Malaysia: History

  1. Early 14th Century

    Conversion of the Malays to Islam begins.

  2. 1826

    The British settlements of Malacca, Penang, and Singapore are combined to form the Colony of the Straits Settlements.

  3. 1941-1945

    Japan invades and occupies the country during World War II.

  4. 1948-1960

    A state of emergency is called because of a communist insurgency.

  5. 1957

    The Federation of Malay becomes independent after negotiations with Britain. Tunku Abdul Rahman becomes the first prime minister.

  6. 1963

    The British colonies of Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah join the Federation which is renamed Malaysia. Singapore will leave the federation and become independent in 1965.

  7. 1963-1966

    Indonesia, opposed to the formation of Malaysia, starts a program of economic, political, diplomatic, and military confrontation, ending after the fall of Indonesia’s President Sukarno.

  8. 1997

    After an impressive decade of growth, the Asian financial crisis hits Malaysia’s economy, leading to a recession.

  9. 2002

    New immigration laws are implemented with tougher punishments for illegal immigrants, causing many foreign workers to leave.

  10. 2009

    The recruiting of foreign workers is banned by the government in an attempt to lower unemployment during the global economic crisis. The government also introduces a $16 billion stimulus plan.


BBC News