The first several years of the country's history were marred by the Indonesian confrontation (konfrontasi) as well as claims to Sabah from the Philippines.
Singapore was expelled from the federation on 9 August 1965 after several bloody racial riots, as its majority Chinese population and the influence of the People's Action Party led by Lee Kuan Yew (later the long-ruling Prime Minister of Singapore) were seen as a threat to Malay dominance, and it became a separate country.
In Borneo, the White Rajas ceded Sarawak to the British crown in 1946, making it a crown colony of the United Kingdom.
Malaya gained independence from the British in 1957.
In practice, the king is only the nominal Head of State, while the Prime Minister is the one who wields the most authority in government.