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The history of Malaysia is a kind of black hole in Asian history, with its past as something shrouded in mystery. It is true that there are no archaeological evidences in that country, but it is believed that such pre-historic evidences are lying along the coasts and in the jungles and hills. It is Malaysia’s abundance vegetation that hides the truth. The evidence of the presence of Homo sapiens comes from recovery of a skull from the Niah Caves in Sarawk, which was dated 35,000 years before Christ. Stone Age tools and implements from about 10,000 BC Zong Sim Lagao Offer 2020 have been found in Malaysia and it is believed that it was left there by the ancient inhabitants of the predecessors of the Negrito aborigines.
About 2,500 years before Christ, a group from China migrated to Malaysia, who were more technologically advanced, and pushed the Negritos into the hills and jungles. This group was called the Proto-Malays, who were mainly seafarers and farmers. As time passed, in the wave of the cultural evolution, another group was created, the Deutero-Malays, who were made up of the combination of Indians, Chinese, Siamese, Arabs, and Proto-Malays. It is this group that combined with the people of Indonesia, to form the present Malays.
The ancient writing from India, mentions about a place called Savarnadvipa, a land of Gold. The mythology says that this over wealthy Kingdom, which lay far away in an unknown land, was sought out by the Indians and that is how the first Indians were lured to this land of the Malays in 100 BC. From that point onwards Malaysia had a stream of Indians coming to the land in search of gold, aromatic wood, and spices. The Indians brought in their culture and Hindu temples started to appear, with Hinduism and Buddhism sweeping through the country. Today, the Malay wedding resembles that one of the Indians, confirming the great influence of the Indian culture within the Malays.
Hindu Kingdoms were set up and until the 15th century, these Hindu Kingdoms were largely over-shadowed by the neighbouring Kingdoms of Cambodia and Indonesia. The strongest Hindu Kingdom of Srivijaya is said to have the best trading port in the region. Amongst the islands of Malaysia, Srivijaya proved to be the first great maritime Kingdom and this led to the other ports in the group emulate its success. As the other ports, capable of importing and exporting merchandise, started to emerge, at sometime round about the 13th century, the influence of Srivijaya started to decline.
Malacca was found in the year 1400 and grew to a wealthy Kingdom and within 50 years it became the most influential port in Southeast Asia. Trade boomed and ships of all sizes were seen in the Malacca harbour. With this trade Islam came into the land and the rulers of Malacca called themselves ‘Sultans’. The highly organised municipal government was headed by these Sultans, whose main purpose was to facilitate trade. The success and power made Malacca come into the control of the entire west coast of the Malay Peninsula, the Kingdom of Pahang, and much of Sumatra. This height of power did not last long. The Portuguese arrived and set up colonies which lasted well into the 20th century.