|Malaysia Chronology since 1965|
The former British protectorate of Malaya gained independence in 1957. The federation of Malaysia, incorporating Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah, was founded in 1963.
- 1965 Singapore leaves federation, reducing Malaysian states to 13.
- 1970 Malay–Chinese ethnic tension forces resignation of Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. New prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak, creates the BN coalition.
- 1976 Death of Tun Abdul Razak.
- 1976–1978 Guerrilla attacks by banned Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), based in southern Thailand.
- 1977 Unrest in Kelantan following expulsion of its chief minister from Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). National emergency declared. PAS expelled from BN.
- 1978 Elections consolidate BN power. PAS marginalized. Government rejects plans for Chinese university.
- 1978–1989 Unrestricted asylum given to Vietnamese refugees.
- 1981 Mahathir Mohamed becomes prime minister.
- 1982 General election returns BN with increased majority.
- 1985 BN defeated by PBS in Sabah state elections.
- 1986 PBS joins BN coalition. Dispute between Mahathir and his deputy, Dakuk Musa, triggers general election, won by BN.
- 1987 Detention without trial of 106 politicians from all parties suspected of Chinese sympathies. Media censored.
- 1989 Disaffected UMNO members join PAS. Screening of Vietnamese refugees introduced. CPM signs peace agreement with Malaysian and Thai governments.
- 1990 General election. BN returned to power with reduced majority.
- 1993 Sultans lose powers, including legal immunity.
- 1995 BN wins landslide victory.
- 1997 Major financial crisis ends decade of spectacular economic growth.
- 1998–1999 Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim dismissed from office. Launches Reformasi (Reform) movement. Found guilty of corruption, later convicted of sodomy: 15-year sentence. His wife, Wan Azizah, forms Keadilan (renamed PKR).
- 1999 UMNO loses ground in general election.
- 2002 Chinese university opened.
- 2003 Mahathir steps down after 22 years: Abdullah Badawi succeeds.
- 2004 BN wins landslide victory.
From “The Financial Times World Desk Reference” © Dorling Kindersley 2004