Malaysian History

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

1511-07-25 Portuguese forces under Afonso de Albuquerque first assault the prosperous trading city of Malacca, Malay Peninsula

Admiral and Duke of Goa Afonso de Albuquerque
Admiral and Duke of Goa
Afonso de Albuquerque
  • 1786-08-11 Captain Francis Light establishes the British colony of Penang in Malaysia
  • 1816-10-21 The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia.
  • 1817-01-22 British freighter Diana sinks off Malaya
  • 1923-04-06 The first Prefects Board in Southeast Asia is formed in Victoria Institution, Malaysia
  • 1934-09-01 SMJK Sam Tet was founded by Father Fourgs from the St. Michael Church, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
  • 1941-12-10 British battleship Prince of Wales and battlecruiser Repulse (Force Z ) sunk following Japanese aerial attacks off Malaya. 840 men die
  • 1942-01-11 Japan conquers Kuala Lumpur, Malaya
  • 1946-04-01 The Malayan Union is formed as a federation of the Malay states and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca
  • 1946-05-11 United Malays National Organisation is created.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1948-02-01 Nine Malay sultanates and two British Straits Settlements (Penang and Malacca) form the Federation of Malaya

Malaysia's Founding Father Tunku Abdul Rahman
Malaysia's Founding Father
Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • 1948-12-12 Malayan Emergency: Batang Kali Massacre - 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacre 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.
  • 1949-12-04 Duncan Stewart, 2nd British Governor of Sarawak is fatally stabbed in the streets of Sibu by Malay student Rosli Dhoby with help from Morshidi Sidek with the goal of helping neighbouring Indonesia to take over British Sarawak
  • 1957-08-27 The Constitution of Malaysia comes into force
  • 1957-08-31 Federation of Malaya gains independence from Great Britain
  • 1959-04-16 Datu Abdul Rozak inaugurated as premier of Malaysia federation

  • 1963-09-16 Federation of Malaysia formed by Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak
  • 1964-07-21 Race riots in Singapore between Chinese and Malay groups, 23 killed, 454 injured
  • 1964-09-02 Indonesian paratroopers lands in Malaysia
  • 1964-09-03 2nd incident that year of race riots in Singapore between Chinese and Malay, 13 people killed, 106 injured

AgreementAgreement of Interest

1965-08-07 Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore signs a separation agreement with Malaysia, after 2 years of political union

Founder of Modern Singapore Lee Kuan Yew
Founder of Modern Singapore
Lee Kuan Yew

SingaporeSingapore Leaves Malaysia

1965-08-09 Singapore separates from the Federation of Malaysia and gains its independence
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Front page of The Straits Times announcing Singapore Independence
Front page of The Straits Times announcing Singapore Independence
  • 1967-08-08 Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore & Thailand meet to form Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • 1969-05-13 Race riots, later known as the May 13 Incident, take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 1970-09-23 Abdul Razak bin Hussain becomes premier of Malaysia
  • 1972-02-01 Kuala Lumpur becomes a city by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
  • 1988-07-31 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia
  • 1994-04-25 King Azlan Shah of Malaysia resigns
  • 1998-06-27 Opening of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.
  • 1998-09-11 16th Commonwealth Games open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia making Malaysia the first Asian country to host the games

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2000-10-22 German Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher wins Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, his 4th straight race victory to finish season; 3rd, and 1st of 5 straight F1 World Drivers Championships; wins by 19 points from Mika Häkkinen

Formula 1 Driver Michael Schumacher
Formula 1 Driver
Michael Schumacher

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

2003-10-31 Mahathir Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, marking an end to Mahathir's 22 years in power

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
Malaysian Prime Minister
Mahathir bin Mohamad
  • 2004-03-21 In Malaysia, the 11th Federal and State elections are held, returning the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional to power with an increased majority.

Historic CommunicationBoxing Day Tsunami

2004-12-26 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and edges of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people
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The tsunami hits Ao Nang, Thailand
The tsunami hits Ao Nang, Thailand
  • 2008-05-23 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.
  • 2008-07-16 Malaysian policitian Anwar Ibrahim is arrested on sodomy charges in Malaysia

  • 2008-11-13 Equity research by Deutsche Bank states that Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines should not experience a recession, despite potential harm to economic growth from falling commodity prices and possible weaker exports
  • 2009-03-04 Malaysia has a 50% chance of slipping into the recession as growth is expected to reach just 0.5% for the year, announces the executive director Datuk Mohamed Ariff Abdul Kareem of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research
  • 2010-01-17 A dragon boat from Chung Ling High School capsizes and collides with a tugboat amid strong currents in Penang, Malaysia, killing 6 people and injuring 12
  • 2013-03-01 14 people are killed in the Lahad Datu standoff between Malaysian government and rebel forces
  • 2013-08-21 37 people are killed and 16 are injured in a bus crash near Chin Swee Temple, Malaysia

PlaneFlight MH370 Disappears

2014-03-08 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with 239 people loses contact and disappears, prompting the most expensive search effort in history and one of the most enduring aviation mysteries
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Post-it notes written by well-wishers in Malaysia after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing
Post-it notes written by well-wishers in Malaysia after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing
  • 2014-07-17 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shot down over Eastern Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board
  • 2014-10-16 New Zealand, Malaysia, Angola, Spain and Venezuela are elected to the United Nations Security Council
  • 2015-01-29 Malaysia officially declares the disappearance of missing flight MH370 an accident
  • 2015-06-05 6.0 magnitude earthquake (strongest to affect Malaysia since 1978) strikes Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia, killing 18 people on Mount Kinabalu
  • 2015-08-30 Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad calls for the removal of then Prime Minister Najib Razak during the second day of street protests
  • 2016-04-07 Longest-ever captured python found on Penang in Malaysia (26ft/8m)
  • 2016-12-23 United Nations Security Council adopts a landmark resolution demanding a halt to all Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. Resolution 2334 was moved by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela and passed 14-0 with a US abstention .
  • 2017-03-15 Disney refuses to cut gay moment in film "Beauty and the Beast" for Malaysian censors, instead pulls film from Malaysia
  • 2017-08-17 On This Day helps launch Borneo Dictionary, an online not for profit dictionary of indigenous Borneo languages with translations in English and Bahasa Malaysia
  • 2017-09-14 Fire at a religious school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, kills 23

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018-02-22 Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stirs up controversy by declaring he prefers quinoa to rice, the national dish

Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Najib Razak

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018-04-30 New species of water beetle from Malaysian Borneo’s Maliau Basin named after actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Election of InterestMalaysian 14th General Election

2018-05-09 Historic win in Malaysian general election by opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan led by 92 year old former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, defeating Prime Minister Najib Razak and ending 61 years of rule by the Barisan Nasional coalition
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Dr. Mahathir (middle), after winning the Malaysian 14th general election
Dr. Mahathir (middle), after winning the Malaysian 14th general election
  • 2018-05-10 Mahathir Mohamad is sworn in as the seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia, the world's oldest leader at 92
  • 2018-05-15 Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim is released from prison after being pardoned by King Muhammad V
  • 2018-06-14 Malaysia's national debt reassessed at $250 billion, up from previous estimate $170 billion, 80% of gross domestic product
  • 2018-06-27 Malaysian police announce seizure of goods linked to former prime minister Najib Razak, worth $273 million, biggest in the country's history, including 567 handbags and 14 tiaras
  • 2018-07-03 Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is arrested on corruption charges, accused of stealing 700 million from state development fund 1MDB
  • 2018-07-30 Official Malaysian investigation into the disappearance of Flight MH370 is unable to determine what happened
  • 2018-08-08 Malaysia charges former prime minister Najib Razak with three counts of money laundering
  • 2018-09-03 First public canning and conviction of lesbian couple attempting to have sex, by Sharia High Court in Terengganu state, Malaysia
  • 2018-10-03 Wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrested on corruption charges
  • 2018-10-29 World Scrabble Championship won for the fourth time by New Zealand Malaysian Nigel Richards with the word "groutier" (bad-tempered)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1506-04-07 Francis Xavier, saint/Jesuit missionary to India, Malaya, & Japan
  • 1855-12-10 Henry Nicholas Ridley, British botanist (Malay Peninsula rubber industry), born in West Harling, Norfolk, England (d. 1956)
  • 1885-11-08 Tomoyuki Yamashita [Yamashita Tomobumi], Imperial Japanese general dubbed "Tiger of Malaya," born in Ōtoyo, Kōchi, Japan (d. 1946)
  • 1900-07-19 Roscoe [Charles Barnet] Harvey, British soldier, born in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo (d. 1996)

Person of interestTunku Abdul Rahman

1903-02-08 Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's founding father, 1st Prime Minister of Malaya (1957-63) and Malaysia (1963-70), born in Alor Star, Kedah (d. 1990)

Malaysia's Founding Father Tunku Abdul Rahman
Malaysia's Founding Father
Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • 1916-11-23 Michael Gough, English actor (Hammer Horror Films, Search for the Nile), born in Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya (d. 2011)
  • 1917-12-10 Sultan Yahya Petra, 6th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (1975-79), born in Kota Bharu, Kelantan (d. 1979)
  • 1918-05-13 John Johnston, British diplomat (Rhodesia, Malaysia)
  • 1919-11-20 Dulcie Gray, British singer, actress, author and lepidopterist (Mine Own Executioner), born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya (d. 2011)
  • 1920-11-25 Tuanku Syed Putra ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail, King of Malaysia (d. 2000)
  • 1922-03-11 Abdul Razak bin Hussain, premier of Malaysia (1970-77)
  • 1924-12-25 Henry Sy Sr., Chinese Malay businessman 'Philippines Retail King', born in Amoy, China

Person of interestMahathir bin Mohamad

1925-07-10 Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-2003 and 2018-), born in Alor Setar, Malaysia

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
Malaysian Prime Minister
Mahathir bin Mohamad
  • 1927-10-01 Sandy Gall, Malaysian-born British journalist and newscaster
  • 1930-05-29 Eddy Choong, Malaysian badminton player (Thomas Cup 1955), born in Penang, British Malaya (d. 2013)
  • 1930-10-24 Sultan Ahmad Shah, 7th King of Malaysia (1979-84), born in Pekan, Pahang, Federated Malay States, British Malaya (d. 2019)
  • 1931-12-24 Jill Bennett, British actress (Lady Jane, Concrete Jungle), born in Penang, Straits Settlements (d. 1990)
  • 1939-11-26 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Malaysian politician (5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, 2003-09), born in Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia
  • 1947-08-10 Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian politician and founder of the People's Justice Party (PKR), born in Bukit Mertajam, Malaya
  • 1960-03-16 Jenny Eclair [Hargreaves], British comedienne, author and actress (Grumpy Old Women, Loose Women), born in Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaya
  • 1960-12-08 Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP)
  • 1962-01-22 Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, born in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
  • 1962-08-06 Michelle Yeoh, Chinese-Malaysian actress ( Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies), born in Ipoh, Malaysia
  • 1962-10-02 Aziz M. Osman, Malaysian actor and director
  • 1962-11-06 Aznil Nawawi, Malaysian host, actor and singer, born in Kampung Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur

Person of interestTony Fernandes

1964-04-30 Tony Fernandes, Malaysian businessman (AirAsia), born in Kuala Lumpur

Entrepreneur Tony Fernandes
Entrepreneur
Tony Fernandes
  • 1968-05-02 Ziana Zain, Malaysian singer and actress, born in Merlimau, Malacca, Malaysia
  • 1970-08-30 Michael Wong Guang Liang, Chinese Malaysian singer
  • 1971-07-23 Christopher Lee [Lee Meng Soon], Malaysian actor, singer and model (Show Hand), born in Malacca, Malaysia
  • 1974-03-03 Paula Malai Ali, Malaysian-Bruneian TV Presenter and Actress
  • 1976-07-20 Alex Yoong, Malaysian racing driver
  • 1977-02-26 James Wan, Malaysian-Australian film director (Saw, The Conjuring), born in Kuching, Malaysia
  • 1978-06-16 Jasmine "Fish" Leong, Chinese Malaysian singer (Courage), born in Bahau, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
  • 1978-12-04 Jaclyn Victor, Malaysian singer (Gemilang), born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 1979-01-11 Siti Nurhaliza, Malaysian singer, born in Kampung Awah, Malaysia
  • 1979-09-30 Vince Chong, Malaysian singer-songwriter
  • 1981-11-29 Nicholas Teo, Malaysian singer and actor, born in Sarawak, Malaysia
  • 1981-12-14 Amber Chia, Malaysian model and actress, born in Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia
  • 1981-12-16 Took Leng How, Malaysian criminal (d. 2006)
  • 1982-10-24 Mohamed Fairuz Fauzy, Malaysian racing driver, born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 1983-03-10 Che'Nelle, Malaysian Australian Singer
  • 1986-10-06 Mohammad Shukri, Malaysian cricketer
  • 1987-02-05 Henry Golding, Malaysian actor (Crazy Rich Asians), born in Betong, Sarawak, Malaysia

Famous Weddings

  • 2006-11-08 Malaysian actress Sazzy Falak (25) weds co-founder of LVG Consultants and LVG MoneySkool Nazril Idrus

Famous Deaths

  • 1875-11-02 James W. W. Birch, 1st British resident in Perak, Malaysia is speared to death while in the bath-house of his boat, SS Dragon at 49
  • 1914-11-14 Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar, Malayalin journalist (b. 1861)
  • 1942-02-14 Adnan Bin Saidi, Officer of the Malay Regiment killed in the defense of Singapore (b. 1915)
  • 1946-02-23 Tomoyuki Yamashita [Yamashita Tomobumi], Imperial Japanese general dubbed "Tiger of Malaya," executed for war crimes by hanging at 60
  • 1949-12-10 Duncan Stewart, 2nd British Governor of Sarawak (1949), dies at 45 after being fatally stabbed in the streets of Sibu by pro-Indonesian Malay student Rosli Dhoby
  • 1950-03-02 Rosli Dhobi, pro-Indonesian Malay student, hanged in Kuching for the assassination of Duncan Stewart, British Governor of Sarawak
  • 1951-10-06 Henry Gurney, British high commissioner to Malaya, assassinated
  • 1956-10-24 Henry Nicholas Ridley, British botanist (Malay Peninsula rubber industry), dies at 100
  • 1973-05-29 P. Ramlee, Malaysian film actor, director, singer and songwriter. (b. 1929)
  • 1976-01-14 Abdul Razak bin Hussain, premier of Malaysia (1970-77), dies at 53
  • 1979-03-29 Sultan Yahya Petra, 6th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (1975-79), dies at 61

Person of interestTunku Abdul Rahman

1990-12-06 Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's founding father, 1st Prime Minister of Malaya (1957-63) and Malaysia (1963-70), dies at 87

Malaysia's Founding Father Tunku Abdul Rahman
Malaysia's Founding Father
Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • 2001-11-21 Salahuddin of Malaysia, King of Malaysia (b. 1926)
  • 2005-10-20 Endon Mahmood, First Lady of Malaysia (breast cancer) (b. 1941)
  • 2005-12-20 Maniam Moorthy, Malaysian climber
  • 2007-01-23 Syed Hussein Alatas, Malaysian Politician (b. 1928)
  • 2008-03-19 Raghuvaran, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam actor (b. 1948)
  • 2009-07-25 Yasmin Ahmad, Malaysian film director, writer and scriptwriter (b. 1958)
  • 2009-09-17 Noordin Mohammad Top, Malaysian Islamist terrorist (b. 1968)
  • 2013-01-28 Eddy Choong, Malaysian badminton player (Thomas Cup 1955), dies at 82