In summary, sea trade has really shaped Malaysian culture into what it is today. First came the Hindu and Buddhist influence from India, then the Muslim influence took hold in the 15th century, although it had been in the area for about 5 centuries prior. Islam quickly spread through Malaysia, but it was just as influenced by Malaysia as Malaysia was influenced by Islam. Then came the Portuguese, who were followed by the Dutch and English for colonization around the 1500s. The English really shaped the government system Malaysia would come to have when it gained it's distinction from Indonesia (then 'Indies') with the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Then came the Chinese and Indian influence with the workers hired by the British to work for the growing economy. Then, Japanese invasion in WWII caused Britain to lose Malaysia, and the occupation that lasted until 1945 led to this giant surge of nationalism on the part of the Malaysians, and the Malayan Communist Party fought off the British and gained independence for the North Borneo and Singapore British settlements, which became Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Then Singapore left/was expelled. There was a confrontation with Indonesia in the 1960s, and the race riots of 1969 led the government to lay down some serious law, that's never really been reversed. Since 1970, the UMNO (United Malays National Organization) that heads the National Front Coalition has governed Malaysia in its entirety. Things are really looking up, since the 1990s economic growth has put Malaysia in a political and socially happy place.
That was alot of fact for one blog, I'll leave you with that.
Senang Belajar! (Learn Happily!)