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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 329,847 km2
Population 30,949,962
Population Density 93.83 / km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
GDP (PPP) $863.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $27,200
Currency Ringgit (MYR)
Largest Cities
  • Kota Bharu (1,459,994)
  • Kuala Lumpur (1,453,975)
  • Klang (879,867)
  • Kampung Baru Subang (833,571)
  • Johor Bahru (802,489)
  • Subang Jaya (708,296)
  • Ipoh (673,318)
  • Kuching (570,407)
  • Petaling Jaya (520,698)
  • Shah Alam (481,654)
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
1800s
  • (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
1900s
  • (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
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
2000s continued
  • (2009) 10,000 copies of the Bible were seized in Sarawak as they contained the world "Allah", a translation banned in Malaysia
  • (2010) A court decision to allow non-Muslims to use Allah to refer to God sparked religious tensions, churches were attacked with firebombs
  • (2010) Three Muslim women were caned for having extramarital sex - first women in the country to receive the punishment under Islamic laws
  • (2010) Islamic Shariah courts appoint first female judges
  • (2010) Anwar Ibrahim, three allies, suspended from parliament for six months
  • (2011) More than 20,000 demonstrators gathered in Kuala Lumpur demanding electoral reforms, police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse the crowds, detained over 1,600
  • (2011) Parliament enacted ban on street protests
  • (2011) Landslides caused by heavy rains buried orphanage, 16 killed, many injured
  • (2012) Anwar Ibrahim acquitted of sodomy charges
  • (2012) Police used tear gas, chemical-laced water at over 80,000 demonstrators demanding fair rules for national elections in Kuala Lumpur
  • (2012) Minimum wage was introduced to help increase incomes amid rising living costs
  • (2012) Customs officials made a $18.4 million drug bust of nearly three million party drug pills
  • (2013) Members of a Muslim royal clan from southern Philippines arrived in Lahad Datu, Sabah state, claimed the territory as their own, cited ownership papers from the 1800s
  • (2013) 14 people were killed in a shootout as authorities and 200 members of a Filipino clan occupying a village in Sabah state, tried to end a three-week standoff
  • (2013) Prime Minister Razak dissolved Parliament and called for general elections
  • (2013) Prime Minister Razak's National Front Coalition won election over Anwar Ibrahim's alliance
  • (2013) Appeal court ruled non-Muslims could not use the word Allah to refer to God, reversed the 2009 lower court ruling
  • (2013) Increased police presence followed reports of unacceptably high crime rates
  • (2014) Appeals court sentences Anwar Ibrahim to five years in prison on sodomy charges
  • (2014) Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, teams from around the world involved in search

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