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About Malacca

About Malacca (Melaka)   

 

History of Malacca

Timeline

Incorporated into

Date

Malacca Sultanate

approx. 1400

Portuguese Empire

1511

Dutch Empire

1641

British Empire

1824

Straits Settlements

1826

Crown Colony

1867

Japanese occupation

15 January 1942

Malayan Union

1 April 1946

Federation of Malaya

31 January 1948

Malaysia

16 September 1963


Before the arrival of the first
Sultan, Malacca was a fishing village inhabited by local known as Orang Laut. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, also known as Iskandar Shah, the last Raja of Temasek (present day Singapore) following a Majapahit attack in 1377. He found his way to Malacca around 1400 where he found a good port—it was accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits.

According to a popular legend, Parameswara was resting under a tree near a river during a hunt, when one of his dogs cornered a mouse deer. In self-defence, the mouse deer pushed the dog into the river. Impressed by the courage of the deer, and taking it as a propitious omen of the weak overcoming the powerful, Parameswara decided then and there to found an empire on that very spot. He named it 'Malacca' after the tree where he had just taken shelter at, the Malacca tree (Malay: Pokok Melaka).

Prominent Malaysian artist Syed Thajudeen visually depicted the epic tale of the founding of Malacca on canvas. The Beginning, a 4 panel painting measuring 183 x 512 cm is now a permanent collection at GaleriPetronas.

 

In collaboration with allies from the sea-people (orang laut), the wandering proto-Malay privateers of the Straits, he established Malacca as an international port by compelling passing ships to call there, and establishing fair and reliable facilities for warehousing and trade.

Because of its strategic location, Malacca was an important stopping point for Zheng He's fleet. To enhance relations, Hang Li Po, according to local folklore, a daughter 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 locals and settled mostly in Bukit Cina.

 

Colonial era

In April 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships. They conquered the city on 24 August 1511. After seizing the city Afonso de Albuquerque spared the Hindu, Chinese and Burmese inhabitants but had the Muslim inhabitants massacred or sold into slavery.

It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not also mean they controlled Asian trade centred there. Their Malaccan rule was severely hampered by administrative and economic difficulties. Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had disrupted the organisation of the network. The centralised port of exchange of Asian wealth had now gone, as was a Malay state to police the Straits of Malacca that made it safe for commercial traffic. Trade was now scattered over a number of ports among bitter warfare in the Straits.

The JesuitmissionaryFrancis Xavier spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546, and 1549. The Dutch launched several attacks on the Portuguese colony during the first four decades of the seventeenth century. The first attack took place in 1606 under the command of Dutch Admiral CornelisMatelief de Jonge who laid siege to the town with the help of his Johor allies. He engaged the Portuguese armada which had been sent from Goa to offer armed relief to the besieged port. In 1641, the Dutch defeated the Portuguese in an effort to capture Malacca, with the help of the Sultan of Johore. The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1798 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading centre, placing greater importance on Batavia (Jakarta) on Java as their administrative centre. However they still built their landmark, better known as the Stadthuys. In the Dutch era the building was white, the red paint is of later date.

Malacca

Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946, Malacca was under the rule of the British, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. Due to dissatisfaction with British jurisdiction over Naning, Dol Said, a local chief and the East India Company had a war from 1831 to 1832, which resulted in a decisive British victory. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Penang. Malacca went briefly under the rule of Empire of Japan in 1942–1945 during World War II.

 

Post colonial era

After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of the Malayan Union in 1946, which later became the Federation of Malaya in 1948. The declaration of independence was made by the first Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, at Padang Pahlawan on 20 February 1956, which eventually led to the independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957. In 1963, Malaysia was formed with the merger of Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, and Malacca became part of it. On 15 April 1989, Malacca was declared a historical city. It was then also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.

 

Climate

The climate of Malacca is hot and humid throughout the year with rainfall occurring mostly between October and March. Temperature ranges generally between 30-35 °C during daytime and between 27-29 °C during night time.

malacca climate