The state of Melaka was discovered by Parameswara, a prince from Palembang. Parameswara and his followers survived when the Majapahit Government took control of Palembang upon Parameswara’s failed coup attempt thus decided to leave Palembang. In 1399, Parameswara and his followers left Muar and headed north via Sening Hujung and Bertam. Parameswara named his stopover place as Melaka, named after a tree at the bank of the river estuary which was shelter for Parameswara. Parameswara was also determined to develop Melaka into a permanent settlement.

Parameswara succeeded in developing Melaka as a vital trading point and an extremely powerful government due to :

  • Its strategic location for the routes of shipping vessels
  • A defense bastion comprising of hilly country opposite the river estuary, suitable for building a fort.
  • Natural form of shelter comprising avicennia trees and hills along the coastlines.
  • Its river estuaries are protected from the prevailing winds which facilitates safe docking of ships.
  • An efficient and strong administration
  • Being the dissemination centre for the teachings of Islam and centre for religious studies

Due to the above factors many nations set intentions in conquering Melaka as a part of their colony. Among the powers that had once conquered Melaka were the Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and British.