History History

Brief History of the Embassy of Malaysia, Bangkok


Upon achieving her independence in 1957, the then Malaya had immediately set up seven diplomatic missions in London, Washington, New York, Canberra, New Delhi, Jakarta and Bangkok. Those cities were chosen given their strategic interest that Malaya had during that time. As in the case of Bangkok, the Embassy was officially opened on 6 September 1957. 1 July 1958 was a watershed day for Malaya with H.E. Tuan Syed Sheikh Shahabuddin being appointed as Malaya’s first Ambassador to Thailand.


From the day of its inception, the Embassy of Malaysia in Bangkok had been located along the famous Sathorn Road which was a busy business area for the city. Even in modern times, it is considered as part of the Central Business District (CBD) of Bangkok and many other diplomatic missions could be found along the road.


From a humble beginning in 1957, the Embassy had undergone massive transformation, both, in terms of its physical buildings and its manpower. Needless to say, being one of the most important neighbours to Malaysia, the workload handled by the Embassy of Malaysia in Bangkok has been on a steady upward trend from year to year. In its 54-year history, a total of 14 Ambassadors had served in Bangkok.


Picture 1 aptly describes the physical development of the Embassy. The picture which was taken in 1984 shows the original building of the Embassy (marked as A) and its Annex (marked as B) which was built in 1981. The new Annex was then opened in October 1982 and housed the Ambassador’s Office and the main office for the Embassy. The Official Residence of the Ambassador is marked as C. To the earlier generation of the staff of the Embassy, the set up of the Embassy and its pristine environment was a pulling factor for them to work tirelessly on the ground that after the long and hard day in the office, they could unwind by either fishing along the khlong that surrounded the old complex or by playing football at the compound of the Embassy. History even reveals that the annual Loi Kratong celebration for members of the diplomatic corps was celebrated at the very compound of the Embassy where lotuses were released to the khlong with specific wish(es) by its owner.

Picture 1

Ten years down the road after the opening of the new Annex, the Government of Malaysia decided to give a new uplift to the overall image of the Embassy. A more modern building was designed, built and finally ready for occupancy in 1997 (see Picture 2). The Embassy complex built on a 4.083-acre site symbolises Malaysia’s modern approach and image. While the new and bigger complex consumes almost every inch of the land, efforts were poured in to ensure that the esthetical value is preserved with the development of a beautiful and lush garden at the centre of the complex. Since then, the said garden has been used as venue for many official and unofficial functions organised by the Embassy especially during the 'winter' time for Thailand where the temperature could drop, on average, between 18 - 20 degrees Celsius.

Picture 2
Out of nine agencies that operate under the Embassy, three of them operate outside the main complex of the Embassy.  Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) operate from the Q-House Lumpini Building at the mouth of South Sathorn Road.  Meanwhile, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) or better known as Tourism Malaysia operates from Zuellig Building at Silom Road.  At the same time, the Consular Section and the Agriculture Marketing Office of the Embassy also operate from a separate office at the corner of the adjacent Sathorn Garden Condominium, just outside the Embassy’s main gate. The above-referred offices are strategically located outside the main building of the Embassy to facilitate the movement of visitors who frequent the office for their official dealings.

Following are some of the old pictures that capture the memories of the old Chancery before it was demolished in 1994 to pave way for the construction of the new and modern complex:  

The official opening ceremony of the new Annex on 29 October 1982
by Dato’ Shahuddin Mohd Taib, Ambassador of Malaysia to Thailand

Do'a recital led by the representative of Sheikh-al-Islam of Thailand
to mark the opening of the new Annex

The original entrance of the Embassy of Malaysia, Bangkok

The original single-storey Chancery Building
of the Embassy of Malaysia, Bangkok

The majestic Official Residence of the Ambassador and the Chancery

The facade of the Residence of the Ambassador

Tuan Syed Sheikh Shahabuddin
1 July 1958 - 10 July 1961
Tan Sri Yaacob bin Abdul Latiff
26 July 1961 - 22 June 1965
YM Tengku Tan Sri Ngah Mohamed bin Tengku Seri Akar
16 December 1965 - 15 October 1970
Gen. Tan Sri Hamid bin Bidin
12 November 1970 - 20 September 1974
Tan Sri Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Jalal
15 November 1974 - 26 March 1978
Datuk Shahuddin bin Mohd. Taib
3 May 1978 - 5 July 1983
Datuk Ismail bin Mohammad
11 October 1983 - 3 June 1986
Datuk Bakri Ayub bin Ghazali
22 July 1986 - 24 August 1989
Dato' Kamaruddin bin Abu
24 September 1989 - 10 February 1993
Dato' Zainal Abidin bin Alias
24 February 1993 - February 1996
Dato' Syed Ariff Fadzillah bin Syed Awaluddin
20 February 1996 - 5 December 2001
Dato' Syed Norulzaman bin Syed Kamarulzaman
21 December 2001 - 4 January 2005
Dato' Shaarani bin Ibrahim
7 February 2005 - 18 August 2008


Dato' Husni Zai Yaacob
24 November 2008 - 20 September 2010