Malaysia is truly synonymous with its slogan, “Malaysia, Truly Asia”. A multicultural country which caters to hundreds of festivals in a year, Malaysia has truly lived up to the slogan. Malaysians are well-known for their great hospitality and warmth, making visitors feel right at home here. Malaysian culture emphasizes on the values of courtesy, moderation, tolerance, harmony, and cordial relations among family members, neighbors and within the community, making Malaysia a peaceful country. Malaysia’s main ethnic groups of Malay, Chinese and Indians have blended into an exceptional mix, making Malaysia unique.
Malaysia has a recorded history that goes back to the first century BC. Evidence of contact with great civilizations can be found throughout Malaysia’s history. One such example is the arrival of Islam in the 1400s, brought by traders from the Middle East to the Malaccan Sultanate. This religion spread across the rest of the peninsular after the Sultan of Malacca embraced Islam.
Malacca was famous for its spice trade which led to its attack by the Portuguese in 1511. This resulted in the fall of the Sultanate. Along with this conquest, the Portuguese also brought with them Christianity. The Dutch took over Malacca in 1611, but the British took over at the end of the 18th Century.
In East Malaysia, a different scenario took place. Sabah was under the authority of the Chartered Company of British North Borneo. Sarawak, on the other hand, was ruled by the Brooke family for 100 years. In 1941, Malaysia was invaded for three years by the Japanese, who surrendered after the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
After much negotiation with the British government, on the 31st August 1957, Tunku Abdul Rahman, our first Prime Minister, read the Proclamation of Independence stating Malaysia as an independent country.
After over 50 years of independence, we have had six Prime Ministers. Starting with the Father of Independence – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Father of Development- Tun Razak, Father of Unity- Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who ceded power to his deputy- Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak in early 2009.