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Malaysia History

Malaysia History has been influenced to a great extent by outside influence of Hindu Kingdoms, the arrival of Islam in the 10th century, the intrusion of European colonial power, the Japanese occupation during World War Two and the establishment of a multi racial Federation of Malaya in 1957.

The Hindu Kingdoms ruled the Malays world from 100 BC to 1400 AD and reached its peak in the Srivijaya civilisation based in Sumatra. During this time, Hindu culture were imported from India and archaelogical findings in Bujang Valley in the state of Kedah showed that there were ruins of an ancient Hindu Kingdom dating back to the year 300 AD. You will be able to see some of the relics on display at Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum.



The Historical Sultan Abdul Samad Building opposite Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur





The arrival of Islam in the 10th century led to the conversion of the Malay and Indonesian world. It reached its golden era from 1400 AD to 1511 AD during the reign of the sultanates in Malacca. Islamic culture and trading of goods prospered during this time.

The European colonial powers came into this region to conquer the land for its rich spices, minerals and as army posts in South East Asia. The Portuguese captured Malacca in 1511 followed by the Dutch and finally the British. During the time of British reign, many Chinese and Indians were brought from Southern China and Southern India to work in the tin mines and rubber plantation.



The Portuguese Admiral Alfonso De Albuquerque on the right during the conquered of Malacca





Then came World War Two and the Japanese occupied Malaya from 1942 to 1945. After World War Two, the British resumed their control of the country. After a series of diplomacy and discussion between the leaders of the country and the British, the multi racial Federation of Malaya was established in 1957.

In 1963, Malaya became Malaysia with the joining of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore as part of Malaysia. However, Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965.

Malaysia since 1970 has been ruled by the National Front Coalition consisting of parties that represent the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians communities.

Since than, Malaysia has prospered economically and has become one of the most developed contry in South East Asia.

Malaysia History

The National Museum near KL Sentral is a good place to start with to discover the history of Malaysia.

Within the compound of the National Museum is Malaysian Maritime Archaeology Exhibition where artifacts from shipwrecks dating back to the 14th century is exhibited.

Another place where you can go and see Malaysia history is The National History Museum Building which was first opened to the public in 1996. It is located beside Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur. The building was originally built from bricks and wood and was used by Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China. It was the first bank to operate in Kuala Lumpur.



The National History
Museum Building




The building was then rebuilt with the influence of Moorish and Islamic architecture. It was used by the Japanese as a telecommunication base during world war two. After the war, it as used as a commercial bank until the year 1965 when it was used by various governmental departments. In 1991, it was handed over to Department of Museums and Antiquities to be used as the National History Museum.

The museum is opened from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily. Admission fee is only RM1.

Address: 29, Jalan Raja, 50050 Kuala Lumpur.

Further information can be obtained by contacting +6 03 2694 4590 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +6 03 2694 4590      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.



The items on display
in the Museum



Related places to visit on the history of Malaysia, numismatic museums, memorial parks and monuments.

Armed Forces Museum
If you are in Kuala Lumpur, you may want to consider visiting this museum which shows the contributions of the armed forces during World War Two, the battle with the communists,..

Asian Art Museum
See the collection of 6,000 artifacts from Malaysia, China and other Asian countries in this museum which is located at the main campus of the University of Malaya.

Islamic Arts Museum
Located near the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, the Islamic Arts Museum feature many themed galleries such as the Islamic manuscripts, ceramics, metalwork and replicas of Taj Mahal and Masjid Al-Haram Mosque.

Malaysia history knowledge is not complete without visiting the historical state of Malacca and see the many heritage buildings left behind by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Make sure you try the Nyonya and Portuguese cuisines as well.

National Monument
Visit the National Monument in the vicinity of Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur that was built to remember the soldiers who gave their lives to defend the sovereignty of the nation.

Millenium Monument Malaysia History
Drop by Millenium Monument in Putrajaya and discover the history of Malaysia as you walk up the tall hibiscus shape structure in Precinct 2, directly opposite NRD.

Maybank Numismatic Museum
See the many collections of coins, bank notes and other ancient currencies that were being used in Malaysia from the time of the Melaka Sultanate. Other ASEAN countries currencies are also exhibited here.

Money Museum Bank Negara Malaysia
Discover the types, shapes and the colours of currency used in the golden days. Head to Bank Negara Money Museum in the city of Kuala Lumpur and appreciate the collection of numismatic from Malaysia and the world.

Petaling Jaya Museum
Learn the history and origin of the city of Petaling Jaya at this single storey museum.

Police Museum
The Royal Malaysia Police Museum is situated in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens opposite the National Planetarium. It shows the Malaysia history of Royal Malaysia Police and admission is free.

Sultan Alam Shah Museum
Visit the Selangor State Museum located in the city of Shah Alam, approximately 45 minutes drive away from Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free.

Telecommunication Museum
Located along Jalan Raja Chulan in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Telecommunication Museum is also known as Muzium Telekom in the local language. It is the first interactive museum in Malaysia where a chronological events of the nation's telecommunication history are re-enacted.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial
Visit the exhibition at Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial in Kuala Lumpur and see the many contributions that Malaysia's First Prime Minister have done for the nation.

Tun Abdul Razak Memorial
Visit the Tun Abdul Razak Memorial at Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens and see the many contributions that Malaysia's Second Prime Minister have done for the nation.

Tun Hussein Onn Memorial
Visit the exhibition at Tun Hussein Onn Memorial and see the many contributions that Malaysia's Third Prime Minister have done for the nation.



Terengganu State Museum

If you are in the state of Terengganu at the East Coast of Malaysia, remember to drop by Terengganu State Museum and learn more about Malaysia History here.

Kellie's Castle
Over at the north of Peninsular Malaysia, see the ruin of an uncompleted mansion in Batu Gajah, 30 km away for Ipoh, Perak.

Perak Museum
If you are in Taiping, make it a point to visit the oldest museum in Malaysia built over 125 years ago.


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