Essay Example on The Federation of Malaysia a relatively new State









The Federation of Malaysia a relatively new state was only founded on September 16 1963 Prior to the addition of two new states to the country in 1963 it was actually also known as Malaya under British rule until its independence on August 31 1957 Al Jazeera 2013 One of the many states that endured its shift to statehood in particular is known as Malacca or Melaka and has been the site of many historic events emblematic of Malaysia s pre history The most notable figure in Malacca s history is arguably its first Sultan and founder Parameswara who is commonly thought to have been influential through his influence of the cultural political and societal fabrics of contemporary Malaysia through his supposed conversion from Hinduism to Islam Al Jazeera 2013 However the collection of primary sources detailing his rule are limited in that the Malay Annals are unique in that they constitute the only available account of the history of the Malay Sultanate UNESCO 2001 Therefore other states accounts of interactions with Parameswara have been used to fill the historical gaps More precisely the other two most noteworthy categories of accounts of Parameswara s life are considered to be the Ming dynasty records and various Portuguese accounts Low 2009 Intriguingly the sources provide conflicting details and potentially put into question the scope of Parameswara s influence The Ming dynasty records came to be as while under the rule of Parameswara Malacca grew into a prominent trading ground for traders from across Asia notably India Arabia and China As a result many 

Chinese migrants settled here during this time establishing the Peranakan culture for the future Hotels com n d Comparatively the Portuguese historians place in the state was less warmly initiated as Malacca s wealth and prosperity attracted European interest and it was taken over by the Portuguese in 1511 Hays n d Nonetheless both provide potentially plausible accounts of the period s historical events and Parameswara s true influence Despite their differences all three categories of accounts hold many things in common all understand Parameswara to be the last prince of Singapura a former state of Malaysia who fled to eventually found the Malacca Sultanate and in turn what is now the Malacca State Low 2009 Interestingly however the most fundamental dispute pertaining to his influence consists of the question of the existence of his son and successor Sultan Megat Iskandar Shah ibni Almarhum Raja Parameswara While some scholars believe that the two are one in the same others adamantly defend the existence of both This marked distinction obviously brings in to doubt the credit of his contribution to the Islamification of what is now the modern Malaysian state More precisely it may have been Megat Iskandar Shah and not Parameswara who was actually responsible for influencing Malacca to adopt Islam Low 2009 The origin of this doubt of course is within the discrepancies present in the three conflicting primary accounts Still the view that they were two separate people is most consistent with the majority of accounts as the Malay annals hold that he was succeeded by his son Raja Kechil Besar who went by the title of Sultan Megat the Yongle Shi Lu Veritable Records of the Yongle reign for October 1414 recorded that the son of the king of Melaka Mu gan Sa yu di er sha Megat Iskandar Shah came to the Chinese court and memorialized that his father Bai li mi su la Parameswara had died and the Portuguese historian Pries understands that Parameswara s son Iskandar Shah persuaded his father to settle at Melaka Low 2009 In fact in only a single Portuguese account historian De Couto was an exception who wrote that the last king of Singapura also the first king of Melaka was Iskandar Shah Low 2009 clearly putting into doubt Parameswara s influence on modern Malaysian religious belief It goes without saying that given 

Malaysia’s current Muslim majority status the influence either Parameswara or his son had on the religious and therefore also cultural formation of Malacca is in a modern context monumentally emblematic of the country as a whole While Parameswara s fleeing of Singapura and subsequent role in founding Malacca is universally accepted in the sources the attribution of the correct historical figure as a symbol of the state s pervading religion and therefore also culture is a highly critical matter Considering this in support of De Couto s outlying view it has been suggested that Parameswara changed his name to Iskandar Shah and this confused the Chinese into thinking that Iskandar Shah was a different person Low 2009 However at the same time others refute this claim arguing that the Chinese could not have possibly mistaken Parameswara for a new person as they had seen him as recently as three years ago Low 2009 Granted the majority of accounts favoring the opposing view and clearly weak argument in favor thereof it certainly seems that De Couto is unlikely to have been correct By the same notion it seems most plausible that Iskandar Shah rather than Parameswara should be credited for the modern religious related cultural elements of contemporary Malaysian society Despite this potential discrepancy in attribution of Islamic conversion Parameswara s influence still resounds with contemporary Malaysian society in other more commonly agreed but still greatly influential ways Most notably of all Parameswara effectively transformed Malacca once a small fishing village into a port and an epicenter of commerce that attracted various cultural influence i e the Chinese In his actions then Parameswara was at the very least significantly responsible for the current enterprising culture that has turned modern day Malaysia into one of the world s largest economies and diverse countries Ibrahim 2017 Therefore Parameswara and likely also his son is justifiably one of the most historically influential pre Malaysian figures

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