No. 40, 1st Floor,
Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching,
Sarawak Malaysia Borneo.

About Malaysia

Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, with the other states forming protectorates. The states on Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, was first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore to form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation, and became an independent city state.


The first colonial claim occurred in 1511, when Malacca was conquered by Portugal, after which it was taken from Portugal by the Dutch. In 1786 the British Empire set foot in Malaya, with the lease of the island of Penang to the British East India Company by the sultan of Kedah, which was followed by the gaining of Singapore. In 1824, the British took control of Malacca following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 which divided the Malay Archipelago between Britain and the Netherlands. By 1826 the British controlled Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and the island of Labuan, which they established as the crown colony of the Straits Settlements. By the 20th century, the states of Pahang, Selangor, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan, known together as the Federated Malay States, had British Residents appointed to advise the Malay rulers, whom the rulers were bound by treaty to defer to. The remaining five states in the peninsula, known as the Unfederated Malay States, while not directly under British rule, also accepted British advisers around the turn of the 20th century. Development on the Peninsula and Borneo were generally separate until the 19th century. Sabah was governed as the crown colony of British North Borneo. In 1842, Sarawak was ceded by the Sultan of Brunei to James Brooke, whose successors ruled as the White Rajahs over an independent kingdom until 1946, when it became a British colony.


Malaysia is divided into 13 states (Negeri) and 3 federal territories (Wilayah Persekutuan). These are divided between two regions, with 11 states and 2 federal territories on Peninsular Malaysia and the other 2 states and 1 federal territory in East Malaysia. As Malaysia is a federation, the governance of the states is divided between the federal and the state governments, while the Federal government has direct administration of the federal territories.


Malaysia is the 43rd most populated country and the 66th largest country by total land area in the world, with a population of about 28 million and a land area of around 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi). It lies mostly between latitudes 1° and 8°N (a small area is south of 1°), and between longitudes 99° and 120°E