It is quite possible to make out a prima facie case against the Malays. As an independent race they have not been a success. Their independence lasted just as long as there was no serious opposition; after the fall of the Malacca sultanate they showed centrifugal tendencies that made a united Malay State impossible. And even within any one State there were almost always rival factions whose existence made good government impracticable. In face of external invasion, whether warlike or ostensibly peaceful, they were impotent; this is illustrated by the happenings in Larut before 1874.