Malaysia Brief History

According to Smber, Malaysia is a federal state of Southeast Asia. The birth of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century is traditionally considered as the starting point of the modern history of Malaysia. It lost its independence in 1511 with the Portuguese occupation, which was replaced in 1641 by the Dutch one. British colonization began in 1786; in 1826 the British Crown established the Colony of the Straits (Pinang, Malacca and Singapore). In 1896 the states of Pangkor, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang were united in the Federation of Malay States, under the British protectorate. Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Trengganu were submitted to the English protectorate in 1906; Johor in 1914. After the Japanese occupation (1942-45), the return of British control met with a widespread anti-colonial ferment and in May 1946 the United Malays national organization (UMNO) was founded, born from the Malaysian opposition to the Constitution introduced by the British and on the basis of which, in Jan. 1946, the Malay Union had been formed. In 1948 there was a new Constitution and the proclamation of the Malaysian Federation. The Communist Party, ethnically characterized by a strong Chinese component, proclaimed a wave of strikes in the rubber plantations in May 1948. The government responded by proclaiming a state of emergency and banning the Communist Party. From the escalation of the conflict the communist armed struggle began, which dominated the political life of the country in the following decade.

The first political elections were held in 1955, won by the anti-communist and nationalist Alliance party; TA Rahman became prime minister. On 31 August 1957 independence was proclaimed within the Commonwealth. In the mid-fifties the government managed to defeat the communist guerrillas; the state of emergency remained in force until 1960. The integration between the different ethnic groups was the major problem of the new state; the political dominance of the Malay community was in fact matched by the Chinese and Indian economic ones. In 1963 Singapore became part of the federation, which was also extended to include Sabah and Sarawak. Thus was formed the Federation of Malaysia, bitterly opposed by the Philippines and Indonesia, which unleashed a war that lasted two years. In 1965 Singapore was expelled from the federation, while the political dominance of the UMNO was reconfirmed in 1959 and 1964. In 1971 A. Razak replaced Rahman. The Alliance party gave way to a National Front. Razak’s death in 1976 led to the leadership of the government and the Dato Hussein bin Onn party, who had to face the reorganized communist guerrillas and permanent ethnic tensions. The seventies of the 20th century. they marked a change in the country’s international relations, initially marked by an alliance with Western countries and a closure towards the communist powers. In 1981, Dato Hussein was replaced by Malaysia Mahathir. In addition to the difficulties of the economic situation, the government had to face the emergence of separatist tendencies from the mid-1980s, especially in Sabah and Sarawak. In the early nineties, thanks also to the recovery recorded by the economy, the National Front strengthened its position, while within the UMNO the struggle for the succession to Mahathir was accentuated.

A worsening of the internal situation was recorded at the end of 1997, as a consequence of the financial crisis that engulfed the whole of South-East Asia, however in the 1999 legislative elections Mahathir was reconfirmed. Serious ethnic clashes between Malaysians and Indians occurred in 2001, to which the government responded with a series of arrests. In 2003 Mahathir relinquished power; the new head of the government became Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, also a member of the UMNO. Badawi strengthened his position in the parliamentary elections of March 2004; instead, while retaining the majority in Parliament, he suffered a sharp retreat in those of 2008. In 2009 he retired, leaving his place to Malaysia Najib bin Abdul Razak.

Physical characteristics

The Malaysia is formed by mountain systems emerged Alpine-Himalayan orogeny. Malaysia Peninsulare, which stretches for 800 km NW-SE, is characterized by continuous but modest longitudinal crystalline reliefs, which in rare cases exceed 2000 m (Tahan), rich in metal ores (tin, iron, gold, copper, antimony, bauxite). Malaysia Orientale is also mountainous and culminates in Kinabalu (4101 m), the highest peak in all of Borneo, but also has coastal alluvial lowlands, such as that of the Rajang River.

Malaysia has a typically equatorial climate, except in the extreme northern part of the peninsular, where it is affected by the alternation of monsoons. The maximum rainfall exceeds 5000 mm per year, favoring a vegetation that passes from the casuarine and mangrove formations of the coast to the rainforest and, above 600 m of altitude, to the equatorial mountain forest and then to the bush at altitude. The spontaneous vegetation at the beginning of the 21st century. it still covered almost 60% of the territory.

Malaysia Brief History