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.

The 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.

The 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.

In 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.

The 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 grant rivers.


The Malacca Sultanat:
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 sources.

Malacca 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.

The 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.

The replica of the Malacca Sultanat palace. The building houses the Melaka Cultural Museum.

British Administration:
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).

In 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.

World War Two:
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.

After 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, 1960.

Malayan Union:
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

The 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.

Malaysia 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.


Malaysian 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).

Ethnic Groups
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.

Non-Malay 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.

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