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History of Melaka
According to the legends which have been recorded by the Malay Annals and by the Portuguese, an exiled Hindu prince who is known by the title of Parameswara from a dying kingdom of Srivijaya came to Tumasik (Singapore), killed the ruler who paid tribute to Siam and reigned there for five years until the Siamese drove him out.

While in exile, Parameswara chose Melaka as his new kingdom because here, near the hill and along the river bank, a small but aggressive white mousedeer caught his attention when the mousedeer so intimidated his hunting dogs that they turned and fell into the water. The place where the weak can triumph over the strong, Parameswara decided, would be a good location for a settlement.

The original inhabitants of Melaka were fishermen and when Parameswara settled at Melaka in about 1400, he was soon joined by other refugees from Palembang and then he became the first ruler of the famed Melaka Sultanate. He subsequently embraced Islam and established the foundations of an empire which reached its heyday during the reign of Sultan Mansor Shah.

Melaka had the advantage of being on the narrowest part of the Straits where the deep water channel was near to the Malaysian side. The river mouth formed a small harbor overlooked by the hill on which the ruler and his chiefs could build a fortified stockade protected on the land side by marshes. At first, no doubt, piracy and fishing were the main occupations but soon traders began to call and the little settlement prospered.

Its lucrative spice trade and importance as a sea port made it a prized possession in the Far East, resulting in the Portuguese conquest in 1511. After 130 years of Portuguese rule, the Dutch wrested control of Melaka in 1641 and ruled the state until 1826 when it was taken over by the British, who stayed on until the country attained independence in 1957.


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