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Malaysia History Timeline

1900s continued
  • (1989) Local communist insurgents and government signed peace accord
  • (1990) Sarawak insurgents and government signed peace accord
  • (1993) Parliament passed amendments to Constitution, royals were stripped of legal immunity
  • (1997) Asian financial crisis caused recession
  • (1997) Virus in village of Nipah killed 105 people, most involved in hog-farming industry, 1.2 million hogs were destroyed
  • (1998) Prime Minister Mohamad fired his deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, over charges of sexual misconduct, differences in economic policies
  • (1999) Azizah Ismail, wife of Anwar Ibrahim, formed People's Justice Party (PKR), called on opposition to help topple Prime Minister Mohamad
  • (1999) Anwar Ibrahim found guilty of corruption, sentenced to six years in prison
  • (1999) Over 10,000 people protested against Prime Minister Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of Anwar Ibrahim; police responded with tear gas and water cannons
  • (1999) Prime Minister Mohamad dissolved parliament, called for early elections
  • (1999) King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz assumed the throne as the 11th king since independence in 1957
2000s
  • (2000) Anwar Ibrahim sentenced to nine additional years in prison after being found guilty of sodomy
  • (2000) Prime Minister Mohamad reelected
  • (2001) Despite environmental concerns, government proceeded constructing Bakun hydroelectric power project on Borneo
  • (2001) Ethnic clashes between Malays and ethnic Indians resulted in dozens of arrests
  • (2001) Singapore and Malaysia resolved disputes regarding water supplies and air space; agreed to build new tunnel and bridge
  • (2002) New laws enacted providing for whipping and prison terms for illegal immigrants
  • (2002) Thousands of illegal immigrants fled
  • (2003) Prime Minister Mohamad stepped down after serving 22 years, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as prime minister
  • (2004) Prime Minister Badawi won landslide victory in general election
  • (2004) Anwar Ibrahim released from prison after court overturned sodomy conviction
  • (2004) Many deaths in Malaysia occurred from the Asian tsunami
  • (2005) Singapore and Malaysia settled land reclamation dispute regarding work in border waters
  • (2005) Plans to hire 169,000 foreign workers to overcome labor shortage was announced
  • (2005) Smoke from forest fires in Indonesia covered much of central Malaysia, caused state of emergency declaration
  • (2006) Muslims demonstrated against cartoons of Prophet Muhammad that appeared in newspapers in Denmark and other European countries
  • (2006) Flooding from heavy monsoon rains displaced over 90,000 people, 94 killed
  • (2006) Malaysia's murder rate increased 22%
  • (2007) Second wave of floods forced evacuation of over 70,000
  • (2007) Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam signed agreement to protect 200,000 square km (124,274 square miles) of rainforest on Borneo
  • (2007) Tens of thousands of protesters defied government ban on street protests in Kuala Lumpur to call for clean and fair elections, police arrested 245, used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds
  • (2007) Thousands of ethnic Indians demanding economic equality clashed with police at a rally in downtown Kuala Lumpur
  • (2007) Anwar Ibrahim lost election in attempt to revive his political career
  • (2008) Government dissolved Parliament, set new elections
  • (2008) Ruling coalition, the National Front, lost its parliament majority and control of five of the 13 state assemblies
  • (2008) Prime Minister Badawi sworn in for a new five-year term, despite calls for his resignation
  • (2008) Street demonstrations followed government's decision to raise gasoline prices by 41%
  • (2008) One of the coalition parties called for a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Badawi
  • (2008) New sodomy charges issued against Anwar Ibrahim; during rally, he vowed to seize power from corrupt government
  • (2008) Parliament locked down by police to prevent Ibrahim and supporters from attending key debate
  • (2008) Anwar Ibrahim won landslide victory to return to Parliament
  • (2009) Recruitment of foreign workers was banned in effort to protect citizens from unemployment
  • (2009) 15 members of ruling party found guilty in anti-corruption probe
  • (2009) Prime Minister Badawi resigned, replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak
  • (2009) Anwar Ibrahim's new sodomy trial began
  • (2009) $16 billion stimulus plan was introduced to try to hold off a deep recession

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.