The History and Characteristics of Malay Early Towns in Peninsular Malaysia


  • Siti Norlizaiha Harun University Technology MARA (Perak)
  • Rusamah Abdul Jalil


History, Urban Form, Morphology, Early Town, Town Planning


Malaysia has an interesting socio geographical and cultural history which includes historical sites and old towns that bear witness to the rich form and evolution of the urban tapestry. Old towns in Malaysia have a treasure trove of unique heritages in terms of history, architecture, identity, and culture including urban morphology. These old towns have stories of events and folklore which are visible via physical evidences that still stood the test of time. Old towns of the day still carry past memories that tell their own tales of the history they have seen. The research on The Morphological Mapping of  Malay Early Towns in Peninsular Malaysia in 2012 have found that urban form characteristics in Malaysia dating from the 13th to the 18th century may be classified into four categories; namely the Melaka Sultanate settlements, the Malay Forts, Early Malay Towns built by the Malay Rulers; and Colonial Towns. Finding from this research can be concluded that each categories of urban form has the relationship between history, socio economic and geography, and the most notable findings is the differences of setting and layout of each town. Most of the old towns were still remains as a town centre or city state and it’s become a legacy for the country. For the purpose of this paper, old towns within the scope of this research include those that existed during the Malay Sultanate in the Malay Peninsula. This paper discusses the history, urban forms, thoughts and influences that existed in the early towns of Peninsular Malaysia.

Author Biography

Siti Norlizaiha Harun, University Technology MARA (Perak)

Town and Regional Planning


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How to Cite

Harun, S. N., & Jalil, R. A. (2014). The History and Characteristics of Malay Early Towns in Peninsular Malaysia. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 2(3). Retrieved from