August 31 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Malaya from the United Kingdom in 1957.
The Federation of Malaya was a federation of what previously had been British Malaya comprising 11 states (nine Malay states and two of the British Straits Settlements, Penang and Malacca) that existed from February 1, 1948 until September 16, 1963.
Although Muslims had passed through the Malay Peninsula as early as the 10th century, it was not until the 14th century that Islam first firmly established itself. Islam had a profound influence on the Malay people, but has also been influenced by them.
The Portuguese were the first European colonial powers to establish themselves on the Malay Peninsula and Southeast Asia, capturing Malacca in 1511, followed by the Dutch in 1641. However, it was the British who, after initially establishing bases, ultimately secured their hegemony across the territory that is now Malaysia. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 defined the boundaries between British Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies (which became Indonesia).
Japanese invasion during World War II ended British domination in Malaysia. The subsequent occupation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak from 1942 to 1945 unleashed nationalism.
In the Peninsula, the Malayan Communist Party took up arms against the British. A tough military response was needed to end the insurgency and bring about the establishment of an independent, multi-racial Federation of Malaya on August 31, 1957.
The following month on August 31, 1963, both North Borneo and Singapore were also granted self-governance and all states began to formed Malaysia on September 16, 1963.