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Malaysia History Timeline

Malaysia's Information

Flag of Malaysia
Land Area 328,657 km2
Water Area 1,190 km2
Total Area 329,847km2 (#66)
Population 30,949,962 (#41)
Population Density 94.17/km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
GDP (PPP) $863.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $27,200
Currency Ringgit (MYR)
Largest Cities

About Malaysia

700s - 1700s
  • (700 - 1100) Most of the Malay peninsula was under the Buddhist Srivijaya empire, based near Palembang
  • (1400s) Prince Parameswara founded Malacca
  • (1409) Admiral Cheng Ho of China arrived in Malacca
  • (1511) Portuguese captured Malacca, the center of the East Indian spice trade
  • (1641) Dutch and their allies took over Malacca, built A Famosa fortress
  • (1786) British Captain Francis Light founded Penang, built Fort Cornwallis
  • (1819) British occupied Singapore
  • (1824) United Kingdom and Netherlands signed Anglo-Dutch Treaty regarding trade rights in Spice Islands, Dutch ceded Malacca to British, kept Riau
  • (1826) Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore combined and formed Colony of Straits Settlement, gave the British more influence over the Malay sultanates
  • (1831) Naning War, in opposition to British taxation policies, was led by Malay leader, Dol Said
  • (1840s) Chinese tin miners moved to western coast of Malaysia
  • (1841) Kingdom of Sarawak (now a state of Malaysia) founded by Sir James Brooke
  • (1860s) Tin prospectors founded city of Kuala Lumpur
  • (1867) Straits Settlement established four individual settlements: Malacca, Dinding, Penang and Singapore into one British Crown colony
  • (1861-1874) Larut War was a series of four wars fought among Chinese secret societies and local Malays over mining areas in Perak
  • (1874) British and Sultan of Perak signed Pangkor Treaty, legitimized British control in Malaya
  • (1895) Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang joined together to become Federated Malay States
  • (1896) Disputes between locals and British North Borneo Company in North Borneo (now state of Sabah) led to Mat Salleh Rebellion
  • (1902) Thailand annexed three provinces, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat
  • (1909) Thailand, United Kingdom signed Anglo-Siamese Treaty, dissected northern Malay states
  • (1914) In Battle of Penang, Germans sank two Allied warships in Strait of Malacca
  • (1941) Japanese forces landed in Thailand, started advancement toward Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Burma
  • (1941-1942) Malayan Campaign was fought between Allied and Japanese forces in Malaya, Allies were defeated, over 9,600 killed
  • (1941-1945) Japanese occupied British Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, over 100,000 people killed
  • (1942) Parit Sulong Massacre: Imperial Japanese Army took nearly 300 Allied troops as prisoners, many were killed
  • (1945) Japanese surrendered; British returned, established military presence in Strait Settlements
  • (1946) Straits Settlements dissolved, replaced by the Malayan Union, which along with Malay Peninsula, was unified under a single government
  • (1948) Malayan Union disbanded, formed Federation of Malaya
  • (1948) British declared state of emergency in Malaya due to destruction of rubber plantations and tin mines by Communists
  • (1957) Malaya gained independence from Britain, established itself as a constitutional monarchy, the Federation of Malaya; Tunku Abdul Rahman became prime minister
  • (1963) Sabah, Singapore, Sarawak joined Federation of Malaya, now Federation of Malaysia
  • (1965) Separation agreement signed by Malaysia and Singapore
  • (1965) Malaysian Parliament voted to expel Singapore from the Federation
  • (1965) Malaysia was seated on UN Security Council, Indonesia refused to recognize Malaysia, withdrew from the United Nations and waged guerrilla war against them
  • (1966) Malaysia and Indonesia reached peace agreement; Indonesia rejoined UN
  • (1967) Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established with Malaysia as one of the five founding members
  • (1968-1989) The Communist Insurgency War was conducted by Malayan Communist Party against the Malaysian armed forces
  • (1969) Riots between Malays and Chinese occurred in Kuala Lumpur causing state of emergency and curfew to be established
  • (1970) Prime Minister Rahman resigned, Tun Abdul Razak became prime minster
  • (1971) New Economic Policy introduced which offered affirmative action for Malays
  • (1975) Vietnamese fleeing from the war, began arriving in Malaysia
  • (1976) Prime Minister Razak died, Tun Hussein Onn appointed prime minister
  • (1977) Chief minister expelled from Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), triggered unrest, national emergency declared, PAS expelled from the coalition
  • (1981) Prime Minister Onn stepped down, Mahathir Mohamad appointed prime minister

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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Malaysia is a Southeastern Asian country that is multiracial, with many different ethnic groups living in the country. These include Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other indigenous Bumiputra groups.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.