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MCKK - History.

Throughout the years, the College has played a vital role in moulding our history. Encouraging wisdom and forward thinking.

  1. In the Beginning
  2. During & After War
  3. Years of Rapid Change


In the Beginning

2nd January 1905. Then called the Malay Residential School, the College had uneventful birth. The first residential school in Malaya, its syllabus would contain the essence of modern education with knowledge of Islam and Malay culture.

Imagine reciting grammar verses in an attap classroom, boarding within the same house as the Headmaster and for some, sharing accommodation in former railway quarters! The attap structure of the school was supported by jungle rollers, the partitions of the room were rough unshaven plank, bare and unpainted, and there was no ceiling to hide the roof. Mr W. Hargreaves, first headmaster of the Malay College of Kuala Kangsar

Mr. W Hargreaves, the first Headmaster of the school, was a man of outstanding merit. In conjunction with the opening of the new premises in 1909, the school was renamed the Malay College. It also marked a new phase of education for the College - a new Preparatory School, the Sekolah Kechil, was opened.

In the words of an Old Boy, Raja Kamaruzzaman bin Raja Mansur, " Those were glorious and unforgettable days in College when we learned hard and played hard, inspired by the great teachers who gave us, among many other things, all that was best of the traditions of an English education. My own chance came when I was picked to go to the College, as it were by accident, by Mr. J Phillips, the then Inspector of Schools, Perak, during his visit to one remote little Malay Schools in Tanjong Malim where was receiving my early education."

One important event to date was the formation of the Malay College Old Boys Association. An account of gathering this gathering is taken from the "Times of Malaya and Planters Gazette", 1929: "The reason for this change in the otherwise normal (quiet) existence of this pretty town in Perak was the decision which prompted the Old Boys of the Malay College 24 years after its birth, to foregather at their alma mater to discuss the formation of, and bring into being, an Old Boy Association."

  During and After War

In 1927, the First College magazine was published. The second edition was published in 1940 but with the outbreak of World War II in 1941, Vol. l. I No. III was not seen till 1947, following the reopening of the College on 31st January 1947. An event to rejoice, for many had feared that the College would fade away after the war, as had happened to many local institutions. During the war, he was a POW and returned to England for a short while to regain his health. One day, Carey was fortunate to meet the Major General in charge of North Malaya with whom he negotiated the revival of the College. That Carey would help the Major General organize a polo match very like the ones before the war, in return for which he would get the school premises back. "Move your sick men to Taiping, and get out of the College, and I will organize the polo." Carey remained with the College until 1949 - long enough to see it established in post-war Malaya.

Due to a foresight of a College clerk, En. Hashim , who managed to grab the College's trophies, put them in a sack and hide them in his well during the occupation.

  Years of Rapid Change.

1947 was eventful for the Malay College. The most significant visit of the year was by the late Dato' Onn Jaafar, President of UMNO and an Old Boy of the College. Stressed Dato' Onn, "The Malay College is the training ground for the Malay race in its march towards self government." UMNO was also responsible for urging an increase in numbers and wider selection of students at the College. The College Crest

Fiat Sapientia Virtus.Fiat Sapientia Virtus. Let manliness come through wisdom. Such is the College motto adopted in 1947 and incorporated in the College Crest - a shield quartered with the colors of the Federated Malay States with a kris in the center, surmounted by a tiger's head, the whole was surrounded by a laurel wreath below which was the motto.

An account of how the College celebrated the establishment of the Federation of Malaya is taken from the 1948 magazine. It further records, "We, the Malay College, were not backward in celebrating this honorable day. On the eve of Federation Day a colorful concert was held the College Hall."

Throughout the years, steps were taken to ensure the best qualified boys entered the College. The quality of scholars churned out from the fresh-faced school boys who were sauntered into the College.

Everyone, from the Headmaster to the Masters, the students and even the jaga, was very proud that His Majesty Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Al-marhum Tuanku Mohamed became the Malaya's first Yang Dipertuan Agung and that His Highness Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah ibni Al-marhum Sultan Aladdin Sulaiman Shah of Selangor became the Timbalan Yang Dipertuan Agung. Both were Old Boys of the Malay College.

Under the new Education Act 1957, the College lost its Federal status and was brought under the administrative purview of the Perak education authorities. The rapid increase in the number of students, the gradual streamlining of the College education system and even the manner the classes were conducted. The Old Boys of the College will always remember their alma mater in their hearts.

Excerpt from Official Malay College Homepage

Last modified on: Monday, May 12, 1997.
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