a former name of Malaya(def 2).
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British Dictionary definitions for malay states
the former states of the Malay Peninsula that, together with Penang and Malacca, formed the Union of Malaya (1946) and the Federation of Malaya (1948). Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, and Pahang were established as the Federated Malay States by the British in 1895 and Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, and Trengannu as the Unfederated Malay States in 1909 (joined by Johore in 1914)
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