Malaysia–Netherlands relations

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Malaysia–Netherlands relations
Map indicating locations of Malaysia and Netherlands



Malaysia–Netherlands relations refers to interstate relations of Malaysia and the Netherlands. Netherlands has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur,[1] and Malaysia has an embassy in The Hague.[2]


Graves of Dutch dignitaries in Malacca's ruined St Paul's Church.

The Dutch arrived in the Malay Peninsula as early as 1602 on a trading mission to control the lucrative spice trade from the Malay Archipelago.[3] The Dutch then established relations with the Sultanate of Johor in the early 17th century, and in 1641 they captured the Portuguese colony of Malacca (on the south-eastern coast of today's Peninsular Malaysia). With a long interruption during the Napoleonic Wars, the Dutch Malacca era lasted until 1824.[4] A small Dutch-Malaysian Eurasian community, descended from the Dutch settlers in Malacca, persists to these days.[4] In the 20th century, the Netherlands established diplomatic relations with Malaysia soon after the Asian state became independent. The erudite Dutch Sinologist and author Robert van Gulik (who was raised in the former Dutch East Indies himself) served as the ambassador of the Netherlands in Kuala Lumpur in the early 1960s. During his diplomatic service there he became closely acquainted with Malaysia's gibbons (he kept a few in his ambassadorial residence) and became sufficiently interested in this ape species to start the study of its role in ancient Chinese culture, the results of which he later published in his last book (Gibbon in China).[5]

Economic relations[edit]

Some Dutch origin companies such as Dutch Lady Milk Industries Berhad (subsidiary) and Royal Dutch Shell had their long presence in Malaysia. In 2017, more Dutch investors began showing their interest to invest in Malaysia with two Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of semiconductor industries shared their overall positive experiences.[6] There is also a Malaysian Dutch Business Council.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Netherlands embassy in Kuala Lumpur". Kingdom of the Netherlands. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Official Website of Embassy of Malaysia, Hague". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  3. ^ Jaime Koh; Stephanie Ho Ph.D. (22 June 2009). Culture and Customs of Singapore and Malaysia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-313-35116-7.
  4. ^ a b Dennis De Witt (2008). History of the Dutch in Malaysia: In Commemoration of Malaysia's 50 Years as an Independent Nation and Over Four Centuries of Friendship and Diplomatic Ties Between Malaysia and the Netherlands. Nutmeg Publishing. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-983-43519-0-8.
  5. ^ Robert Hans van Gulik (1967). The gibbon in China: an essay in Chinese animal lore. Brill Archive. pp. 10–. GGKEY:E9PAEY5JJ3U.
  6. ^ "Dutch, Belgian investors show strong interest in Malaysian economy". Bernama. The Star. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Home". Malaysian Dutch Business Council. Retrieved 12 December 2017.