The Buddhist Kingdom of Srivijaya ruled Malaysia from the 9th-13th centuries. Then the Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit took over. The state of Malacca ruled by a Muslim prince ruled afterward. This is when Islam spread throughout the area. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese. They took over Malacca in 1511 and then controlled the area for over 100 years. The Dutch in 1641, followed by the British in 1795 who were the next conquerors. The British helped to develop some of the important industries this region has today. The production of rubber and tin were started by the British. Malaysia was occupied by Japan during World War II. Soon after the war, the country began to
move towards independence. In 1957, several of the British territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya. Malaysia was also formed and became a separate independent country in 1963. Malaysia is a democratic monarchy. A Parliament helps run the country.