Methodist Boys' School (Kuala Lumpur)

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Methodist Boys' School
Type Public
Motto Ora et Labora: Pray and Work
Established July 1897
Founder Rev. Dr. William T. Kensett
Status Cluster school of excellence;High Performance School
Principal Mr. Wong Chee Kheon
Grades Form 1 - Form 6
Campus Large School campus, at the city centre

Methodist Boys' School, Kuala Lumpur (MBSSKL) is a cluster secondary school and High Performance School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was founded in July 1897, making it one of the oldest schools in Malaysia. It is known as MBS and its students are known as MBSians. The school is also known as Marble School or Horley School to the community of Petaling Street. It is noted for its library, which attracts visits from many other schools.

The school was founded by Christian missionary Dr. Kensett in July 1897. The school population grew to be overwhelmingly Indian and the school was named Anglo-Tamil School, at a small wooden shophouse at the corner of Batu Road and Java Street, since demolished.

In 1899, Rev. Abraham became its first headmaster, leading a staff of four teachers. It was then registered as a government-aided school.

Three years later, the MBS proper was founded by Rev. W. E. Horley at the temporary premises of an unused pork market in Malacca Street. The Anglo-Tamil School was absorbed into it, opening up the school to all races.

In 1904, the school decided to move to Petaling Hill (its present site) after a few evacuations by the sanitary board due to the dilapidated condition of the buildings. Within eight months, enough funds had been collected to erect a new building. Two new wings were constructed and a playing field laid down.[1] In 2008, Methodist Boys' Secondary School was awarded the cluster school status by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE).


Students of MBSSKL come from all walks of life, be it rich or poor, dark or fair skinned. Unlike the nickname "Johannian" for St. John's Institution students and "Victorian" for Victoria Institution students, there has been no officially recognized nickname for MBSSKL students, the term "MBSian" (pronounced as "Ambition" by most students) is used commonly. However, a more proper term Methodites was used by the 1977 School Captain, Christopher Kushi in the Excelsior Magazine 1977.[2]

MBS Anthem[edit]

English Version[edit]

The School Song was composed in 1948 by former principal, Mr. Hugh F. Clancy. The music was harmonized by N.Swan, in the same year. The school anthem was sung over Radio Malaya in 1949 by the school choir.

Go forward MBS
Filled with courage fine
With your colours flying
We will cheer you all the time
And so you go forward MBS
On to victory
Work for the fame of our fair name
Forward we must play the game

The Malay Version was drafted during a competition to translate the school song in Malay in which Cheok Heng Wai of 5 Mori (1995), at that time, won the competition and this was the lyrics that followed.

Malay Version:(1995)[edit]

Majulah MBS
Penuh azam baru
Dengan semangat waja
Kita menjulangkan namamu
Majulah MBS
Raih kejayaan
Harumkan namamu selalu
Kekalkan keunggulan

Source: Excelsior 1954 and Excelsior 2006

School Cheer[edit]

M.B.S!, M.B.S! Play up! Play up! Play up!

Source: Excelsior 2006

School Crest[edit]

The school badge consists of the words "MBS" and a banner in Or(Yellow) against a background shield of Azure(Blue). Azure(Blue), represents the fact that all humanity shares the same sky and a sense of togetherness. It represents the harmony of all the races in MBSSKL, and that the importance of each individual is recognized. Whereas, Or(Yellow), represents the excellence for which we are encouraged to strive for.

The school crest has changed somewhat throughout the years especially on the removal of a "white cross" upon which the text "MBS" once sat. The removal of the cross was initially made in deference to Muslim students in the school who would specifically wear the "cross-less" version of the badge. (The badges of convent schools which featured a prominent cross had to be completely redesigned.) Politically, Malaysia was developing into a primarily Muslim country with a multi-racial, multi-ethnic population who have long learnt to exist among each other with tolerance. The permanent removal of the cross in 1989 reflects this subtle shift in the country's sensitivity to the Muslim community.

The shape of the bar in which the motto sits has been morphed over the years. The most recent crest shows that the bar curves down on both sides and extends beyond the crest body. The original crest that was last used in the mid-nineteen seventies had it pointed up at both the edges and is shorter than the crest body.

The motto, "Ora et Labora" means "Pray and Work" in Latin.

Source: [Excelsior 2004]

School Magazine[edit]

The school magazine of the MBSSKL is named the Excelsior. It was published annually by the Excelsior Editorial Board since 1906 to the late 1910s where it was discontinued before being revived by Dr. Ho Seng Ong in the early 1920s, then still a student in the school before becoming a principal later. It is one of the oldest school magazines in the entire country. The first school magazine which was published in the year 1906 is still in the possession of the school's archive and principal. In 2007, the Excelsior magazine was awarded as the best school magazine in the country.

School Library[edit]

The MBSSKL Library is supposedly the oldest school library in the country. The Library was founded in 1906, by philanthropist Mr. Eu Tong Sen of Perak, the youngest son of Mr. Eu Kong, founder of Eu Yan Sang company.

In 1937, the library was renamed the Lum Mun Yoke Memorial Library.

In 1941, war broke out and left the library in shambles.

In 1947, the library was revived by former principal Mr. S. Kanagaratnam (Acting). At the early stages of revival, only senior students were allowed to use the library while the library masters were working hard to restore the condition of the library.

Initially, during these stages, the library was separated into three libraries, namely the Students' Library, the Form Six Library and the Staff Library. The library was at that time located directly above the principal's office, which according to sources, was located at the Hinch Block.

In 1957, Students who were voluntary helpers were formally given the title "Student Librarians". In 1962, the Student Librarians were formally recognized as "The Board of Student Librarians" and were given the privilege of wearing a light blue shirt to distinguish themselves from the rest of the students, hence earning them the name "Lightblues". Before this, no other Student Librarian body in the country had the honour of wearing a special distinctive uniform. Special badges were given out as well. Until today, the Board of Student Librarians has still retained their traditional white and lightblue uniform, with the addition of a dark blue blazer, which is the highest honour given to student leaders. Only the 3 most distinguished boards of the school have been given permission to don dark blue (School colour) blazers, while the rest of the Boards have no blazers or black blazers.

In the 60s also, the libraries were once again centralized to form the MBSSKL Central Library. The Central Library was relocated to the top floor of the T. Mori Block. The school library also earned the distinction of being one of the first libraries in town to enjoy central air conditioning and had a fine collection of reference books. This is proved by the fact that the Central Library was a popular place for Methodites to study in and was opened on weekdays. The Central Library also occasionally opened during Saturdays until 6 pm.

In 1962, the library was designated a "model school library". Many other schools have visited the MBSSKL library to learn from its library, including schools from as far as Thailand. The visitors were never disappointed with the standard of the library, which was considered to be among the most well-equipped school library in the nation in that era.

In 2006, the library shifted to its current premises on top floor of the Tan Sri Dato' Seri(Dr) Lim Goh Tong block. It is located in a big hall known as the Wong Chee Kooi room and Reunion 5971 room, and the library itself is called the Centenary Library. It is administrated by the Board of Student Librarians, and the Junior Board of Student Librarians.

The motto of the Board of Student Librarians is "Esprit de Corps", which means "the spirit of togetherness".

Source: MBSSKL Library Heritage Corner


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.

In 1954, the 1st Kuala Lumpur Boys' Brigade Company was set up in the school by Mr. Khoo Oon Soo and Mr. R.A. Allen. After the first few years, 1st KL shifted to the Wesley Church just next door to the school, and used the Church premises as its meeting place. The 1st Kuala Lumpur Boys' Brigade Company is the 3rd oldest company in Malaysia, and is known for its history in Band, Footdrill and Talent Time competition results at National Level. The Company has also produced a fine collection of President's Men and Founder's Men, as well as two Queen's Men.

In 1958, the school was divided into the Secondary School (MBSSKL) and the Primary School (MBPSKL) in accordance with Malaysia's new Education Policy.

In its natural geography, Petaling Hill, on which MBS now stands, the school overlooks one of the oldest business sections of Kuala Lumpur which consists of many of the oldest Chinese business establishments.

The reason for Rev Horley choosing this site for the Wesley Church, the parsonage and the school was not different from other pioneer missionaries who chose sites for church, school and living quarters in other parts of the country. It was to be close to the community whom they wanted to serve, but yet sufficiently removed to have the quiet serenity for school and church to function and the incumbent pastor who used to also head the school, to dwell in peace.

It is not surprising that as the country developed and as towns became cities, churches and schools which were once at the fringes of towns, are now engulfed in the midst of city centres.

Numbered among the former students are successful citizens in all walks of life and professions. There is no record of the progress and achievements of students who have left the school.

The school's traditional rivals are the Victoria Institution and St. John's Institution, as the two institutions together with MBSKL are generally known as the top three boys' schools in Kuala Lumpur. This friendly rivalry existed way back in the three schools' history of over 100 years, not only on the sports field but also in academic and extracurricular pursuits.

The MBSSKL bell is the oldest existing school bell in Kuala Lumpur and dates from 1923. It was mounted in a special tower built by MBSOBA and was located at the Reading Corner. The tower was demolished along with the Youth Center in June 28, 2010. However, the bell tower is currently being restored and rebuilt in its old spot as of April 4, 2014.

Source: MBSKL Centenary Commemorative Book



The traditional uniform for the students is white long pants and a white shirt, with a plain dark blue tie. However, the school has changed its uniform in line with Government policy which requires all secondary students to wear Olive Green pants and a white shirt. MBSSKL does not allow the wearing of pants with pleats and/or bell-bottoms. The school tie is navy blue in colour, with repeated patterns of the school crest. A metal school badge is worn over the left pocket, and a cloth name tag sewn on under the school badge. (Until 2004, the name tags were made of plastic, coloured based on forms with black wordings for students.)

Members of the four student boards wear different uniforms and badges.

Student Boards[edit]

There are 5 major boards in the school, namely the Prefectorial Board, Board of Student Librarians, IT Brigade, the Sportsmen's Board and SPBT Prefects Board.


The MBSSKL Prefectorial Board was founded in 1931. The head of prefects in MBSSKL are known as School Captain (Kapten Sekolah) instead of Head Prefect (Ketua Pengawas).


The MBSSKL Board of Student Librarians proper was founded in 1962 although students who were voluntary helpers were formally given the title "Student Librarians" in 1957. In 1962, the current uniform of the librarians was designed by former teacher advisor Mrs. Sally Ti.


The Sportsmen's Club (Now Sportsmen's Board) was founded in the early 1970s. Membership to this board is extremely exclusive to those who excel in sports and character. Annually, less than 5 students are awarded membership to the Sportsmen's Board.

Information Technology Brigade[edit]

The IT Brigade was established in 2006 to develop the IT infrastructure in the school compound. Their duties include all computer-related issues of the school especially maintaining the Multimedia lab for the students' usage and computer repairs.

SPBT Prefects (BOSS)[edit]

The Board of SPBT was formed in 2012 to take charge of all government textbook in MBSSKL for all MBS boys. All SPBT Prefects have rights to take care of all textbooks and ensure the condition of the books are in good shape. The SPBT Prefects are required to take care and make sure the student do not leave their book at school after school hours.They would have to wrap all books exactly symmetrical and the sides of the books must be at 90 angle.


MBS operates a merit/demerit points scheme for rewards and punishments. Accumulated demerit points may be worked off by carrying out tasks such as cleaning the windows.[4] Corporal punishment is administered for a wide range of school offences, consisting of either one, two or three strokes of the cane.[5]

House System[edit]

As like any former British schools, MBS practices the house system, although nowadays, the house system is mainly for sports purposes. Four of the houses are named after donors who provided the establishment funds of the school, and one is named after a prominent former principal. 3 new houses were introduced in 2009.The houses are:

House Named after Colour Motto
Foong Wah Mr. Foong Yat Wah Red Unity, Courage and Faith
Doraisamy Mr. Doraisamy Pillai Purple Labor Omnia Vincit (Labour conquers all things)
Chow Thye Mr. Loke Chow Thye Blue Ever Linking
Loke Yew Mr. Loke Yew Yellow To Serve, To Strive but Not To Yield
Horley Rev. Horley Green Ever Onward
Shellabear Rev. Shellabear Grey
Goh Tong Mr. Lim Goh Tong Orange
Mori Mr. T Mori Brown

Combined Boards Day[edit]

This is an annual event organized by the student boards, namely the Prefectorial Board, Board of Student Librarians, Sportsmen's Board since 1991. IT Brigade joined in as the 4th Board in 2007 and SPBT Board joined in as the 5th Board in 2012. Traditionally, the main focus of this event was the installation of the members of the above boards, but over the years, the function has evolved to no longer include installation. It is now a day of fun, socialising and fellowship with student leaders from KL and Selangor schools, and is always organized in a way that brings positive outcomes to the boards as well as the school. It can also be a day of conference where KL and Selangor school leaders meet up together and discuss about issues arising among students as well as to solve the problems, depending on the organizing committee, who are given near-total autonomy on selecting the theme and planning the events of the day. The 22nd Combined Boards' Day was held on 20 April 2012.


Uniform Bodies[edit]

There are 7 uniformed bodies in the school as of 2009. Some examples are:[6]

10th Kuala Lumpur Air Scouts Group[edit]

10th Kuala Lumpur Air Scouts was established 97 years ago in 1915 and absorbed 15th Kuala Lumpur Scouts Troop after the second World War.[7]

1st Kuala Lumpur Boys' Brigade Company[edit]

Founded by Mr. Khoo Onn Soo under the sponsorship of Wesley Methodist Church, Kuala Lumpur in 1954. 1st Kuala Lumpur Boys Brigade was the first of the companies to be established in Kuala Lumpur.[8]

Former Principals of MBSSKL[edit]

1897-1899 Dr. William Thomas Kensett, M.D.
1899-1901 Rev. Samuel Abraham
1901-1907 Rev. William Edward Horley, M.B.E.
1908-1912 Mr. Robert T. McCoy, B.Sc
1913 Rev. B.J.Baughman, M.A.
1913 Rev. Walter Guy Parker, M.A.
1914 Rev. Preston Littlepage Peach, M.A.,M.M.E
1915 Rev. George F. Pykett
1915-1919 Rev. Preston L. Peach, M.A.,M.M.E
1919-1924 Rev. Walter Guy Parker, M.A.
1924-1926 Mr. Thomas William Hinch, O.B.E.
1926-1929 Rev. R.A. Blasdell, B.A. (Acting)
1930-1933 Rev. T.W. Bowmar
1934-1937 Rev. Preston L. Peach, M.A., M.M.E.
1938 Rev. W.A. Schurr, M.A., B.D. (Acting)
1939-1941 Rev. Preston L. Peach, M.A., M.M.E.
1942-1944 <War Period>
1945-1946 Mr. S. Kanagaratnam (Acting)
1947-1948 Rev. Preston L. Peach, M.A., M.M.E.
1949-1952 Mr. Hugh F. Clancy, B.A.
1950-1951 Mr. T.K. Cheong (Acting)
1952-1955 Dr. Ho Seng Ong, Ed.D, M.A., P.R.G.S
1955-1968 Mr. T. Mori, R.C.D.
1969-1978 Mr. Tan Hee Heng, R.C.D.
1979-1985 Mr. Yong Chee Seng
1986-1995 Mr. Loh Kung Sing
1995-1996 Mrs. Hew Yoon Yew
1997-2004 Mr. Loo Wan Yong
2004-2005 Ms. Moey Yoke Lai

Current Administration of MBSSKL[edit]

Principal: Wong Chee Kheon

Senior Assistant 1(Administration and Curriculum) : Ng Siew Eng
Senior Assistant (Student Affairs) : Loh Tzu Lee
Senior Assistant (Co-curriculum) : Sanusi bin Ismail
Senior Assistant (Form Six) : Gan Swit Peng
Senior Assistant (Special Education):Loi Wei Ping

HEAD OF FORM 6 UNIT OF LANGUAGES : Hajah Mazlini Bt Mustafa

CHIEF of English: Mrs V Ramani
CHIEF of Science: Zarul Hirniza
CHIEF of Sports: Ramesh Ram
CHIEF of Geography: Hasmawati
CHIEF of History: Mashitah
CHIEF of Malay: Zikri Ihsan

Alumni Association[edit]

The alumni association of MBSSKL is known as MBSalumni, previously known as MBSOBA (Methodist Boys' School Old Boys Association).[9][10] Its first documented meeting was in 1919. It was set up with the objective of providing a platform for all former students to keep in touch with each other and also to maintain contact with the school.

Eminent Old Boys[edit]



Public Service[edit]

  • Cheong Choong Kong - Chairman of the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Singapore and former CEO of Singapore Airlines


Media & Entertainment[edit]



  1. ^ MBS Centenary Commemorative Book.
  2. ^ School Website
  3. ^ [1], Methodist Boys' Secondary School.
  4. ^ Rules and Regulations, Methodist Boys' Secondary School.
  5. ^ Peraturan Sekolah Untuk Murid, SMKL Methodist, 2010. (Malay)
  6. ^ [2] Uniform bodies in MBSSKL
  7. ^ [3] About 10th KL Air Scouts. Retrieved September 2009
  8. ^ [4] About 1st KL. Retrieved September 2009
  9. ^ MBS Alumni. "MBS Alumni". Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  10. ^ M, Bavani (25 July 2006). "Old boys stay true to school". The Star. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Template:High Performance School