Malaysia comprises two geographical regions with a total land area
approximately 330,252 square kilometers. The two regions are Peinsular
Malaysia and East Malaysia in the northrn region of the island of
Borneo which compries the states of Sarawak, Sabah and the Federal
Territory of Labuan.
length of the peninsula is 322 kilometer ad its coastline extends
some 1930 kilometers. The two regions are separated by the South
China Sea. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia is centrally located
along the west coast of the Peninsula.
strais of Malacca (950km long) lies between the Sumatera to the
route connects the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and the South China
Sea (Pacific Ocean). It is the most heavily travelled shipping channel
in the world.
A mountainous spine known as Banjaran Titiwangsa (the main range)
runs from the malaysia-Thai border in the north to the southern
state of Negeri Sembilan. This granite mountain sprawls across the
interior, reaching elevations from 900 to over 2,000 meters above
sea level. This spine separates the eastern parts of the Peninsular
from the west. Another sandstone range known as the Banjaran Timur
engulfs mush of the east coast state of Kelantan, Terenggaun and
Pahang. Gunung Tahan (2187 m), located in the central malaysia state
of Pahang, is the highest peak in Peninsular.
sabah, the crocker range with an average of 457 to 914m separates
the narrow lowland of the north and the west coast from the interior.
Mount Kinabalu (4101 m) is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia.
In sarawak, the two highest peaks are Mount Murud 92425m) and mount
Mulu (237m). Mulu National Park (237m) has one of the largest natural
caves in the world.
longest river in Peninsular is the Pahang River (475 km), followed
by Peak River (400km). Rejang River (563 km) is the longest river
in malaysia, navigable by steanmers up to kapit, 160 km upstream.
Sabah’s Kinabatangan River is only a little shorter, and the
Baram River (400 km) in northern Sarawak is among borneo’s
The Sultanate of Malacca was established in the early part of 15th
century, around 1400 and it was famous as the Malay Kingdom throughout
history until 1511. It was founded by Parameswara, a prince from
Palembang (Indionesia). The establishment of the Malacca Sultanatewas
described in the Malay Annals, the suma Oriental and the Cinese
established as a grate empire in the malay Archipelago and also
as a center from maritime trade and the spread of Islam. It was
known as “Queen of the Spice Trade”. The Sultanate made
a strong trade and political relations with China and India.
organised system of the sultanate was based on two main laws, namely,
the Malacca Law and the Malacca Law of Sea. The sultanate established
tradition, both social and political, which provided the basis from
the structure of the Peninsular Malay-Muslim society. The ‘Golden
Age’ f Malacca ended in 1511 after the Portuguese captured
Malacca on august 24, 1511.
replica of the Malacca Sultanat palace. The building houses the
Melaka Cultural Museum.
By the second half of the 18th century, British had begun to establish
strong ties with rulers in the Malay States. British considerably
strengthened after the establishment of Penang (1786) and Singapure
(1819) as British ports. After the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, British
succeeded in controlling the Straits of Malacca and Straits Settlements
had officially come into existence (1826).
the early 19th century, British begin to exercise control in the
country British introduced different forms of administration, namely,
the Resident System, the Federated Malay State, the unfederated
Malay State and Malayan Union. Perak, Negeri Sembilan (Sungai Ujung),
Pahang and Selangor were united into one administration unit known
as the Federated malay State (1896). Under the Bangkok Agreement
(1909) Siam handed over Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu to
the British. These states were known as Unfederated Malay states.
Johor ‘accepted a British advisor in 1914.
In 1824 the Sultan of Brunei agreed to sign agreement in confirming
a British Adventurer, ames Brooke as the Governor of Sarawak. Sabah
was part of the Brunei Sultanate since the 16th centure. In 1865
it was leased to Charles Lee Moses and subsequently sold to Baron
Von Overbeck. The Sulu Sultanate agreed to give their land in Sabah
to overbeck and dent in 1878. On July 15, 1946, Sabah was declared
as British colony.
During the world war II Malaysia was occupied by the Japanese (February
1942-August 1945). Japnese policy was geared towords extracting
resources to further their war. Much of the economic infrastucture
was destroyed and economic activities were disrupted.
the Japanese surrentder, the boloody conflict occurred between Chineese
and Malays. The campaign of terror by Malyan Peoples Anti-japnese
Army (MPAJA) mounted duringthe period of interregnum. The conflict
lasted when the Britiash returned in september 1945 and introduced
british Military Army (BMA).
In 1949 the communist terrorists launched guerilla war to paralyse
the Malayan ecoomy. The British government took deinite steps by
the declaration of a State Emergency. Tunku Abdul Rahman finally
lifted the Emergency, which lasted for twelve years, on July 31,
On April 1, 1946 the British introduced a scheme known as Malayan
union. Sir harold mc michael was sent to Malaya to obtain consent
of the Malay rulers. The Malay attacted the scheme. The Malay Attacked
the scheme. The malay newspapers like Majlis and Utusan melayu strongly
opposed the scheme.Dato Onn bin Jaafar
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya was established on February 1, 1948. Te
Federation comprised nine Malay States together with Malacca and
Penang Island. Singapore remained as a British Colony. The Legislative
Council and the Federal Executive Council assisted the High Commissioner
in the administration. The federation introduced the "Member
System" to serve in the government.
In 1951, the British introduced election, starting at level of the
local government. The Kuala Lumpur Municipality election was held
in February 1952. United Malay organisation (UMNO) and Malayan Chinese
Association (MCA) formed the Alliance wich won 9 of 12 seats. The
first Fedration Congress (MIC) formed an alliance and political
cooperation, headed by tunku Abdul Rahman. The Alliance won 51 out
of the 52 seats contested. Only one seat (Krian) went to the Pan-Malayan
Islamic Party (Pas was founded in 1951). Tunku Abdul Rahman was
appointed the Federation's first Chief Minister.
Independence talks ware held with the British in London from january
18 to February 6, 1956. Four representatives from the Alliance and
four representative of the Malay rulers led by Tunku Abdul Rahman
attended the talks. On February 8, 1956, the London Agreement was
signed. They also agreed to set up a Constitution Commission, under
the chairmanship of lord Reid. The Constitution approved by the
Federal legislative Council on August 15, 1957. It came into effect
on August 27, 1957.
was proclaimed as an independence country on August 31, 1957. Tunku
Abdul Rahman was appointed as the first prime minister and the first
Yang Muhammad. In 1959 the election was held and the Alliance was
victorious by winning 74 out of 104 parliamentary seats contested.
population is about 26.1 million (2004). Selangor has the highest
population (4.5 million) and the least populated states are Wilayah
Persekutuan Labuan (81,000) and Perlis (210,000).
Malaysian is truly multi-cultural with its population comprises
of various ethnic groups. They are living society in please, harmony
and respectful for each other customs. Of the total population of
Malaysia based on 2000’s census, Bumiputera comprised 65.1
per cent: Chinese, 26 per cent: and Indian 7.7 per cent.
indigenous groups make up more then half of the Sarawak’s
population and about 66% of Sabah’s population. The largest
indigenous tribe in Sarawak is the Lbans. They are largely longhouse
dwellers and live along the Rajang and Lupar rivers and their tributaries.
The Bidayuh are concentrated in the southwest of Sarawak. The largest
indigenous tribe in Sabah is the Kadazan.
Malaysian’s national language is Bahasa Melayu (Bahasa Malaysia).
The language is embodied under Article 152 of the Constitution,
which also safeguards other languages. Malaysians are free to use
their mother tongue and other languages. English is widely spoken
and is used all over the country. Other languages spoken in Malaysia
are some Chinese dialects (Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese and Mandarin),
Tamil, Malayalan, Hindi, Arabic and some indigenous languages.
Malaysia is not only a multi-racial in population, but also a multi-religious
society. Under the Federal Constitution, Islam is the official relation,
but freedom of worship is graranteed. The Chinese are mostly Buddhist
(of Mahayana sect), Taoist and some of them are practicing Confucianism.
The Indian are mainly practicing Hinduism. There is also a Sikh
minority in the country. Christianity is practiced mostly by Eurasians,
some Chinese, Indians and some indigenous groups like Kadazans and
Ibans. Traditionally, indigenous (Orang Asli) nad non-Malay indigeous
groups practiced traditional beliefs/animism. However, today some
of them practicing Islam and Christianity too.