|Perak Darul Ridzuan|
ڤيراق دار الرضوان
Perak Aman Jaya
|Anthem: Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan|
|Royal capital||Kuala Kangsar|
|• Type||Parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|• Sultan||Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah|
|• Menteri Besar||Ahmad Faizal Azumu (PH-PPBM)|
|• Executive Council||Perak State Executive Council|
|• Total||20,976 km2 (8,099 sq mi)|
|• Total||2,500,000 (5th)|
|Demonym(s)||Perakian, Perakese, Peraknese|
|Human Development Index|
|• HDI (2017)||0.807 (high) (6th)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (MST)|
|Calling code||033 to 058|
|ISO 3166 code||MY-08, 36–39|
|Federated into FMS||1895|
|Accession into the Federation of Malaya||1948|
|Independence as part of the Federation of Malaya||31 August 1957|
Perak (Malay pronunciation: [peraʔ]; Jawi: ڤيراق; Chinese: 霹雳 Tamil: பேராக்), also known by its honorific Darul Ridzuan or "Abode of Grace" (Arabic: دار الرضوان, Dār al-Riḍwān), is one of the thirteen states of Malaysia, and the fourth-largest one. It borders Kedah at the north; Thailand's Yala and Narathiwat provinces to the northeast; Penang to the northwest; Kelantan and Pahang to the east; Selangor to the south, and the Straits of Malacca to the west.
The state's administrative capital of Ipoh was known historically for tin-mining activities until the price of the metal dropped, severely affecting the state's economy. The royal capital, however, remains at Kuala Kangsar, where the palace of the Sultan of Perak is located.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Administration
- 4 Environment
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Tourism
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Education
- 10 Cuisine
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
There is much theories on the origin of its names. The most popular is "silver" (translated in Malay language as Perak) which is associated to tin ore mining, given the state large mineral deposits and its popularity as among the world's largest tin producer although the name are not used until after 1529. With the state first Islamised kingdom are established based on Sultanate of Malacca lineage, some local historians suggests the name is taken from Malacca's bendahara named Tun Perak. In maps prior to 1561 this area is marked as Perat. Other historians also believe that the name Perak was derived from the Malay phrase "kilatan ikan dalam air" (the glimmer of fish in water) that looks like silver. The word Perak translated into Arabic as دار الرضوان (Dār al-Riḍwān) which carry the meaning of "abode of grace".
The Lenggong Archaeological Heritage Valley comprising Bukit Bunuh, Bukit Gua Harimau, Bukit Jawa, Bukit Kepala Gajah and Kota Tampan are among the prehistoric site in Malaysia where various ancient items from Middle Palaeolithic is found. The Bukit Bunuh shows the evidence of meteorite impact as seen from its surrounding geological and rocks characteristics and together with Kota Tampan, both are ancient lakeside sites while Bukit Kepala Gajah is where the ancient Perak Man dated to around 10,000 years old is found inside the Bukit Gunung Runtuh. The Kota Tampan provided the missing pieces of Homo sapiens migrations since its discovery where various ancient tools such as anvils, cores, debitage and hammerstones were found in the area. The Bukit Gua Harimau are also among the important Neolithic site in the country together with Gua Badak, Gua Pondok and Padang Rengas which showed the evidence since the Mesolithic Hoabinhian era.
In 1959, a British artillery officer stationed at an army base in the interior during the Malayan Emergency discover Gua Tambun which become the attention of archaeologists where it is identified as the largest rock art site in the Malay Peninsula with most of the paintings located high above the cave floor at an elevation of 6–10 m. Besides the drawings, there were seashells and bits of coral reef scattered along the cave floor, reminiscent of a time when the area had been underwater. As evidenced through the findings of plenty Hindu and Buddha statues in Bidor, Kuala Selensing, Jalong and Pengkalan Pegoh, the inhabitants of Perak are mainly professing either Hinduism or Buddhism before the arrival of Islam with the influence of Indian culture and beliefs since the early years had changed the society values in the Malay Peninsula which later are believed to culminating into the formation of the semi-legendary Gangga Negara kingdom. The Malay Annals mentioned that Gangga Negara was once fall under Siamese rule before Raja Suran of Thailand further sailed into the south of the Malay Peninsula.
Sultanate of Perak
By the 15th century, a kingdom named Beruas came into existence with encryptions found on early tombstones built in the period showed obvious evidence of the existence of Islamic influence which is believed to be spread from the Sultanate of Malacca, the east coast of Malay Peninsula and the rural areas of the Perak River. The first organised local government system in Perak is the Manjung government together with a few other governments in Central and Hulu Perak (Upper Perak) such as Raja Roman and Tun Saban. With the spread of an Islamic religion, a sultanate of Perak subsequently emerged and become the second oldest Muslim kingdom in the Malay Peninsula after neighbouring Sultanate of Kedah. Based on Salasilah Raja-Raja Perak (Perak Royal Genealogy), the sultanate was formed in the early 16th century on the banks of Perak River by the eldest son of the 8th Sultan of Malacca named Muzaffar Shah I. The latter had earlier survived the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese in 1511 and Muzaffar Shah I ascension on the throne as the first Perak Sultan was as a result of the contribution by his brother named Raja Muzaffar who had moved and lived quietly in Siak of Sumatra before ending up in Klang back in the Malay Peninsula where he meet Perak's local chieftain named Tun Saban, a regular trader between Perak and Klang who subsequently brought Raja Muzaffar to his homeland in Perak and acknowledge Muzaffar family as a ruler. The administration of Perak become more organised after the establishment of the sultanate with the pattern of governing is based on the order of the feudal system in democratic Malacca. Since the opening of Perak in the 16th century, the state has become the source of tin ore which appears to have been free for anyone to trade in the commodity despite tin trade still not receive much attention in the early years until the 1610s.
In the 1570s, the Sultanate of Aceh forces continued to harass most parts of the Malay Peninsula. The sudden demise of Perak's Sultan Mansur Shah I in 1577 become a mystery with many rumours associated the disappearance as caused by the abduction from Acehnese forces. Soon after his disappearance, the late Sultan's widow with his 16 children was taken as captive by Acehnese forces to Sumatra. The eldest son of the disappeared sultan, Raja Alauddin Mansur Syah then married to an Acehnese princess and was subsequently installed as the new Sultan of Aceh. After the Sultanate of Perak was left without a ruling monarch, the Perak nobles journeyed to Aceh in the same year and asked the new Sultan Alauddin for a successor. The ruler then sent his younger brother to become Perak's third monarch, Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Shah to maintain the unbroken Malacca dynasty lineage where he ruled for seven years. Unlike its neighbour of Kedah along with much of the Malay sultanates in the northern part of Malay Peninsula had become a tributary states of Siam, Perak has been entirely independent of Siamese control for more than two hundred years since 1612 although it still fall under the authority of the Acehnese sultanate.
A state of uncertainty prevailed in Perak following the death of Sultan Sallehuddin Riayat Shah without an heir in 1635 which was exacerbated by the death of many royal family members due to an extremely lethal cholera epidemic that swept through the state. With no further choice, Perak chieftains turned to Aceh's Sultan Iskandar Thani who then sent his relative, Raja Sulong to become the new Perak monarch under the name Sultan Muzaffar Shah II. Aceh's influence on Perak however began to wane when the Dutch East India Company (VOC) arrived in the middle of the 17th century. Since Perak refused to enter a contract with the VOC along the lines of its northern neighbours, the Perak River was blockaded and this caused suffering to Aceh's merchants whose tin trade was brought to end. In 1650, Perak was ordered by the Aceh's Sultana Taj ul-Alam to entered an agreement with the VOC under the condition that the tin businesses is to be shared with Aceh's merchants to the exclusion of other parties. By the following year in 1651, the VOC able to secure the monopoly of tin trade with a store was set up in Perak. Following the long competition between Aceh's and the VOC over tin trade in Perak, a treaty between the two are later jointly concluded with Perak to gave an exclusive rights to Dutch for tin extracted from mines located in the state which was signed on 15 December 1653.
Despite the earlier store structure was destroyed by Perak nobles, the Dutch built a fort in a bay of Pangkor Island in 1670 as a warehouse to store tin ore mined in Perak following direct order from the Dutch base in Batavia. The warehouse was also destroyed following another attacks in 1690 but it was repaired when the Dutch return with reinforcements. In 1747, Sultan Muzaffar Riayat Shah III who held power in the area of Upper Perak signed a treaty with Dutch Commissioner Ary Verbrugge for the recognition of Dutch monopoly in the tin trade from Perak's ruler on which Muzaffar Riayat Shah III agreed to sell all the tin ore to Dutch traders and allowing the Dutch to build a new warehouse fort at the estuary of the Perak River. With the construction of another warehouse near the Perak River, the old warehouse was permanently abandoned, leaving only ruins behind. Due to the repeated Burmese invasions that resulted to the destruction and the fallen of the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1767 by the Burmese Konbaung dynasty, neighbouring Malay tributary states began to exert their independence from Siam. To further develop tin mines in the state, the Dutch administration suggested the 17th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Alauddin Mansur Shah Iskandar Muda to allow Chinese miners where the sultan himself encouraged the scheme in 1776 and request for additional Chinese workforce to be sent from Dutch Malacca. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War in 1780 adversely affected the tin trade in Perak with many Chinese miners left. Kedah's Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah then entered an agreement with the English East India Company (EIC) where they ceded one of their island called Penang to the British in 1786 to seek for protection which then angered the Siamese court.
By 1795, the Dutch temporarily withdraw from Malacca throughout the Napoleonic Wars in Europe with Malacca's authority being transferred to the British Resident. After the war ended, the Dutch returned to administer Malacca in 1818. When the Siamese regained their strength under the Thonburi Kingdom led by Taksin after freeing themselves from the occupation by the Burmese and repulse another massive Burmese invasion under the Rattanakosin Kingdom (Chakri dynasty) led by Rama I as the successor of Thonburi Kingdom, the Siamese began to turned its attention to the insubordinate Malay southern subjects which have been added by fear of renewed attacks by Burma to the western seaboard of Malay Peninsula. The attention to the south was also undertaken due to the disunity and rivalries among the different southern tributaries sultanates stemmed from personal conflicts and their reluctant to Siamese submission. As seen on the attitude of the Sultanate of Pattani under Sultan Muhammad who refused to aid Siam throughout the Siamese liberation war, this causing Rama I's son of Prince Surasi to attack the latter where many Malays in Pattani were slain while those survived were taken to the Siamese stronghold in Bangkok as a slave. The subjugation by Siam towards Pattani directly serves as a reminder to the other Malay tributary states especially neighbouring Kedah from ending under the similar fate of Pattani when they also been forced to supply thousands of manpower and food supplies throughout the Siamese resistance campaign against the Burmese invasions.
In 1818, the Dutch monopoly treaty on tin trade in Perak was renewed with the signing of a new recognition treaty. Within the same year, Kedah was forced by the Siamese under Rama II to attack fellow Malay state of Perak following the latter refusal to sending bunga mas to the Siamese court even though the Sultanate of Kedah knowing the attack was intent to weaken ties between the Malay states. Kedah compliant on the order since they were unable to resist with Siam gaining further territorial expansion in the interior Hulu Perak for its tributary Malay state of Reman Kingdom who then illegally operating tin mines in Klian Intan and angered the Sultan of Perak which escalated into a civil war where Reman aided by Siam succeeded in controlling several districts in the interior. The Sultanate of Kedah was then conquered by Siam in 1821 as a result of some trust dispute between Kedah and Siam which caused annoyance to the Siamese. Their exile Sultan then demanded the British to regain his throne despite the EIC through their Governor-General of India at the time maintains Britain's policy of not engaging in expensive small wars in the Malay Peninsula. Siam then planning to extend its further conquests down to the southern territorial of Perak. This attempt however failed after the Siamese forces were defeated by Perak who being aided by mixed reinforcement forces between Bugis and Malay from the Sultanate of Selangor. As a gratitude to Selangor in assisting Perak to defeat Siam, Raja Hasan of Selangor was allowed by Perak to collect taxes and revenues in their territory but the power given to him are soon being misused which causing further conflicts between the two.
Since the establishment of early British presence in Penang through the EIC, the British maintains another trading post in Singapore while avoiding any involvement in the affairs of nearby Malay sultanate states. In 1822, British diplomat John Crawfurd was dispatched into Siam by the British authority in India to negotiate trade concessions and gather more information about the kingdom to help in restoring the Sultan of Kedah throne although the mission failed. By 1823, both the sultanates of Perak and Selangor signed a joint agreement to block Dutch monopoly on tin trade in their territories. When the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1824 broke out, the policy of the EIC was shifted to consider Siam as an important ally.
Penang through its Governor Robert Fullerton tried to convince the EIC main authority in India to continue helping the Sultan of Kedah to regain his throne. Along the same year in 1824, Siam intended to expand its control towards Perak and Selangor. The dispute between the British and Dutch formally ceased when Dutch Malacca in the Malay Peninsula were exchanged with British Bencoolen in Sumatra with a ratification to limit their sphere of influence through the signing of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. In July 1825, an initial negotiation was held between the EIC and Siam represented by one of its tributary, the Kingdom of Ligor. Through the negotiation, the King of Ligor promised that Siam will not send their armada to Perak and Selangor, which ended the issue on attacks by the kingdom while the British admitted they did not have any aspiration to conquer Perak or interfere in the administration of the state in which the British also promised to prevent Raja Hasan of Selangor from making trouble in Perak and to try to reconcile the differences between Selangor and Ligor Kingdom. The following month in August 1825, the Sultanate of Selangor led by Ibrahim Shah signed a friendship and peace treaty with the EIC represented by John Anderson to end the long feud between the Selangor and Perak governments. Several issues were determined through the treaty with Selangor gave assurance to the British that they will not violate and meddle in the affairs of Perak, the definite border between Perak and Selangor is finalised and Raja Hasan of Selangor would be exiled from the state of Perak immediately which paving the way for peace between the two Malay states and power struggle between the British and Siam.
In 1826, the Kingdom of Ligor broke their promise with an attempt to conquer Perak but is being successfully thwarted by a small British expedition forces where the Sultan of Perak then ceded the area of Dindings and Pangkor (both comprising today's Manjung District) to the British for the latter to suppress piracy activities along the coast of Perak where it became part of the Straits Settlements. A new treaty called the Burney Treaty was concluded between the British and Siam in the same year by British Captain Henry Burney with the Siamese government where the British promised not to interfere in the affairs of Kedah even though the British were friendly with Kedah state ruler and as a return the Siamese will not attack both Perak and Selangor. The further discovery of tin in Larut and rapid growth of the tin ore trade in the 19th century saw the increasing influx of Chinese labour with an increasing rivalry later arose among two different Chinese secret societies coupled with internal political strife between two faction of Perak's local Malay rulers that escalated into the Larut Wars in 1841. In 1843, neighbouring Kedah finally freed from full Siamese rule after 21 years of liberation wars despite still being under Siamese tributary until 1909. By 1867, the link between the Straits Settlements in the Malay coasts and the British authority in India have been severed with a separate administration with the respective territories being transferred to the Colonial Office. The Anglo-Dutch Treaties of 1870–71 gives way for the Dutch to consolidate its control over Aceh in Sumatra which later escalated into the Aceh War.
With the ensuing internal conflicts in Perak, the ruler from one of the two local Perak's Malay faction through their leader Raja Abdullah Muhammad Shah II write a letter in 1873 to the British Straits Settlements Governor, Andrew Clarke to request the British to be involved in investigating the internal affairs of Perak. The request resulted to the signing of Treaty of Pangkor in Pangkor Island on 20 January 1874 where Abdullah are recognised by the British as the legitimate Sultan of Perak. In return, the treaty provided for direct intervention from the British side with the appointment of a Resident to advise the sultan on all matters except their religion and customs as well as to oversee the collection of revenue and general administration which includes in maintaining peace and order. The treaty subsequently marked the introduction of a British residential system with Perak becoming part of the Federated Malay States (FMS) and a shift from the past non-intervention policy of the British on Perak's affairs. J. W. W. Birch was appointed as the first British Resident in Perak but due to his inability to understand and communicate well with the locals while being ignorant to the Malay customs and looked down upon the abilities of the sultan and his dignitaries in an effort to implement the English tax controls and collection system causing him to be opposed by local nationalist Maharaja Lela together with the new monarch of Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II where he was then assassinated through a joint conspiracy between local Malay dignitaries comprising Seputum, Pandak Indut, Che Gondah and Ngah Ahmad the following year in 1875. The assassination angered the British authority with all of the perpetrators was then arrested and punished with execution while the sultan together with his chiefs who are also believed to be involved in the plot are being punished with banishment into the Indian Ocean island county of British Seychelles in 1876.
During his exile, the sultan was provided a government-owned residence at Union Vale in Victoria, Mahé and the other exiled chiefs were given allowances despite remain under strict watch. They was temporary relocated into Félicité Island for five years before being allowed to return into Victoria in 1882 after the turmoil in Perak had dwindled down where the sultan then lead a quiet life by mixing with Seychellois community with an access to communicate with the Government House. After many years serving his sentence in the island, the sultan are being pardoned through the petition by Seychellois and correspondence between Mauritius Government House, W. H. Hawley and Secretary of State Henry Holland where he being allowed to returned to the Malay Peninsula and spent most of his later life in the Straits Settlements of Singapore and Penang before returning to Kuala Kangsar of Perak in 1922. Among the many British Resident in Perak, Hugh Low proved to be an effective administrator with administration preference of generosity that directly avoid confrontations with local leaders and as a result he able to persuaded many rajas and village penghulu to co-operate with his policy rather than forcing them by force despite few attention was given on transportation infrastructure through his term. Frank Swettenham succeeded Low for his second term as the Resident of Perak in 1882 and during this time where Perak's rail and road infrastructure was put in place with an increasing labour from India that was brought to work with the government, particularly as railway and municipal coolies.
Several changes in local political structure was introduced by the British who has the ability to determine the appointment of a sultan and the sultan chiefs influence was specified only to Malay local matters although they were still being compensated by the British through a monthly allowance from the state treasury for their loss of tribute. The intervention by the British marked the beginning of a new era for Perak from a primarily Malay society to a multi-ethnic population with changes through a new style of government, which actively promoted a market-driven economy and through maintaining law and order as well combating slavery which seen by the British as an obstacle to economic development and incompatible in a capitalist economy. As a result of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty signed in Bangkok in 1909, most of the northern Malay tributary states comprising Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu with its nearby islands were ceded by Siam to Great Britain except for Patani region which remain under Siam while Perak regained the earlier lost interior areas in what was to become the Hulu Perak District. In return, the British through the government of the FMS would bear all the debts of the four Malay states and need to relinquish its extraterritorial rights in Siam both to the Siamese government.
Second World War
Since 1893, Japanese community has been living in Perak where they managing the bus service between the town of Ipoh and Batu Gajah as well brothels in Kinta. A number of Japanese businesses in Ipoh also operating as dentists, photo studios, laundry, sundry and tailor shops as well as barbers and hotels which increased following the close relationship under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Early in July 1941 before the beginning of World War II, an alert had been received from a Ceylonese Malay policeman serving under the British administration in Perak and living together in a same residence building with a Japanese businesses owner who telling him that the Japanese troops was on their way from Kota Bharu in Kelantan with bicycle infantry and rubber boat, not from sea around Singapore as expected by the British. The policeman then quickly inform the news to the British Chief Police Officer in Ipoh but to no avail as his claim was being laughed off and perceived as untrue. By 26 December 1941, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) who had been moving southwards from Thailand arrived into the capital of Ipoh on the day and proceed to Taiping in the following day, leaving destruction with heavy casualties on the towns population. The retreating British forces from the north of Malay Peninsula under Lieutenant-General Lewis Heath had moved further 80 to 100 miles to the Perak River while damaging the route to slow down the Japanese movement. With the approval of Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival, the British choose to create a defensive stands near the mouth of the river and in Kampar while leaving the towns of Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar and Taiping remain unguarded to the Japanese.
Most civil administrations have been closed down with European administrator and civilians head south. By the mid-December, the Japanese had reached Kroh in the interior Perak after moving from Kota Bharu in Kelantan. Apart from their arrival through the eastern side, the Japanese also arrived by boats along the western coast. Within 16 days since their first landings, the Japanese had captured all the northern part of Malay Peninsula where the British were left only to blockaded the main road heading south of Ipoh. Despite the little success to slow down the Japanese movement through the Battle of Kampar and in the mouth of Perak River, the Japanese advancement through trunk road that was being followed up by bombings and water-borne incursions forced the withdrawal of the British defending troops further to south. Following the occupation of the whole of Malaya and Singapore by the Japanese, Tokugawa Yoshichika, a scion of the Tokugawa clan whose ancestors were military leaders (shōgun in Japanese) who ruled Japan from the 16th to the 19th centuries proposed a reform plan by which the five kingdoms of Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah-Penang and Perlis would be restored and federated with Johor would control Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca while an 800-square-mile area in the southern part of Johor would be incorporated into Singapore for defence purposes. The previously neighbouring Malay tributary states of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu which have been ceded by Siam to the British under the 1909 treaty were return to Thailand by the Empire of Japan in 1943 following their military alliance and participation in the ongoing Burma campaign against Allied forces where the four states were administered as Thailand's Four Malay States (Thai: สี่รัฐ���าลัย) despite Japanese troops still maintain their presence in the respective territories. Throughout the Japanese occupation until 1945, Perak suffered tremendously under harsh military control, restricted movement and tight surveillance. Every press in occupied Malaya including "The Perak Times" are under the control of the Dōmei News Agency (Dōmei Tsushin) to served Japanese-related war propaganda, which published newspapers in Malay, Tamil, Chinese and Japanese itself as well as in English.
Strong resistance mainly arose from the ethnic Chinese community than to some Malays who preferred to collaborate with the Japanese through Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) for the Malayan independence despite Malay support also began to waned with the increasing harsh treatment towards civilians by the Japanese during the occupation. Two Chinese guerrilla organisations operated in northern Malaya within Perak; one aligned to the Kuomintang and the other to the Communist. The Kuomintang represented by the Overseas Chinese Anti-Japanese Army (OCAJA) while the Communist is through the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) and although both were similarly against the Japanese, the two also involved in clash against each other. A female Eurasian nurse named Sybil Kathigasu are among the resistance members in Perak, where she endured torture after the Japanese military police of Kenpeitai find out a secretly kept shortwave radio sets in her residence. John Davis, an officer of the British commando Force 136, which is part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) had trained local guerillas prior to the Japanese invasion at the 101 Special Training School in Singapore where he sought Chinese recruits for their commando teams. Under the codename Operation Gustavus, Davis together with five Chinese agents landed north of Pangkor Island on the Perak coast on 24 May 1943 with a base camp was established in the Segari Hills where they proceeded to the plains to set up an intelligence network in the state. They later meet with the members of the MPAJA in September 1943 where both agreed to co-operate and the MPAJA provided support and manpower to Force 136. This first intelligence network however suffered its collapse when many of its leading members such as Lim Bo Seng were caught and tortured until death by the Japanese Kenpeitai in June 1944. On 16 December 1944, a second intelligence network group comprising five Malay SOE agents and two British liaison officers, Major Peter G. Dobree and Captain Clifford was parachuted into Padang Cermin, near to Temenggor Lake Dam in Hulu Perak under the codename Operation Hebrides with the main objective to set up wireless communications between Malaya and Force 136 headquarters in Kandy, British Ceylon after the MPAJA had failed to establish communications with the latter.
Post-war and independence
Despite the Japanese surrender to the Allied forces in 1945, the position of the Malay state had become very unstable which made worse by the emergence of nationalism among the people to demand independence where the administration later being undertaken by the British Military Administration from 1945 until 1946 to maintain peace and order before the British began to introducing a new administration systems under the Malayan Union. The four neighbouring Malay states held by Thailand throughout the war were returned to the British through a proposal by the United States who offering Thailand admission into the United Nations (UN) and substanstial American aid package towards its economy after the war. Although the MPAJA under the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) had been jointly fought with the British against the Japanese with most of its members receiving awards at the end of the war, the party policy become radicalised under the authority of Perak-born Chin Peng who took over the CPM administration following the disappearance of Lai Teck with the party funds. Under his authority, the MPAJA massacred those they considered Japanese collaborators during the war, mainly the Malays which setting off a racial conflict when the Malays began to retaliated. A number of disciplined killer squads were also dispatched by the CPM to murdering European plantation owners in Perak and Kuomintang leaders in Johor where the Malayan government later declared a state of emergency on 18 June 1948 through the ensuing Malayan Emergency. Perak become one of the main stronghold for the communist movement aside from Johor with security measures taken in the early stage were not co-ordinated.
Earlier in 1947, the head of the Perak's Criminal Investigation Department H. J. Barnard negotiated an arrangement with the Kuomintang-influenced OCAJA leader Leong Yew Koh where most of their members being absorbed into the national Special Constabulary and fought against the MPAJA successor of Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA). To protect Kinta Valley as one of the richest tin mines in Malaya from the communists, which accounted for the major part of Malaya's tin exports to the United States, the Perak Chinese Tin Mining Association established the Kinta Valley Home Guard (KVHG) on 1 May 1952 which often described as a private Chinese Army with most of its Chinese members has links to Kuomintang. Much of the Kuomintang guerrillas are absorbed from the Lenggong area which also consisted members of Chinese secret societies with main purpose to defend Chinese property against the communists. Fighting throughout the first emergency between the British authorities and their Malayan collaborators against the Communists ensued even after the proclamation of the independence of the Federation of Malaya on 31 August 1957 with most of the communist guerrillas were successfully pushed across the northern border into Thailand.
In 1961, the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya Tunku Abdul Rahman desired to unite Malaya with the British colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. Despite with the growing opposition from the governments in both Indonesia and the Philippines as well from Communist sympathisers and nationalists in Borneo, the federation was realised on 16 September 1963. A "policy of confrontation" towards the new federation later being launched by the Indonesian government. This prompted the British and their allies of Australia and New Zealand to deploy armed forces despite no skirmishes from the Indonesians attacks occurred around Perak. By 1968, a second communist insurgencies occurred in the Malay Peninsula which affected Perak mainly through the attacks from Hulu Perak by the previously retreated communist insurgents from the border of Thailand.
Under the laws of the Constitution of Perak, Perak is a constitutional monarchy, with a constitutional hereditary ruler. The current Sultan of Perak is Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the 35th Sultan of Perak. He was appointed as the new Sultan on 29 May 2014. The preceding Sultan was Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, who was the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and formerly the Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia who died on 28 May 2014.
The Perak State Legislative Assembly (Malay: Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak) is the unicameral state legislature of the state of Perak. It is composed of 59 members representing single-member districts throughout the state. Elections are held no more than five years apart.
The current Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) is Ahmad Faizal Azumu who is representative of the Pakatan Harapan, the governing political party that commands the support of majority of members of the State Legislative Assembly.
Following the opposition coalition winning Perak in the 2008 general election, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) was appointed as the new Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of the state eventually, although the Democratic Action Party (DAP) won the most seats compared to other opposition parties. The Menteri Besar did not come from the Chinese-dominant party as the state constitution states that the Chief Minister must be a Muslim, unless the Sultan specially appoints a non-Muslim Chief Minister. As DAP does not have any Muslim assemblymen, if the Sultan insists that the Chief Minister must be a Muslim, then the assemblymen would have to come from either Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or PAS, which formed the coalition state government with DAP. On 3 February 2009, Barisan Nasional, the national ruling party, gained control over the state government, after the defections of three Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen. However, several cases have been filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court challenging the validity of the new Barisan Nasional government, causing a constitutional crisis. Adding to this crisis is the fact that the Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar has refused to resign and states that he is still the legal Menteri Besar until he is removed through vote of no confidence or snap election.
|Pakatan Harapan||Ahmad Faizal Azumu||Government||29||30|
|Barisan Nasional||Zambry Abdul Kadir||Opposition||27||25|
|Gagasan Sejahtera||Haji Razman Zakaria||3||3|
Perak is divided into 12 administrative districts which are further divided into local administrative Municipal councils. The following is a list of the 12 administrative districts in terms of population.
|2||Larut, Matang and Selama||Taiping||320,100|
|4||Hilir Perak||Teluk Intan||232,800|
|7||Kuala Kangsar||Kuala Kangsar||176,000|
|8||Perak Tengah||Seri Iskandar||116,500|
|12||Bagan Datuk||Bagan Datuk||17,967|
It has been announced on 26 November 2015 that Perak would have its eleventh district, which is called Muallim, which includes the sub-district of Tanjung Malim which has split it from the current Batang Padang District. It has been officiated by Sultan Nazrin, the current Sultan on 11 January 2016.
On 9 January 2017, Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah graced the proclamation of Bagan Datuk as the 12th district of the state. The proclamation marked the start of transformation for the district, which is one of the biggest coconut producers in Malaysia.
Perak constitutional crisis
In February 2009, Barisan Nasional retook Perak State Assembly from the Pakatan Rakyat government, after the defections of Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), Jamaluddin Mohd. Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd. Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) to Barisan Nasional as independent assemblymen. The Sultan of Perak dismissed the Pakatan Rakyat government but refused to dissolve the state assembly and thus trigger new elections. Amid multiple protests, lawsuits and arrests, a new Barisan Nasional-led State Assembly was sworn in on 7 May, but the takeover was ruled illegal by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on 11 May 2009, restoring power to the Pakatan Rakyat. However, immediately on the next day, the court of appeal suspended the judgement of the High Court in Kuala Lumpur pending a new judgement from the court of appeal, and followed by 22 May 2009, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision and returned power back to the Barisan Nasional. Many supporters of the opposition party, DAP, claim that the crisis was effectively a 'power grab'.
Perak has a total land area of 20,976 km2 (8,099 sq mi) with its coastal areas facing towards the Straits of Malacca in the west of Malay Peninsula. Its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extends further towards the straits. It is the second-largest Malaysian state in the Malay Peninsula, and the fourth-largest in the whole of Malaysia. The state has a total of 230 kilometres (140 mi) of coastline of which 140.2 kilometres (87.1 mi) have been eroding. A majority are covered with mangrove forests except for Pangkor Island, the state main island which is rich in natural flora and fauna with several of the forest reserves also located in the island. Swampland is extensive in the coastal alluvial zones of the west coast between central Perak and southern Selangor. Perak has an overall total of 1,027,404.31 hectares (2,538,771 acres) forested area, 41,616.75 hectares (102,837 acres) of mangroves, 939,403.01 hectares (2,321,315 acres) forest lands and another 2,116.55 hectares (5,230 acres) of forest plantations. A total of 995,284.96 hectares (2,459,403 acres) of forests have been gazetted by the state government as forest reserve area which were scattered in 68 areas across the state. The geological surface of the state consists of eruptive masses which forming the hills and mountain ranges, divided by three mountain chains into three plains, comprising Kinta, Larut and Perak running parallel to the coast line. The Titiwangsa Range passing through Perak, with the range highest point being Mount Korbu in the district of Kinta, with a height of 2,183 metres located near the border with the state of Kelantan.
Alluvium covers much of the plains while sedimentary rocks appear at rare intervals in detached masses. The mountain ranges and hills provides an extensive networks of rivers originating from interior areas. Its border between the states of Kedah, Penang and Selangor is separated by rivers such as the Bernam River and Kerian River. Perak has a total of 11 major river basin of more than 80 km (50 mi) with Silver Basin become the largest with an area of 14,908 km2 (5,756 sq mi), about 70% of the total state area which is also the second largest river basin in the Malay Peninsula after Pahang River Basin. The longest river in the state is the Perak River originates from the mountains between the Perak-Kelantan-Yala border which then snaking its ways into the Straits of Malacca. It is also the second-longest river in the Malay Peninsula after the Pahang River with a length of about 400 km (250 mi). Other main rivers include Beruas River, Jarum Mas River, Kurau River, Larut River, Manjung River, Sangga Besar River, Temerloh River and Tiram River. Perak is located in a tropical region with an equatorial climate which is typically hot, humid and wet with significant rainfall throughout the year. Temperature is fairly constant from 21 °C (70 °F) to 27 °C (81 °F) with humidity often more than 80%. Annual rainfall is about 3,000 millimetres with the central area of Perak receives an average of 5,000 millimetres of rain. The state experiences two monsoon seasons, the northeast and southwest seasons; the northeast occurs from November until March while the southeast occurs from May until September, and the transitional months for the monsoon seasons are April and June. The northeast monsoon brings heavy rains especially in the upper areas of Hulu Perak which causes floods. Little effect of the southwest monsoon is felt in the Kinta Valley although coastal areas of southern Perak occasionally experience thunderstorms heavy rain and strong gusting winds in the predawn and early morning.
Twilight in Lumut Beach
The jungles of Perak host a diverse array of various plant and species, with a total of 173 freshwater fish species has been identified as native to the state. The state main natural park of Royal Belum State Park which covering an area of 117,500 hectares (290,349 acres) in northern Perak area contains a total of 18 species of frogs and toads, 67 species of snakes with more than 132 species of beetles, 28 species of cicadas, 97 species of moths and 41 species of dragonflies and damselflies. The park was further gazetted as National Heritage Site by the federal government of Malaysia in 2012 and submitted into the World Heritage Site tentative lists of UNESCO in 2017. It also hosts an estimate of 304 species of birds including the migratory ones aside from the birds species in three forest reserve areas of Pangkor Island. Further 10 hornbill species are found within the area including large flocks of the plain-pouched hornbill and mammals such as the Seladang, Asian elephant and Malayan tiger with the area is also notable for harbouring high concentrations of at least three different Rafflesia species. The Pulau Sembilan (Nine Islands) State Park which covering an area of 214,800 hectares (530,782 acres) in western of Perak is a hosts for coral reefs where it became the spot for coral reef fish. Another nature attraction from the legacy of tin-mining ponds in Kinta District was gazetted as a state park in 2016 as Kinta Nature Park, covering an area of 395.56 hectares (977 acres) which become the third state park for Perak.
The government of Perak committed to protect its forests to ensure the survival of endangered wildlife species and protecting the biodiversity. The Perak Forestry Department is tasked for forest management and preservation in the state. In 2013, the state successfully grow about 10.9 million trees under the "26 Million Tree Planting Campaign: One Citizen One Tree" in conjunction with the global Earth Day. The rampant conversion and reclamation of mangroves and mudflats for economical and residence purposes has caused the rapid decline of shore birds with 86% of the decline in Malay Peninsula occurred on Perak coasts. Rapid poaching in forest reserves areas have caused a stark decline in mammals population with the Perak State Park Corporation estimates that there were only 23 Malayan tigers left within the state two forest reserves of Royal Belum and Temenggor in 2019. Due to the lucrative wood and palm oil businesses, the state government of Perak also was partly blamed for destroying forest reserves with a record since 2009 revealed a total of more than 9,000 hectares (22,239 acres) of permanent forest reserves have been degazetted in northwestern state with the latest occurred within the Bikam Permanent Forest Reserve in July 2013.
The resulting environmental damage from many lucrative businesses allowed by the state government caused severe pollution to many rivers in the state which required extensive water treatment. From 1982 until 1994, the state government was embroiled in a radioactive environmental pollution controversy that causing the deaths of seven residents suffering from birth defects and leukemia after been exposed by the pollution. Only after lengthy court trials by the affected residents and increasing international pressure, the factory involved being closed down despite there is still no responsibilities taken by any parties nor from the companies, state government or even the federal government. Despite having the greatest number of mangrove reserves among Malay Peninsula states with 19 reserves from the mangroves of Matang, the growing uncontrolled mangroves clearance for aquaculture projects and residential areas cause a significant coastal erosion in addition to the natural causes resulted from climate change.
Once Malaysia's most populous state, Perak has yet to recover from the decline of the tin-mining industry. The economic downturn resulted in massive manpower drain to higher-growth states such as Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
Perak's population grew at an annual rate of around 0.4%. The growth of population in recent years:
- 1980: 1,743,655
- 1990: 1,877,471
- 2000: 1,973,368
- 2010: 2,258,428
- 2015: 2,477,700
In 2010, the religious make-up of residents in Perak was: 55.3% Muslim, 25.4% Buddhist, 10.9% Hindu, 4.3% Christian, 1.7% Taoists or followers of other Chinese folk religion, 1.5% other religion or unknown affiliation, and 0.9% non-religious.
Statistics from the 2010 Census indicate that 83.7% of the Chinese population in Perak are identified as Buddhists, with significant minorities of adherents identifying as Christians (9.2%), Chinese folk religions (5.8%) and Muslims (0.2%). The majority of the Indian population are as Hindus (87.6%), with a significant minorities of numbers identifying as Christians (6.1%), Muslims (2.67%) and Buddhists (1.0%). The non-Malay bumiputera community are predominantly Atheists (28.2%), with significant minorities identifying as Muslims (24.1%) and Christians (22.9%). All Malays are necessarily Muslims as the Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia defines professing Islam as one of the criteria of being a Malay.
Like most parts of Malaysia, Perak is a multi-ethnic state with diverse racial backgrounds. Because of this diversity there are also diverse linguistic variety as well.
The Malays of Perak speak a variety of dialects or closely related languages, the most common is Perak Malay which is known for its "e" sound (e as in r"e"d, [e]) and the "r" sound which sounds like French "r" ([ʁ]), Perak Malay is commonly found in central Perak, more specifically in Kuala Kangsar and Perak Tengah districts.
In the northeastern part of Perak (Hulu Perak) and some parts of Selama and Kerian, the Malay people speak a distinct variant of Malay language which is known as Basa Ulu/Grik (named after Grik) and is most closely related to Kelantan-Pattani Malay in Kelantan and southern Thailand due to geographical borders and historical assimilation. This variant is occasionally classified as a sub-dialect of Yawi. The district of Hulu Perak once was ruled by the Sultanate of Kingdom of Reman. Reman was historically a part of Greater Pattani (which is now a province of Thailand) before gaining independence in 1810 from the Pattani Kingdom via a rebellion by the Royal Family.
While in the southern parts of Perak (Hilir Perak and Batang Padang) and also in the districts of Kampar and Kinta and several parts of Manjung, the dialect is heavily influenced by southern Malay dialects of the peninsula such as Selangor, Malacca and Johore-Riau Malay and various languages of Indonesian archipelago namely Javanese, Banjar, Rawa (a variety of Minangkabau), Batak (Mandailing) and Buginese as a result of historical immigration, civil war such as Klang War and other inevitable factors.
Due to diverse backgrounds of Chinese community in Perak, they speak a number of diverse dialects and closely related languages that continued to be spoken even to this day. Chinese dialects that are spoken in Perak includes Cantonese, Hakka, Mandarin, Teochew, Hokkien, and Hokchiu. Most Chinese can speak Standard Malay and English as well.
Majority of the Indian community in Perak is of Tamil ethnicity and speak a Malaysian dialect of the Tamil language. Other South Indian communities too exist in Perak. The Malayalees in Perak are mostly from Sitiawan, Manjung and Sungai Siput, Kuala Kangsar. They speak the Malayalam Language. A Malayalam medium school was known to be operating in the estate nearby Kampung Kati in Sungai Siput around 60 years ago. The Telugu speaking community had settled down in Perak since the 1930s, mainly in Teluk Intan and Bagan Datuk. There are also a small but strong Punjabi Sikh community as well and speak a dialect of the Punjabi language. Although the Indians here are known to have a different mother tongue, the Tamil Language had become a lingua franca among the South Indian communities due to the Tamil speaking people being the majority Indian ethnic group and the representative of the Indians in Malaysia. In addition, the similarities of Tamil Language with other Dravidian languages such as Telugu and Malayalam had made most of the non-Tamil speaking Indian communities to accept Tamil language as a representative of the Indian community in Malaysia. Most of the Punjabis in Perak are known to speak Tamil fluently unlike Punjabis from other states around Malaysia. A small number of Sinhalese people (Sri Lankan people who's their mother tongue is Sinhalese Language) are found in parts of Ipoh.
Perak was one of Malaysia's wealthiest states during Malaya's colonial period, as much of Malaya's mineral deposits were situated here. The tin industry here subsequently flourished under the auspices of the British fuelled by the ongoing Industrial Revolution then. The global tin industry collapsed in the 1980s, subsequently forcing the closure of many local tin mines concurrently crippling Perak's economy.
This turn of events led the local state government to diversify the economy's base towards commodity-based manufacturing. The mid-1980s witnessed a large influx of electronics SMEs from Taiwan to Silibin and Jelapang industrial estates, but these have relocated to China in the 1990s as a result of outsourcing. A local car manufacturing hub called Proton City at Tanjung Malim has been developed with the establishment of state-of-the-art car manufacturing facilities, it is the largest manufacturer of Proton cars. However, the economy has never fully recovered from the decline of the tin industry.
Agriculture is also one of Perak's main industries, especially those concerning rubber, coconut and palm oil. Tourism is a growing industry given the state's abundant natural attractions.
Kuala Kangsar, just 48 km north of Ipoh on the Perak River, is the royal town. It is dominated by three buildings: Istana Iskandariah, Istana Kenangan and the Ubudiah Mosque. The Istana Iskandariah, located on a hill overlooking the river, is the palace of the Sultan of Perak. Istana Kenangan, which was constructed as a temporary residence during the Iskandariah's construction is known for its architecture. The Ubudiah Mosque is an impressive structure topped with a constellation of bright golden domes.
Kellie's Castle is located in Batu Gajah. It was built in 1915 and was never completed as the owner William Kellie Smith died in Lisbon, with his widow selling the property and returning to Scotland. The castle is perched on top of a hill in what used to be a rubber estate. The castle was once believed to be haunted, with many secret rooms and a hidden tunnel. Today, it is opened as a tourist attraction.
Accessible from Lumut, the Pangkor Island holds a mix of fishing settlements and white beaches decked with rich vegetation. The warm waters are used for swimming and diving. Resorts are available for accommodation on the island. Pangkor's two popular beach areas are Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah which offer activities such as scuba-diving, snorkelling, wind-surfing and fishing. Teluk Ketapang (Turtle Bay) still receives turtles on their egg-laying pilgrimages.
A white water rafting location in Perak is at My Gopeng Resort (Gopeng). White-water rafting (Grade 3), waterfall abseiling, rafflesia's flower trekking, jungle trekking and others adventures are part of the joy of visiting Perak.
Beside rafting, many admire Gaharu from Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng a kind of Agarwood which can be processed as tea. Rumor has it that whoever captures a picture with the tall King Wood will bring in a windfall. Hong Kong director Raymond Wong Bak-Ming believed had a close relationship with the farm owner.
The Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve is one of the largest untouched forest reserves in the peninsula, with exotic mammals such as elephants, rhinoceroses, tapirs and tigers. Guided tours are available for visitors.
The Sungai Klah Hot Spring Park has a free-flowing hot springs swimming pool and therapeutic park at the foothill of the Titiwangsa Range, 200 feet above sea level. Visitors can view the oil palm plantations and durian orchards, and also experience hot springs egg boiling.
Founded in 1844, Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill) is the wettest place in Malaysia, with an annual rainfall of over 500 cm. The hill has views on a clear day where the peninsular coastline and the Straits of Malacca are visible, sometimes stretching as far as Penang to the north and Pangkor Island to the south.
The Taiping Lake Gardens was built on top of an abandoned tin mine, and opened in 1880, the first public garden in Malaya. Spread over 64 hectares, the lake system has ten lakes and ponds, a lotus pool, bridges, tracks for jogging and reflexology, a roller-skating rink, paddleboat rides, and a playground, all surrounded by tropical plants, flowers, trees and wildlife.
The railway service is undergoing major upgrading[when?] with the advent of electrified trains running on double tracks from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Ipoh railway station is in the city centre. Built in the Moorish style, this white structure, nicknamed the Taj Mahal of Ipoh, was completed in 1935 to replace the original railway platform shed built in 1917. The Ipoh railway station is said to be the "second-most beautiful railway station in Malaysia" after the Kuala Lumpur railway station. It is located on Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab.
There are a number of higher education institutions in Perak.
The University of Kuala Lumpur’s MIMET is located at Sri Manjung, while Universiti Teknologi Petronas has its main campus at Seri Iskandar. Perak is also home to the oldest polytechnic in Malaysia, Politeknik Ungku Omar, located in the state capital of Ipoh.
Lemang, a Malay delicacy made from glutinous rice cooked in a bamboo tube over slow fire is a must-have during the festivities such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji, especially along with some rendang. Some say lemang originated from the indigenous people who cook their rice using bamboo.
Tempoyak is another Malay delicacy. It is durian extract which is preserved and kept in an urn. Commonly eaten with chillies and other dishes, it is well known due to the popularity of its key ingredient, durian, among the locals. Tambun pomelo, the most popular fruit in Perak, is another tropical delight.
Rendang Tok, a noted Perak Cuisine, a beef gravy slow cooked in a huge, deep frying pan over bonfire normally served during Malay Muslim festive season Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Malay wedding in Perak.
Mangrove logs in Matang Charcoal Factory
A bowl of Mee Udang (Prawn noodles)
Cave painting in Perak Tong Limestone Cave Temple
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