese in 1511, resulting in the fall of the Sultanate. Together with their conquest, the Portuguese brought in Catholic Christianity to the locals. But in 1641 the Dutch took over control of Melaka. The British came at the end of the 18th century in the wake of the Industrial Revolution in Europe.
 

Entering at the 20th century.

The British formed the crown colony states of the Peninsular called the Straits Settlements and subtly intervened in the administration of the previously independent states.

In East Malaysia, Sabah became a British protectorate under the Chartered Company, British North Borneo, whilst the Brooke family ruled Sarawak as the White Rajah, meaning the White King, for 100 years. In 1941, the Japanese invaded the country and ruled for about three years before their surrender to the Allied Forces after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.The end of World War II was the beginning of the birth of nationalism in the country.
On August 31, 1957 at 9.00am, Tunku Abdul Rahman (who became the first Prime Minister) read the Proclamation of Independence and declared the Malay States of Malaya "with God's blessing, shall forever be a sovereign democratic and independent state…" Freedom had been won peacefully. In 1963 Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined hands to form Malaysia (but Singapore seceded in 1965).
 

 History of Kuala-Lumpur.

Most historians agree Kuala- Lumpur was founded in 1857, when Raja Abdullah Raja Ja’afar sent a group of 87 Chinese miners upriver from Klang in search of tin deposits. They stopped at confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers, as far as their heavily laden boats could reach. This landing point is said to have given rise to the name « Kuala Lumpur» (muddy estuary» in Malay). Much of Kuala-Lumpur’s growth is due to the industrial revolutions in North America and the British Empire, which significantly increased the world demand for tin. The Chinese, with considerable mining experience in their own country, were the first to bring Malaysia’s tin deposits into production. By the latter half of the19th century, there were thousands of Chinese tin miners in Malaya. Eleven years after Raja Abdullah’s initial expedition, Yap Ah Loy was declared the third “Capitan China”. Yap Ah Loy is regarded by many as the founder of Kuala Lumpur, and the settlement expanded considerably under his leadership. He assumed the position during a period of intense conflict among the Malay rulers. The civil war eventually forced Yap Ah Loy to leave Kuala Lumpur. When he returned in 1873, much of the town was in ruin. At the request of the merchants of the Straits Settlements, the British intervened to end the civil war, and in 1874 they brokered the Pangkor Engagement introduced the concept of British Residents, which had a profound effect on Kuala Lumpur. As consultants to the various Sultans around Malaysia, the Residents (British civil servants) advised on all matters except those touching on Malay religion and customs. In 1880, the British Resident for Selangor, Bloomfield Douglas, relocated his office from Klang to Kuala Lumpur. Sir Frank Swettenham, one of Britain’s most famous colonial officers, was Selangor’s British Resident from 1882 to 1889. Under his direction, Kuala Lumpur’s architecture began to take its present form. In 1889, Swettenham became the British Resident for Perak. Seven years later, he persuaded four of the Sultans to unite under the Federated Malay States (FMS).
 

 

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