Malaysian history often centers around the Malacca Sultanate. The Malacca Sultanate was a diverse and prosperous merchant empire with extensive trade networks throughout the Indian Ocean, but in 1512CE its capital city was captured by a small Portuguese invasion force. The event sent the Malacca Sultanate into a tailspin from which it never recovered.
Despite how important the event is to Southeast Asian and Indian history, few know the details. In fact, the Fall of the Malacca Sultanate is a story that involves many fascinating people, from feuding Tamil and Gujarati merchant lords to an imprisoned Portuguese soldier who managed to ferry secret messages to his comrades.