Muzium Negara Gallery B
The Kingdom of Melaka
The Malay Kingdom of Melaka (AD 1400 - 1511) was a very celebrated Malay empire within the Archipelago. The unique feature which differentiated it from earlier Malay empires was the power of Islam, which was the basis of its imperial expansion and its development into an outstanding centre of international trade in the 15th and early 16th centuries.
Melaka was founded around 1400 by Parameswara, the son of Raja Sailendra of Palembang and the son-in-law of Raja Majapahit. Earlier, Parameswera had been the governor of Palembang and then Temasik (Singapore).
This extensive political experience was a great advantage to Parameswara. It enabled him to deal with obstacles and to chart the progress and prosperity of Melaka.
Melaka's strategic location between the maritime trade routes of East and West enabled its growth into an internationally known port city. An effective administration and close relations with the Chinese monarchy aslo contributed to Melaka's early development.
Its own monarchical government was based on, and strengthened by, the royalist traditions of Palembang and Bukit Si Guntang Mahameru, where Srivijaya had once flourished.
At the height of its grandeur Melaka was a substantial empire, whose power and influence covered almost the whole of the Malay Peninsula, including Pattani, and several states in Sumatra, such as Aru, Rokan, Siak, Kampar, Inderagiri, and the Riau-Lingga Archipelago.