Before the 16th cent., Perak was the vassal state of the powers that in turn dominated the Malay Peninsula. After the fall of Malacca (1511), it was for a time dominated by the sultan of Aceh in Sumatra; in the 19th cent. it was invaded by Kedah at Siam's instigation. Civil war, augmented by disorders among the Chinese tin miners, plunged Perak in the 19th cent. into anarchy, and it became a British protectorate (1874). In 1896, Perak became one of the Federated Malay States, and in 1948 it became part of the Federation of Malaya. See Malaysia.
See J. F. McNair, Perak and the Malays (1878, repr. 1973).
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