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Chronology of Malaysia

Since 1957 Malaysia gained independence, the struggle for a land its people can call its own has been going on long before border lines were drawn.
The make up of Malaysia's people, and its diverse culture is what it is today due to its past influences. Here's looking back to the past for inspiration, with an eye towards a better future.
The Early Centuries
c. 40000 BC Earliest known habitation at Niah Caves, Sarawak. Remains of a palaeolithic stone-tool workshop at Kota Tampan, Perak, could be even older.
c. 2500 BC Proto-Malays spread south from Yunan area in China.
c. 300 BC Earliest signs of Bronze and Iron Age cultures in Malaysia.
c. 200 BC Start of trade with India and China.
100 BC-AD 200 Emergence of trading kingdoms in the Isthmus of Kra
AD 500-1000 Development of Hindu-Buddhist trading kingdoms in Kedah's Bujang Valley, northern Perak and Santubong, Sarawak.
1303 Terengganu Stone records introduction of Islam to the Malay Peninsula.

The Rise of Malacca
c. 1400 Founding of Malacca by Parameswara.
1409 Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho arrives in Malacca.
1411 Parameswara converts to Islam and meets Ming Emperor of China.
1446 Malacca expands under Sultan Muzaffar Shah.
c. 1456-98 Tun Perak serves as prime minister under four sultans and Malacca becomes biggest empire in Southeast Asia.
1511 Malacca falls to the Portuguese.
1512 Malacca's deposed sultan sets up new capital in Riau-Lingga which later becomes Sultanate of Johor.
1528 Sultan Muzaffar Shah starts the Perak Kingdom.
1641 The Dutch take Malacca from the Portuguese; start of Dutch dominance in the area.
1699 Assassination of Sultan Mahmud of Johor.
1699-1819 Empire of Johor, mostly at Riau, under Bendahara line.
1699-1784 Period of Minangkabau-Bugis struggle for domination of the Straits of Malacca.
1726 First sultan of Terengganu Kingdom installed.
1784 Death of Raja Haji at Malacca; Dutch break Bugis power in area.
1786 The British occupy Penang.
1812 Death of Sultan Mahmud Shah, last ruler of united Johor-Riau Kingdom.

Colonial Malaya
1819 British occupy Singapore.
1824 Anglo-Dutch Treaty carves up Malay world into colonial spheres: Dutch cede Malacca to British and keeps Riau.
1826 Singapore, Malacca Penang and Province Wellesley become Straits Settlements under British control.
1831-32 Malacca Malays rebel against British in Naning War.
1840s The importance of tin increases, bringing an influx of Chinese tin miners to the western coast.
1841 James Brooke established as Rajah of Sarawak.
1846 British annex the island of Labuan.
1858-68 Civil war in Pahang.
1867-74 Selangor civil war.
1874 Pangkor Treaty signals start of British intervention in Perak, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.
1875-76 Perak War signals uprising against British after introduction of controversial tax and subsequent murder of British Resident.
1881 British North Borneo Chartered Company establishes a centre in North Borneo, now Sabah.
1891-95 Pahang Rebellion.
1895-1905 Mat Salleh Rebellion. The introduction of new taxes had earlier created general discontent, and Mat Salleh gathers many supporters in his revolt against the North Borneo Company.
1896 Federated Malay States (FMS) are created.
1909 Treaty of Bangkok transfers four northern Malay states from Thai sovereignty to British control.
1914 Johor brought under British control.
1914-18 World War I.
1920-41 British adopt decentralisation policy in FMS; early signs of a Malay nationalism against British rule begin to surface.

Malaya, Merdeka Malaysia
1941-45 Japanese conquest and occupation.
1945 British reoccupy Malaya.
1946 Malayan Union scheme introduced but is opposed, formation of United Malay National Organisation (Umno); Sarawak and British North Borneo become Crown colonies.
1948 Malayan Union scheme abandoned; Federation of Malaya inaugurated.
1948-60 Communist uprising - The Emergency.
1952 Municipal elections in Kuala Lumpur; Umno and Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) parties cooperate.
1953 Alliance coalition comprising Umno, MCA and Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) formed.
1955 First general elections in the peninsula; landslide win for the Alliance.
1956 Tunku Abdul Rahman leads Merdeka Mission to London to negotiate for independence.
1957 Malaya becomes independent, and the Union Jack is lowered for the last time. The Tunku, named the Father of Independence, becomes the first prime minister of the Federation of Malaya.
1960 The state of emergency ends.

1961 The Tunku proposes a political association called Malaysia that would include Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei.
1963 Creation of Malaysia without Brunei.
1963-66 Confrontation with Indonesia. In 1966, Indonesia's Sukarno is ousted; new Indonesian Government led by Suharto ends confrontation. The Philippines drops its claim on Sabah and recognises Malaysia.
1965 Singapore leaves Malaysia and becomes an independent nation.
1969 Riots on May 13 in the wake of the general elections.
1970 Tun Abdul Razak takes office as the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, succeeding Abdul Rahman.
1971 New Economic Policy (NEP) established to encourage fairer distribution of wealth among races.
1973 Abdul Razak sets up the National Front on Jan 1 to replace the ruling Alliance Party.
1976 Tun Hussein Onn appointed as the third Prime Minister of Malaysia on Jan 15, a day after the passing of Abdul Razak.
1981 Hussein Onn launches the National Unit Trust (Amanah Saham Nasional) Scheme. Due to ill health, he relinquishes the premiership to his deputy, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on July 15.
1983 Constitutional crisis involving the position of Malaysia's hereditary rulers.
1985 Roll-out of first national car, Proton Saga. The project was mooted to serve as a catalyst to transform Malaysia into a fully developed nation.
1987 Umno racked by power struggle between Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah; "Operation Lalang" carried out by the Mahathir administration results in detention of prominent opposition politicians, trade unionists, educators and community leaders.
1988 Umno Baru (New Umno) is formed by Mahathir after Umno is declared "an unlawful society".
1989 Semangat '46, led by Tengku Razaleigh, registered as a new political party. The Communist Party of Malaya abandons its 41-year armed struggle to overthrow the Malaysian Government.
1990 General elections - the ruling coalition retains its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
1997 Petronas Towers, the world's tallest twin buildings, open. Economic downturn as ringgit plummets in regional currency crisis.
1998 Govt imposes currency control laws on Sept 1 to stop free fall of the Ringgit. Kuala Lumpur becomes the first Asian city to host the Commonwealth Games. Dismissal of Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim from office and his subsequent arrest creates a political crisis. Reformasi movement begins with mass demonstrations in support of Anwar.
1999 Snap general elections sees ruling coalition retain two-thirds majority, but some northern states see an opposition swing with PAS (Islamic Party) winning Terengganu and Kelantan.
2003 Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister Dr Mahathir retires. He is succeeded by his deputy Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
2004 In a ringing endorsement for the moderate and consensus-seeking Abdullah, the ruling coalition wins the general election by a landslide victory, with PAS-controlled Terengganu returning to the Barisan Nasional.
2006 Malaysia celebrates its 49th year of independence, with a keen eye on the 50th.
  Courtesy and Reference by Insight Guides: Malaysia (18th Edition, Langenscheidt Publishing Group)



updated 18 July 2006 | 2004 Titan Planet. All rights reserved
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