Monday, January 11, 2010

Malaya(pre-British colonization)

Please take note that there was no Malaysia in early history, it was a modern term for nation identity.

The Chinese and Indians established kingdoms in the area in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE—as many as 30, according to Chinese sources. Kedah—known as Kedaram, Cheh-Cha (according to I-Ching) or Kataha, in ancient Pallava or Sanskrit—was in the direct route of invasions of Indian traders and kings. Rajendra Chola, the ancient Tamil emperor who is now thought to have laid Kota Gelanggi to waste, controlled Kedah in 1025. His successor, Vira Rajendra Chola, had to put down a Kedah rebellion to overthrow the invaders. The coming of the Chola reduced the majesty of Srivijaya, which had exerted influence over Kedah, Pattani and as far as Ligor.

The Buddhist kingdom of Ligor took control of Kedah shortly after. Its king Chandrabhanu used it as a base to attack Sri Lanka in the 11th century, an event noted in a stone inscription in Nagapattinum in Tamil Nadu and in the Sri Lankan chronicles, Mahavamsa. During the first millennium, the people of the Malay Peninsula adopted Hinduism and Buddhism and the use of the Sanskrit language. They later converted to Islam.

Areas older than Kedah appeared in historical writings. The ancient kingdom of Gangga Negara, around Beruas in Perak, for instance, pushes Malaysian history further into antiquity. "Pattinapalai", a Tamil poem of the second century CE, describes goods from Kadaram heaped in the broad streets of the Chola capital. A 7th-century Sanskrit drama, Kaumudhimahotsva, refers to Kedah as Kataha-nagari. The Agnipurana also mentions a territory known as Anda-Kataha with one of its boundaries delineated by a peak, which scholars believe is Gunung Jerai. Stories from the Katasaritasagaram describe the elegance of life in Kataha.

Between the 7th and the 13th century, much of Peninsular Malaysia was under the Srivijaya empire, which was centred in Palembang on the island of Sumatra. Following that, a wider Majapahit empire, based on Java island, had influence over most of Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, and the coasts of Borneo island.

In the early 15th century, Parameswara, a prince from Palembang from the once Srivijayan empire, established a dynasty and founded the Malacca Sultanate. Conquest forced him and many others to flee Palembang. Parameswara in particular sailed to Temasek to escape persecution. There he came under the protection of Temagi, a Malay chief from Patani who was appointed by the King of Siam as Regent of Temasek. Within a few days, Parameswara killed Temagi and appointed himself regent. Some five years later he had to leave Temasek, due to threats from Siam. During this period, a Javanese fleet from Majapahit attacked Temasek.

Parameswara headed north to found a new settlement. At Muar, Parameswara considered siting his new kingdom at either Biawak Busuk or at Kota Buruk. Finding that the Muar location was not suitable, he continued his journey northwards. Along the way, he reportedly visited Sening Ujong (former name of present-day Sungai Ujong) before reaching a fishing village at the mouth of the Bertam River (former name of the Malacca River). Over time this developed into modern-day Malacca Town. According to the Malay Annals, here Parameswara saw a mouse deer outwitting a dog resting under a Malacca tree. Taking this as a good omen, he decided to establish a kingdom called Malacca. He built and improved facilities for trade.

According to a theory, Parameswara became a Muslim when he married a Princess of Pasai and he took the fashionable Persian title "Shah", calling himself Iskandar Shah. There are also references that indicate that some members of the ruling class and the merchant community residing in Malacca were already Muslims. Chinese chronicles mention that in 1414, the son of the first ruler of Malacca visited the Ming emperor to inform them that his father had died. Parameswara's son was then officially recognised as the second ruler of Malacca by the Chinese Emperor and styled Raja Sri Rama Vikrama, Raja of Parameswara of Temasek and Melaka and he was known to his Muslim subjects as Sultan Sri Iskandar Zulkarnain Shah or Sultan Megat Iskandar Shah. He ruled Malacca from 1414 to 1424.

In 1511, Malacca was conquered by Portugal, which established a colony there. The sons of the last Sultan of Malacca established two sultanates elsewhere in the peninsula — the Sultanate of Perak to the north, and the Sultanate of Johor (originally a continuation of the old Malacca sultanate) to the south. After the fall of Malacca, three nations struggled for the control of Malacca Strait: the Portuguese (in Malacca), the Sultanate of Johor, and the Sultanate of Aceh. This conflict went on until 1641, when the Dutch (allied to the Sultanate of Johor) gained control of Malacca.

1 comment:

  1. Malaka is a name of tree.In tamil,there is a tree named Amalakai maram. Maram means tree in Tamil language.When ordinary Tamil people mention Amalakai as Amalaka.Amalaka means nellika.There is two kinds of nellika.One is small nellika and another one is big nellika(periya nellika).Amalaka is a great herbal.You can read about the Amalaka in the pura naanooru,one of the oldest literature in Tamil.A king named Athiyamaan gave this amalaka(peru nelli) as a gift of love to the poet Avaiyar for long live.