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Negri Sembilan - Malaysia

Negeri Sembilan translated literally means "Nine States," so named because it comprises a federation of nine states. It is located on the south-west corner of Peninsular Malaysia and encompasses an area of 6,645 sq km including a 48-km gentle coastline. Seremban, the capital of Negeri Sembilan, is 64 km south of Kuala Lumpur.

Negeri Sembilan is noted for its Minangkabau-styled architecture, reflecting the influence of the State's first inhabitants from Sumatra.

HISTORY

The early history of Negeri Sembilan saw the migration of the Minangkabau people from the island of Sumatra to the west coast of the Malay Peninsula during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These people settled mainly in Naning, Sungai Ujong and Rembau. By the mid-nineteenth century, they had formed a loose coalition of nine states, each with their own leader, with the head of the coalition rotating among the nine chiefs. (Malaysia has adopted this system for the appointment of the Yang Dipertuan Agong or King.)

Naning, Sungai Ujong and Rembau lay within the Johor-Riau Empire and were placed under a head called Datuk who was appointed to oversee the territory.

In 1770, the disintegration of the Johor-Riau Empire and the rise of the Bugis Sultanate in Selangor precipitated insurrections in Rembau, Sungai Ujong, Johol and Ulu Muar. The Minangkabaus then turned to the Pagar Ruyong royal house in Sumatra for a ruler who could protect them. Consequently, Raja Melewar was proclaimed the first Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in 1773.

The problems in Negeri Sembilan posed a threat to the tin trade with the Straits Settlements. This led to British intervention and subsequently Martin Lister was appointed as the first British Resident of Negeri Sembilan.

Later, the Resident system proved ineffectual and Sir Frank Swettenham initiated the proposal of a federation of states. With consensus of the sultans, the agreement was ratified in 1896. Selangor, Perak, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan were united under a central administration. They were to be known as the Federated Malay States (FMS) and administered by a Resident-General, thus becoming a British protectorate. Swettenham was appointed the first Resident-General of the FMS.

The FMS continued until the Japanese invasion in 1941. After the surrender of the Japanese, Negeri Sembilan was placed under the British Military Administration from September 1945 to early 1946.

As early as 1943, plans for a Malayan Union were being discussed in London. On 10 October 1945, it was presented in the British Parliament. According to the plan, Penang, Malacca and the 9 other Malay states were to be united under a Malayan Union. Sir Harold MacMichael was despatched to obtain the agreement of the Malay rulers. However, Malay opposition derailed the plan. The Malays united under the leadership of Dato' Onn Jaafar to form the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) on 11 May 1946. Two years later, the Federation of Malaya was established on 1 February 1948 and Malaya achieved independence from the British on 31 August 1957.


Flag

Emblem

The yellow field of the flag represents the State Ruler. The canton in the top left-hand corner has two colours which divide it diagonally. The colour red represents the rakyat (citizens); and black is the symbol of the four undangs (traditional chiefs).

The State emblem features a shield with three diagonal bands of colour. Red symbolizes Negeri Sembilan's past links with the British; black stands for the Undangs; and yellow is the colour of royalty. The nine stalks of paddy in the centre of the shield stand for the nine states in the original federation of Negeri Sembilan. The sword and the sheath above the shield represent justice; while the changgai putri staff between them is the symbol of the sovereignty of the Yang Dipertuan Besar. The nine-pointed star below the shield also represents the original nine states.

TOWNS AND CITIES

Seremban

Details to follow.

Port Dickson Beach

Located 32 km from Seremban, Port Dickson is one of the most popular beaches on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It has 18 km of white, sandy beaches. Jet-skiing, wind-surfing, canoeing and speedboat rides are available on weekends. Yachts and cruise ships dock regularly at one of the town's newest attractions, the international-class Marina Bay.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Istana Sri Menanti

Located about 25 km from Seremban, the Istana Sri Menanti in the royal capital of Sri Menanti, was converted into a Royal Museum in 1992. The palace was once the official residence of the first Yang DiPertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, His Royal Highness, the late Tuanku Abdul Rahman. The design of the palace built in 1902, incorporates features of Minangkabau architecture. Constructed of penak timber and finely finished with hand carving, the palace was built using traditional techniques without iron nails.

STATISTICS

Area : 6,643 square km
State Capital : Seremban
Royal Town : Sri Menanti
Administrative Divisions : 7
Namely:- Jelebu, Jempol, Kuala Pilah,
Port Dickson, Rembau, Seremban, Tampin

Population

: 830,080 (2000)

Breakdown of Races (1995)

:
Malay
Chinese
Indian
Other
Other Bumiputeras
:
:
:
:
:
391,500
220,000
123,200
10,800
7,900
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