History Of Malaysia

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi). The country is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (also known as West and East Malaysia respectively). Malaysia shares land borders with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and also has maritime boundaries with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population as of 2009 stood at over 28 million.
Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements. Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, was first unified under the commonwealth in 1946, before becoming the Federation of Malaya in 1948. In 1963, Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore to form modern Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation, and became an independent city state. Since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for the first 50 years of independence. The economy of the country has, traditionally, been fuelled by its natural resources, but is now also expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.
Malaysia's head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, conventionally referred to as "the Head" or "the Agong". The Agong is an elected monarch chosen from amongst the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states. The head of government is the Prime Minister.The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on English Common Law. Malaysia is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, factors that influence its culture and play a large role in Malaysian politics.
Malaysia, which, in Tanjung Piai, can claim the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, is located near the equator and has a tropical climate. It has a biodiverse range of flora and fauna, and is considered one of the 17 megadiverse countries. It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement.


Stained ruin of a stone building, showing a central arch, flanked by two columns, with a stone relief above the arch, also flanked by two columns, and a second free-standing arch perched on the very top of the ruin.A Famosa fortress in Malacca. It  was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Evidence of human habitation in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years. The first inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula were most probably Negritos. The Malay Peninsula was known to ancient Indians as Suvarnadvipa or the "Golden Peninsula", and was shown on Ptolemy's map as the "Golden Khersonese". Traders and settlers from India and China arrived as early as the first century of the common era, establishing trading ports and towns in the area in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. Both had a strong influence on the local culture. In the early centuries of the first millennium, the people of the Malay Peninsula adopted the Indian religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. The Sanskrit writing system was used as early as the 4th century. Between the 7th and the 13th century, much of Peninsular Malaysia was under the Srivijaya empire, which was centered in Palembang on the island of Sumatra. After the fall of Srivijaya, the Java-based Majapahit empire had influence over most of Peninsular Malaysia and the Malay Archipelago. In the early 15th century, Parameswara, a prince of the former Srivijayan empire, established a dynasty and founded what would become the Malacca Sultanate, commonly considered the first independent state in the peninsula. Parameswara became a Muslim, and due to the fact Malacca was under a Muslim Prince the conversion of Malays to Islam accelerated in the 15th century. Malacca was an important commercial centre during this time, attracting trade from around the region.
The first colonial claim occurred in 1511, when Malacca was conquered by Portugal, who established a colony there. This colony was later captured by the Dutch, before being turned over to the British in 1795. The British Empire set foot on the Malay Peninsula in 1786, with the lease of the island of Penang to the British East India Company by the sultan of Kedah, which was followed by the occupation of Singapore. In 1824, the British took control of Malacca following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 which divided the Malay Archipelago between Britain and the Netherlands, with Malaya in the British zone. By 1826 the British controlled Penang, Malacca, Singapore and the island of Labuan, which they established as the crown colony of the Straits Settlements. By the turn of the 20th century, the states of Pahang, Selangor, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan, known together as the Federated Malay States, had British Residents appointed to advise the Malay rulers, whom the rulers were bound by treaty to defer to. The remaining five states in the peninsula, known as the Unfederated Malay States, while not directly under rule from London, also accepted British advisers around the turn of the 20th century. Development on the Peninsula and Borneo were generally separate until the 19th century. Sabah was governed as the crown colony of British North Borneo. In 1842, Sarawak was ceded by the Sultan of Brunei to James Brooke, whose successors ruled as the White Rajahs over an independent kingdom until 1946, when it became a British colony.
During World War II the Japanese army invaded and subsequently occupied Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore for over 3 years. During this time, ethnic tensions were raised and nationalism grew. After Malaysia was reconquered by Allied Forces, popular support for independence grew. Post-war British plans to unite the administration of Malaya under a single crown colony called the Malayan Union met with strong opposition from the Malays, who opposed the weakening of the Malay rulers and the granting of citizenship to the ethnic Chinese. The Malayan Union, established in 1946 and consisting of all the British possessions in the Malay peninsula with the exception of Singapore, was dissolved in 1948 and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the autonomy of the rulers of the Malay states under British protection. During this time, rebels under the leadership of the Malayan Communist Party launched guerrilla operations designed to force the British out of Malaya. The Malayan Emergency, as it was known, lasted from 1948 to 1960, and involved a long anti-insurgency campaign by Commonwealth troops in Malaya. In 1963, Malaya along with the then British crown colonies of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, federated to form Malaysia. The proposed date for the formation of Malaysia was 31 August 1963, however, the date was delayed until 16 September 1963 due to opposition from Sukarno and the Sarawak United Peoples' Party.
An ornate fountain at left with steps leading up to a wall with some of Malaysia's state flags on it.
Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) in Kuala Lumpur, where Malaysians celebrate Independence Day on 31 August each year.

Independence, in its initial period, brought heightened tensions in the form of conflict with Indonesia (Konfrontasi) over the formation of Malaysia, Singapore's eventual exit in 1965, and racial strife in the form of the 13 May race riots in 1969. After the riots, the controversial New Economic Policy was launched by Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, trying to increase the share of the economy held by bumiputra. Malaysia has since maintained a delicate ethno-political balance, with a system of government that has attempted to combine overall economic development with political and economic policies that promote equitable participation of all races.
Under the premiership of Mahathir bin Mohamad, Malaysia experienced a period of rapid economic growth and urbanization from the 1980s. The period saw a shift from an agriculture-based economy to one based on manufacturing and industry in areas such as computers and consumer electronics. It was during this period, too, that the physical landscape of Malaysia changed with the emergence of numerous mega-projects. Notable amongst these projects were the construction of the Petronas Towers (at the time the tallest building in the world, and, as of 2010, still the tallest twin building), Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), the North-South Expressway, the Sepang International Circuit, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), the Bakun hydroelectric dam and Putrajaya, the new federal administrative capital. In the late 1990s, Malaysia was shaken by the Asian financial crisis as well as political unrest caused by the sacking of the deputy prime minister Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. In November 2007, Malaysia was rocked by two anti-government rallies. They were precipitated by allegations of corruption and discrepancies in the Malaysian election system that heavily favoured the ruling political party, Barisan Nasional, which had been in power since Malaysia achieved its independence in 1957.


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