Monday, January 11, 2010


Map of Malacca

View Larger Map

Malacca (Malay: Melaka, dubbed The Historical State or Negeri Bersejarah amongst locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca Town. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.

Although one of the oldest Malay sultanates, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan, acts as the head of state.


Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a simple fishing village inhabited by local Malays. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, a Srivijayan prince of Palembang who fled Sumatra following a Majapahit attack in 1377. He found his way to Malacca c. 1400 where he found a good port accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits

Parameswara converted to Islam in 1414 and changed his name to 'Raja Iskandar Shah'. In collaboration with allies from the sea-people (orang laut) the wandering proto-Malay privateers of the Straits, he established Malacca as major international port by compelling passing ships to call there, and establishing fair and reliable facilities for warehousing and trade. Mass settlement of Chinese, mostly from the imperial and merchant fleet occurred during the reign of Parameswara, occurred in the vicinity of the Bukit China ("Chinese Hill") area, which was perceived as having excellent Feng Shui (geomancy) in Malacca then. Sultan Iskandar Shah died in 1424, and was succeeded by his son, Sri Maharaja also called Sultan Muhammad Shah.

The prosperity of Malacca attracted the invasion of the Siamese. Attempts in 1446 and 1456, however, were warded off by Tun Perak, the then Bendahara (a position similar to Prime Minister). The development of relations between Malacca and China was then a strategic decision to ward off further Siamese attacks.

Because of its strategic location, Malacca was an important stopping point for Zheng He's fleet. To enhance relations, Hang Li Po, allegedly a princess of the Ming Emperor of China, arrived in Malacca, accompanied by 500 attendants, to marry Sultan Manshur Shah who reigned from 1456 until 1477. Her attendants married the locals and settled mostly in Bukit China (Bukit Cina).(See Zheng He in Malacca). Scholars have disputed Hang Li Po's status in China as because she was never recorded as a princess in the Chinese court of the Ming Dynasty in the Ming Chronicles. At the time of the arrival of the Sultan's envoy, the reigning Ming Emperor was Jingtai Emperor. Records of his reign was expunged following the ascension of Tianshun in 1457. It is likely that if she were a princess in the Ming court, records of her might not exist. In many historical text, she was said to have been a princess in the court of the Yongle Emperor(1402-1424).

A cultural result of the vibrant trade was the expansion of the Peranakan people, who spread to other major settlements in the region.

During its prime, Malacca was a powerful Sultanate which extended its rule over the southern Malay Peninsula and much of Sumatra. Its rise helped to hold off the Thai's southwards encroachment and arguably hasten the decline of the rival Majapahit Empire of Java which was in decline as Malacca was rising. Malacca was also central in the spread of Islam in the Malay Archipelago.

2. Portuguese Malacca
3. Dutch Malacca
4. British Malacca
5. Independence Malaysia

Governors after independence 1957

31 Aug 1957 - 31 Aug 1959 Tun Leong Yew Koh (b. 1888 - d. 1963)
31 Aug 1959 - 31 Aug 1971 Tun Abdul Malik bin Yusuf (b. 1899)
31 Aug 1971 - 23 May 1975 Tun Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Majid (b. 1908)
23 May 1975 - 4 Dec 1984 Tun Syed Zahiruddin bin Syed (b. 1918)
4 Dec 1984 - 4 Jun 2004 Tan Sri (from 1987, Tun) Syed (b. 1925 - d. 2008)
Ahmad Shahabuddin
4 Jun 2004 - Tan Sri (from 28 Jul 2004, Tun) (b. 1937)
Khalil Yaakob

Chief ministers (title Ketua Menteri)

31 Aug 1957 - 1 Jun 1959 Datuk Kurnia Jasa Othman bin Talib
1 Jun 1959 - 6 Oct 1967 Abdul Ghafar Baba (b. 1925 - d. 2006)
6 Oct 1967 - 1 Aug 1972 Datuk Talib bin Karim
1 Aug 1972 - 11 Jul 1978 Datuk Setia Abdul Ghani Ali (b. 1923? - d. 2004)
11 Jul 1978 - 26 Apr 1982 Mohd Adib Adam (b. 1941)
22 Apr 1982 - 17 Jul 1994 Rahim Thamby Chik (b. 1950) UMNO/BN
(from 1983, Dato' Rahim Thamby Chik;
from 1984, Datuk Seri Rahim Thamby Chik;
from 1990, Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik)
14 Oct 1994 - 14 May 1997 Datuk (from 14 Oct 1995, Datuk
Seri) Mohd Zin Abdul Ghani (b. 1941 - d. 1997) UMNO/BN
(acting to 2 Dec 1994)
22 May 1997 - 2 Dec 1999 Datuk Abu Zahar Isnin (b. 1939) UMNO/BN
2 Dec 1999 - Datuk Wira (from 13 Oct 2001,
Datuk Seri) Mohd Ali Rustam (b. 1949) UMNO/BN

No comments:

Post a Comment