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History of the Malacca Sultanate

Info: 2150 words (9 pages) Essay
Published: 12th Jun 2017 in History

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The Malacca Sultanate was a powerful maritime and commercial empire that Shaped the political, social and cultural systems of the Malay Peninsula. Parameswara (1401 to 1511) was the founder of Malacca. He was a fugitive prince from the Palembang in Sumatra, and attack Palembang. Parameswara fled to the island of Temasik with his loyal company of 30 orang laut (sea people). After eight days in Temasik, Parameswara killed the local chief and usurped as lord over the simple fisher folk of Temasik. Therefore, he runs to Malacca. Under his ruling, in 1414, Parameswara embraced Islam, and change his name to Megat Iskandar Shah, married to a Muslim princess from Pasai, Sumatra. Because of this it attracted Muslim traders to come to Malacca port and international too. He also maintain the good relation with Ming China, he send a mission after mission to Peking in1415, 1416 and 1418.

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Parameswara, laid a great stress on the element of all event and the political experiences which underwent from broader viewpoint and historical vision in the Malay historical and political development all in Malay Archipelago. Malacca has they becoming a cosmopolitan free port that valued money above any nations of cultural imperialism. Due to the successfully founded and established a seat of power in Malacca around 1399/1400. Upon his death in 1424, Megat Iskandar Shah was succeeded by his son Sri Maharaja (1424-1444) .

Sultanate of Malacca



1394 to 1414

Sultan Megat Iskandar Syah

1414 to 1424

Seri Maharaja ( Raja Tengah ) or Sultan Muhammad Syah

1424 to 1444

Sultan Abu Syahid

1445 to 1456

Sultan Muzaffar Syah

1446 to 1456

Sultan Mansur Syah

1456 to 1477

Sultan Alauddin Riayat Syah

1477 to 1488

Sultan Mahmud Syah

1488 to 1511

Sultan Muzaffa Shah ( 1446-1456) the son of Sri Maharaja and grandson of Megat Iskandar Shah alias Parameswara, ruling the Malacca throne in 1446 succeeding his elder brother , Raja Ibrahim. He was the first to use Arabian title of ‘Sultan’, and formulate the Malacca Laws known as Risalah Hukum Kanun in protect the sovereignty and prosperity of Malacca. Raja Kechil Besar (Sultan Muhammed Syah, 1424-1444) played a major role in developing and improving the ceremonial and the administrative system. He re-‘organized the royal administration’. In Malacca the Bendahara immediately beneath the sultan operated as Chief Minister with Temenggong as Senior Judges below, followed by Special Magistrates or Syahbandar. The main four communities in Malacca, Muslim Gujaratis , Hindu Tamiuls , Islamised Javanese and Chinese each a Syahbandar. The Syahbandar have two roles, the Chinese Syahbandar will assisting the vessel in trades when foreign ship arrived from China. So as the Shahbandar looked after his respective community. Syahbandar will need to responsible for arming, organizing and commanding their community for Sultan. Two offices or ministers were created at this time – the Temenggung and Sen Bija Diraja is to the rapid developments that were taking place in the town and society of Malacca.

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The office of the Laksamana was established during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1456-1477). It was originally ‘designated’ by the Emperor of Majapahit. The duties and jurisdiction of the Laksamana were similar those of the Seri Bija Diraja. As the position of the Laksamana became more firmly established and more influential in Malacca, the status of the Sen Bija Diraja gradually declined. Beside the four Ministers, there were eight senior directors, all bearing the title Sr. Under them were sixteen junior directors with the title Raja. At the bottom of the hierarchy were thirty two government offices that assist the Minister to carrying out their duties. This administration system was implemented by all the states in Malay Peninsula that were united under Sultanate Malacca.

Malacca was as a major player in the spice trade, serving as a gateway between the Spice Islands and high-paying Eurasian markets. The rise of Malacca was the monsoon winds that enabled Arabian and Indian traders from the west to travel to China in the east and vice versa. It was also the center of Islam in the eastern sphere, were also sent by the Sultan to spread Islam to other communities in the Malay Archipelago, such as in Java, Borneo, and the Philippines. Most of South East Asia at that time was Hindu.

The Sultanate’s most important regional rivals were Siam in the north and the declining Majapahit Empire in the south. Majapahit was not able to control or effectively compete with Malacca within the archipelago. Siam on the other hand attacked Malacca three times, but all attacks were repelled.

At the same time, Malacca had a good relationship with the Ming government of China; Parameswara had met the Chinese emperor in China to receive a Letter of Friendship, hence making Malacca the first foreign kingdom to attain such treatment. In 1409, the sultan paid tribute to the Chinese emperor to ask for protection against Siam. This Sino-Malacca relationship helped the attacks from Siam from further threatening Malacca.

The empire of Malay Kingdom of Malacca ended in 1511 after the Portuguese attack under the rule of Sultan Mansur Shah (1459 – 1477) because of several external and internal factors. He is a weak leader and paid less attention to the administration. Due to this matter, he often in-need of power during his ruling. Thus, after Tun Perak died in 1498, to be succeeded by his brother Tun Puteh also a weak leader. After the death of Tun Perak the Chief Minister, the Malay Kingdom of Malacca lacked of efficient leader. The bribing, slander and high taxes forced the merchant to change their attention to other ports. The citizen of Malacca become split in to factions and disunited. Tun Mutahir is a weak leader that caused the Malays to become hostile towards the Indian-Muslim. Malacca State continued to flourish but the court was now thronged and dominated by Tamil merchants. Tun Mutahir and Tun Ali put to death, betrayed by Kitul and Raja Mandaliar, an indian native. Chief Minister Tepok ( Tun Perak’s son)was appointed by Sultan after Tun Mutahir death. But it unrest by the administration group due to his age and continued the misunderstanding and disagree groups

The external factor is the discovery of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa by Bartholomew Diaz in 1488, easier to sail from West to East. As a result, is easier for Portuguese to attack Malacca. Malacca become weak and fall prey to their enemies due to weak leaders, bribery and corruption, betrayal among minister and disunity among the people. Is become more critical when the Portuguese, led by Alfonso d’Albuquefrque attack Malacca and finally over took Malacca in 1511.


Starting this year on 16th, September 2010 will be a public holiday for Malaysia it is according to our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said ‘Sabah and Sarawak, which joined Malaysia in 1963 and the formation of Malaysia as an independent country was a very important moment in history.’ He also added, ‘ Malaysia Day would be celebrated with events that would foster closer unity, understanding between the different races and community success and achievement through sports, social culture and arts, to spur the OneMalaysia spirit’. (http://thestar.com.my/news).

Based on history, in January 1956 the chief minister Tunku Abdul Rahman led a Merdeka (independence) mission to London where, in February, agreement was reached with the colonial secretary bringing self-government into effect and envisaging full independence for the Federation within the Commonwealth by 31 August 1957.

On 16, September, 1963 was Malaysia is an independent sovereign state Federation of Malaya with the merge of Singapore, North Borneo (renamed Sabah) and Sarawak. Before that, on 1946 the dominant political in Malaya was the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) to strive independence from Great Britain and protest British proposal to grant rights to different ethnic group in Malaya (UMNO). That’s lead to dominant the nation’s politics of independent Malaya from 1957 through 1963. At independent, 55 % of Malaya’s population was Malay, 35% ethnic Chinese and 10% Indian. The federation consisted 11 states , Penang and Melaka were former British colonies, and the nine remain states each is a hereditary monarch ( called ‘Sultan’).Under the federation , Malays maintained their privileges ( official language and Islam ) and for the non-Malays gained citizenship. The stated every five years the sultan s elect one of their numbers to serve as Yang-di-Pertuan Agong .

The Alliance Party , with Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) was formed due to without cooperation of the people of Malayan. The new government consisted mostly Malays, with the smaller number of Chinese and Indian. Sabah and Sarawak, with their population of Malay and Indian to balance the Chinese population from Singapore. (Marshall Cavendish Corporation,pg1215) Although the same year there were the Indonesia and Philippines protested the creation of Malaysia. President Sukarno (1901-1970) adopted a policy of konfrontasi (confrontation) and from April 1963, Indonesian infiltrated Sabah and Sarawak. The formation of Malaysia, Singapore and North Borneo unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1963, thus coinciding with the sixth anniversary of the Malayan independence.

b) Brunei to opt out, due to the failure to carry out the proposal to come together to share within a new federation that differences in opinion and reluctant on the part of Brunei and Kuala Lumpur. Political power passed in the elections of September 1962 to the People’s Party, and to maintain that before the move towards Malaysia was made here should be openly of the three fundamental reason such as the speeding of independent, the strengthening of the walls of defense against the communist threat and lastly the provision of help to the less develops parts. These territories under the Sultan of Brunei as constitutional ruler. A revolt within the party tried to bring about this state by force, but it was speedily repressed.

Brunei claims that were conditions for joining, touched on the following issue: i) the number of seats in the Legislature and in the Parliament ii) the control on oil and other minerals iii) monetary autonomy iv) Brunei’s earlier investment v) method of taxation vi) authority in the area of education and welfare vii) matters of religion viii) citizenship ix) the security of Brunei ( which needs to be guaranteed ) x) the position of the sultan and the status of Brunei within Malaysia

Nevertheless, Brunei ultimately decided to remain outside the federation, possibly because with its small population and large riches in the form of oil it was unwilling to share its prosperity. Also, the Sultan of Brunei’s status within the proposed federation was called into question, and this matter carried considerable political weight against joining.

For Singapore, is a second to Malaya in population and more than three-quarters Chinese in composition, threatened to upset the communal balance on which Malayan politics and government had no depended. Two years after the formed Malay and Chinese in Malay and experienced dangerous polarization. Singapore’s leaders became involved in the politics of the Malay Peninsula, notably in the 1964 federal elections in Peoples Action’s Party (PAP) was one of the contesting parties. Lee Kuan Yew and several PAP leaders belittle MCA, and saying the MCA leaders lacked caliber and over friendly with UMNO. Lee Kuan Yew and PAP was in interpreted by MCA and UMNO as PAP tactic for taking over role for MCA in interests of Chinese community. An Alliance leader regards PAP’s criticism of the MCA as a weak party and tends to destroy the good understanding within the Alliance. Lee Kuan Yew have started his ‘Malaysian for Malaysia’ campaign that no community in Malaysia. On May 1965, even highlighted Chinese unity against the Malay under Jaafar Albar (UMNO) campaign ‘Malays Unite’ .

In June to August,to find solution but Singapore made the situation worse . On 7, August 1965, Lee Kuan Yew and Tunku Abdul Rahman signed on the separation agreement and passed the Separation Act from Parliament. On 9th, August 1965, Singapore officially left Malaysia.


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