However, Malacca’s fame had begun in line with the situation whereby the European nations began to expand their influence to the Eastern continent and Malacca was among the port cities which attracted their attention. In 1509, Diego Lopez De Squera from the Portuguese Royal Armada was the first Portuguese fleet to arrive in Malacca. After the repeated attacks in 1511, Malacca was finally captured by the Portuguese force headed by Alfonso d’ Albuquerque.

Sultan Mahmud Syah, the Malacca ruler at that time, retreated to Johore and once he stepped foot there, the Malays attempted to attack the Portuguese again but failed. One of the reasons for the Portuguese strength was the construction of the A’ Famosa fort as their defensive bastion.

The A’ Famosa Fort had furthermore strengthen the Portuguese grip over Malacca for the next 130 years. Until the year 1641, when Malacca fell into the hands of the Dutch through attacks and fierce battle between the two parties. Malacca City was almost destroyed and within one and a half century, the Dutch managed to rebuild and developed it as a military base due to its strategic location in controlling the Straits of Malacca.

In 1795, during the Napoleonic War, Malacca was handed over to the British East India Company temporarily to avoid from being captured by the French. Malacca was returned to the Dutch in 1818, through the Venice Agreement. Through the Anglo-Dutch Agreement or London Agreement 1824 which separated the British and Dutch colonial areas, the British regain control of Malacca and the northern area of the straits and Singapore while the Dutch at the southern part of the straits (the Indonesian Archipelago).       

From 1826 onwards, Malacca was administered by the British East India Company which was based in India. In 1827, the Straits Settlements (Malacca, Penang and Singapore) had become British colonies and was placed under the administration of the central government in London. The British sustained its power in the Malay states right up until the outbreak of World War II.

After the Japanese military surrendered in 1945, the British resumed its control in Malaya until the Federation of Malaya was finally declared an independent nation by Y.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaya on 31 August 1957.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 September 2020 - 3:10pm