Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Prehistoric Period
Malaysia comprises the Malay Peninsula, the southern most tip of the Asian mainland, and the states of Sabah and Sarawak, situated 530 kilometers further east across the South China Sea in Northern Borneo.

Malaysia?s prehistory begins with the earliest known traces of human habitation around 40 millenniums ago, and extend through the prehistoric period to the founding of Melaka Sultanate in the 1400, the date commonly used as the starting point of the historic era. Because so much has been written about Melaka, that the long period preceding it, that is the prehistory period has been overshadowed.

The study of early history in Malaysia has been affected by two factors, that is the physical geography and the climate. Researchers have tended to concentrate their research either on the Peninsula or the states of Sabah and Sarawak resulting in an incomplete research on the overall prehistory of Malaysia. The climate of Malaysia which is torrid and the dense rain forests have left few artifacts other than earth wares and stones and metal tools remain from the earlier periods. Most of these, including burials have been found in the protected environment of caves. The only surviving architectural remnants are the stone foundations of the 5th to the 13th century buildings from the kingdom period in Kedah and from Santubong in Sarawak.

The earliest evidence of human occupation in Sarawak is a 38,000-year-old skull from the Niah Caves whereas the earliest evidence from the Peninsula is an 11,000-year-old skeleton from Gua Gunung Runtuh in Perak. The oldest artifacts are Paleolithic stone stools from Kota Tampan, Perak, dated back to 34,000 years ago, while the earliest Borneon artifacts are stone tools from Tingkayu, Sabah produced between 28,000 and 18,000 years ago. Hunter-gatherer lifestyles changed dramatically about 5,000 years ago when they acquired the knowledge of producing polished stone tools and earth ware. Evidence of Neolithic culture can be found either on its own, or at Mesolithic sites, including the Niah caves in Sarawak, Gua Cha in Kelantan and Gua Kechil in Pahang.

Peninsular Metal Age sites are also concentrated in the north with the exception of the discovery of a bronze bell in Muar, Johor. East coast discoveries were often situated near gold sources, while those on the west coast were near tin sources. Metal Age culture is also represented by iron items, including long-shafted tools known to the Malays as tulang mawas, or ape?s bones, which have been found only in Peninsular Malaysia. The presence of bronze ware from North Vietnam provides the first tangible evidence of long distance seafaring and the establishment of maritime trade links with mainland Southeast Asia. Indian beads found at Metal age sites such as Kuala Selinsing (200 BCE ? 900 CE) and Changkat Menteri (1-800 CE) both located in Perak are proof of trade ties with South Asia.

Protohistoric Malaysia

The earliest confirmed kingdom in Kedah?s Bujang Valley dates from the 5th century, while a polity was established at Santubong, Sarawak and another at Chi tu in Kelantan in the 7th century. During the 8th to the 14th centuries, settlements were established in Johor, Perak, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. Diplomatic ties with China and trade with China, India and other governments in Southeast Asia were established during the early kingdom period. Relics found at the Bujang Valley, the Kinta Valley of Perak and at Santubong showed evidence that Hindu and Buddhist influence had a great impact on the Malaysian culture up to the 14th century. During the same period, megalithic culture was evident in the Bernam Valley of Perak and in Sabah and Sarawak. While Dongson style existed where bronze drums were found in remote areas, communities still practiced Stone Age culture. The first confirmed evidence of a polity, which had embraced Islam, comes from an inscribed stone dated 1301, which was found in Terengganu.

Early Settlement

Malaysia was one of the earliest homes of Man. Stone implements found at Lenggong in Perak and the remarkable finds in the Niah Cave of Sarawak provide evidence of this. The earliest of the present day inhabitants of Malaysia are the Orang Asli of the Peninsula and people such as the Penan of Sarawak and the Rungus of Sabah. Their presence in the country probably dates back to over 5,000 years. These early settlers were probably the pioneers of the movement of people southwards from China and Tibet through mainland Southeast Asia and the Malay Peninsula to the Indonesian Archipelago. The first Malay settlers or the Proto-Malays had probably established themselves here by 1the year 1000. They represented the second and third wave of this movement. This movement was followed by other waves of immigrants such as the Deutero?Malays over the next few centuries. They came equipped with more advanced farming techniques and new knowledge of metals. The Malay peoples also spread out into the islands of the archipelago, settling down into small self-contained communities that gave rise to the complex and variegated ethnic pattern of Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malays of the Peninsula had their closet affinities with the Malays of Sumatra, and for centuries the Straits of Melaka did not form a dividing line between the two nations but served as a corridor linking different parts of the same family. The Malays together with the Orang Asli make up the indigenous peoples of Malaysia today, and are classified as ?sons of the soil? or Bumiputera. Despite the considerable differences between the various Bumiputera groups, they all share certain characteristics, which are the hallmarks of the indigenous culture of Southeast Asia. These characteristics are rooted in an agrarian-maritime economy and reflected in a village society where leadership was largely through consensus. Although the culture of the Malays in particular can to be overlaid by Hinduism and then pervaded by Islam, elements of this basic culture still persist.

Ancient Malay Government

The ancient Malay Sultanate of Melaka was a sultanate whose rein of government was entirely in the hands of the rulers and the Malay officials. The Malay rulers of Melaka originated from Singapore that was after the defeat of the Malay kingdom of Singapore by the Siamese. The Malay Sultanate of Melaka lasted for little over a century, stretching from the end of the fourteenth century to the early part of the sixteenth century that is from 1394 to 1511. Under the reign of the Malay rulers, Melaka was not only a prosperous trading town but also the center for the spread of Islam for the whole of the Malay Archipelago. After the decline of the Seri Vijaya and Majapahit Empires at the end of the fourteenth century, it was Melaka, which raised and maintained Malay rule in the Malay Archipelago. Political stability and a just legal system attracted traders from all over the Archipelago to Melaka. Traders from China, Indian sub-continent, Pegu in Burma and Arabia came to Melaka to trade.

First Ruler of Melaka : Parameswara 1394-1414
Second Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Megat Iskandar Syah (1414 ? 1424)
Third Ruler of Melaka : Seri Maharaja (Raja Tengah ) or Sultan Muhammad Syah
Fourth Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Abu Syahid (1445 ?1446)
Fifth Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Muzaffar Syah (1446 ? 1456)
The Sixth Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Mansur Syah (1456 ? 1477)
Seventh Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Alauddin Riayat Syah (1477- 1488)
Eight Ruler of Melaka : Sultan Mahmud Syah (1488 ? 1511)

1511 - 1945

The Coming of the Portuguese (1511 ? 1624)
Dutch captured Melaka from the Portuguese (1641 ? 1824)
The Surrender of the Portuguese to the Dutch (1641 - 1824)
The Surrender of Melaka to the British By The Dutch (1824 - 1941 )
The Founding of Penang ( 1786)
James Brooke in Borneo ( 1841 - 1863)
The Federated Malay States (1896)
The Unfederated Malay States
System of Communications
Health and Medical Services
World War I (1914 till 1918)
World War II (1941 till 1945)

1946 - 1957

British Military Administration
The Formation of the Malayan Union
Federation of Malaya
Malayan Independence

1958 - 1969

Formation of Malaysia
Confrontation with Indonesia
Malaysian Political System
13 May 1969 Incident


Tun Abdul Razak took over as Prime Minister upon the retirement of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj on the 22 September 1970. The economic prosperity achieved in the 1970s enabled the administration of Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn who took over on thhe death of Tun Razak in 1976 to make considerable progress towards these ends. Malaysia also established a more independent foreign policy which lead to the founding of ASEAN in 1967. Malaysia also recognised Communist China in 1974 and identifying the nation with non-aligned countries of the third world.

The New Economic Policy was given a fresh impetus under the premiership of Tun Hussein Onn. The National Unit Trust or Amanah Saham Nasional was was introduced to allow bumiputera to invest in shares. This Unit Trust was controlled by National Equity Corporation or Permodalan Nasional Berhad.


The 1980s brought new political directions and economic challenges. Dato?Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who took over the premeiership from Tun Hussein Onn on 17th July 1981 initiated a bold policy of heavy industrialization such as the national car project, oil refineries and a steel industry.

The National Car

The national car project first started as a joint venture between Perusahaan Otomobil National Berhad(PROTON), HICOM berhad, Mitsubushi Motor Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation. On 9th July 1985, the first Proton saga was manufactured. The Proton car became the best selling car in the local passenger car for both the Malaysian and overseas markets since 1990

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