The principal rivers on the west coast are the Perak, the Bernam and the Muar.
Politically the Malay Peninsula is divided into four sections: the colony of the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States; the independent Malay State of Johor, which is within the British sphere of influence; the non-federated states under British protection; and the groups of states to the north of Perak and Pahang which are now recognized as lying within the sphere of influence of Siam.
The Federated Malay States under British protection consist of the sultanates of Perak, Selangor and the Negri Sambilan on the west coast, and the sultanate of Pahang on the east coast.
They are skilful hunters, however, catch fish by in geniously constructed traps, and live almost entirely on jungle-roots of these people is found in Upper Perak, and the members of this clan have acquired some knowledge of the art of planting, &c. They they have been raided by the latter, and many Negritos are to be found in captivity in some of the Malayan villages on the eastern side of the peninsula.
The Sakai still inhabit in greatest numbers the country which forms the interior of Pahang, the Plus and Kinta districts of Perak, and the valley of Nenggiri in Kelantan.
They subsequently hid among the Pulau Sambilan near the mouth of the Perak river, and thence captured a large Portuguese vessel which was sailing from Malacca in company with two Burmese ships.
In 1874 the Malay state of Perak was placed under British protection by a treaty entered into with its sultan; and this eventually led to the inclusion in a British protectorate of the neighbouring Malay States of Selangor, Sungei Ujong, the cluster of small states called the Negri Sembilan and Pahang, which now form the Federated Malay States.
Taiping (Perak, 1894-1898); John Crawfurd, History of the Indian Archipelago (3 vols., Edinburgh, 1820); Grammar and Dictionary of the Malay Language (2 vols., London, 1852); A Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian Islands and Adjacent Countries (London, 1856); Journal of the Indian Archipelago (12 vols., Singapore, 1847-1862); Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 33 Nos.
This is mainly due to the construction of the railway which runs from a point on the mainland opposite to Penang, through the Federated Malay States of Perak, Selangor and the Negri Sembilan to Malacca, and has diverted to other ports and eventually to Singapore much of the coastal traffic which formerly visited Penang.