MALAYSIA’S MOST HISTORICAL SCHOOLS
CELEBRATING EDUCATION ON INDEPENDENCE DAY
On this momentous occasion of Malaysia’s Independence Day, we celebrate the rich history and cultural heritage of this diverse nation. As we pay homage to the brave souls who fought for freedom, it is equally important to acknowledge the iconic landmarks that have stood witness to Malaysia’s journey towards independence and beyond. Among these cherished treasures are historical schools and architectural marvels that reflect the nation’s growth and progress. Join us on a tribute to some of Malaysia’s most historical schools and the architectural wonders that embody the spirit of the nation.
Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK)
Established in 1905, Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) holds the distinction of being Malaysia’s oldest boarding school. Founded by R.J. Wilkinson, a British resident, the school aimed to provide a blend of Western and Islamic education to Malay aristocrats. MCKK boasts a picturesque campus in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak, and has produced numerous prominent figures, including political leaders, academics, sports personalities and royalties including Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the second Yang di- Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, as well as Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah — The second Yang di- Pertuan Agong and the fifth Sultan of Selangor.
Victoria Institution (VI)
Founded in 1893, Victoria Institution (VI) is a significant landmark in Kuala Lumpur’s educational landscape. The school’s rich history is intertwined with Malaysia’s colonial past, as it was established during British rule. It is a memorial school, so-called because it was partly funded by public subscription intended for the erection of a permanent memorial to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. VI’s iconic Gothic-style architecture stands as a reminder of the country’s historical roots. Throughout its journey, VI has instilled values of excellence and integrity in its students, fostering a legacy of academic and sporting achievements.
Penang Free School (PFS)
Penang Free School (PFS) is not only one of the oldest schools in Malaysia, dating back to 1816, but it is also an embodiment of Malaysia’s multicultural heritage. Founded by Rev. Sparke Hutchings, the school has a remarkable history of inclusivity, welcoming students from various ethnic backgrounds and religions. Its academic achievements lead to its inclusion in the Malaysian Ministry of Education’s Cluster School and High Performance School systems. This secondary school has been an all-boys school since its inception, although girls are now admitted for Form 6. PFS holds a special place in Malaysia’s educational landscape, symbolising unity in diversity.
St. John’s Institution (SJI)
Established in 1904 by the La Salle Brothers, St. John’s Institution (SJI) in Kuala Lumpur has left an indelible mark on the nation’s educational history. At the request of the Education Department and the then Bishop of Malacca, the La Salle Brothers opened St John’s Institution. The school is named after Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, the founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers Order and also known as the Patron Saint of Teachers. Pupils attending the school are called “Johannians”, who notably include Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia (2009-18) and the recent Sultans of Selangor and Perak. Its motto “Fide et Labore” means “Faith and Zeal”. The school’s emphasis on holistic education and character development has produced many influential alumni who have contributed significantly to various fields in Malaysia.
Sultan Abdul Hamid College (SAHC)
Located in the royal city of Alor Setar, Kedah, Sultan Abdul Hamid College (SAHC) was founded in 1908. Named after the 25th Sultan of Kedah, the school has a distinguished history of nurturing academic excellence and promoting the Malay language and culture. The school was initially set up to provide education for the sons of the Kedah royal family, but it later became a public school that was open to all students. SAHC’s legacy extends beyond the classroom, as it has produced leaders who have contributed significantly to the development of the state and nation.
Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar (MSAB)
The English College Johore Bahru, also known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, founded in 1904, stands as a testament to the nation’s rich multicultural heritage. Located in Johor Bahru, Johor, the school has a reputation for academic excellence and producing leaders with a global outlook. MSAB’s heritage and traditions continue to inspire students to embrace diversity and contribute positively to society.
Methodist Boy’s School Kuala Lumpur
MBSKL was founded by Rev. Dr. William T. Kensett, a naval officer of the Royal Navy battleship HMS Orion. In July 1897 he decided to set up a church and school for the Tamils in Kuala Lumpur, and he left the British Navy. A shophouse was secured at the corner of Batu Road and Java Street, and the predominantly Tamil school was named the Anglo-Tamil School.
In 1904, the school moved to its current premises on Petaling Hill and was renamed the Methodist Boys’ School Kuala Lumpur by Rev William E Horley, the name used until this day.