• Britain establishes a protectorate over the Malay sultanates of the peninsula after they combine their settlements in Malacca, Penang, and Singapore to form the Colony of Straits Settlements.  

  • Four Malay states combine to form the Federated Malay States.

  • Japan invades during World War II.

  • British-ruled Malayan territories are unified under Federation of Malaya.

  • The Federation of Malaya becomes independent.

  • The British colonies of Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore join the Federation of Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia.

  • Singapore withdraws from Malaysia, reducing it to 13 states.

  • The government begins to help Malays by introducing a minimum number of Malays required in business, education, and civil service. 

  • The Asian financial crisis ends after a decade of impressive economic growth.

  • Malaysia's economy begins to recede. The Malaysian government bans recruitment of foreign workers to protect unemployment. The government also announces a $16 billion plan to stimulate the economy and keep it away from going into deep recession.


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