Penang Free School
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2011)|
|Penang Free School|
|Established||October 21, 1816|
|Principal||Jalil Bin Saad|
|Location||Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia|
|Colors||White , azure|
Penang Free School is a secondary school located on Jalan Masjid Negeri (previously Green Lane), George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Although the medium of instruction is now Malay, Penang Free School is the first English-medium school in South East Asia and is the oldest recorded school in the country. Alumni are known as "Old Frees". There is a history of rivalry with St. Xavier's Institution, another of Penang's premier schools, which also claims the title of Malaysia's oldest school.
The school was founded by Rev. Sparke Hutchings on 21 October 1816, on the island of Penang, Malaya. Its first headmaster was Mr. James Cox 1816-1821. Its premises on Farquhar Street first housed the Hutchings School, but is now the Penang State Museum. In 1928, the school moved to its current location on Jalan Masjid Negeri (also known as Green Lane). The school hosted the first communist cell ever to penetrate a Malayan school. Several of the schoolmasters were socialist in outlook and encouraged the formation of the cell which went on to produce a cadre of communist leaders who went on to make their careers in China. The communist cell was suppressed in the late 1930s.
The school received cluster school status from the Malaysian Ministry of Education in 2007.
Excerpts of the original charter: "That it will be the first object of the Institution to provide for the Education of such children as would be otherwise, brought up in idleness and consequent vice, and without any means of obtaining instruction either in useful learning or in any manual employment, and to implant in them in the early habits of industry, order and a good conduct." -—from "The Original Plan of the Establishment of Prince of Wales Island, Free School, 1816".
The motto of the school is Fortis Atque Fidelis (Latin for Strong and Faithful).
- Middle chief: a White Tower for the qualities of strength and truthfulness,
- Dexter chief: Numeral 18 is the first two digits of the year the school was founded (1816),
- Sinister chief: Numeral 16 is the last two digits of the year the school was founded (1816),
- Dexter base: a Palm Tree represents the State of Penang, and signifies the fertility of the mind,
- Sinister base: a Gold Lion Rampant supporting a flag signifies the preservation of the tradition and high ideals of the school.
Let us march on to fame
Let the aisles proclaim
Till our anthem will dare us to do
Let us onward to win and new laurels gain
Free School for the brave and for the true
It matters neither how strait the gate
Nor how charged with dangers the goal
Let the tempest rage and fell odds inflate
We'll do it with heart and soul.
When duty calls be it school or state
We'll do it with God by our side
For the sons of Free School don't hesitate
Nor let cool their zeal and pride.
Let us all join in this Jubilee
All with one loud voice to proclaim
Our true loyalty and our consistency
To our Mater still remain.
The school anthem is played at the end of official assembly and on occasions such as Old Frees gathering. Music and lyrics written by G.S. Reutens, a former teacher, circa 1960s.
Penang Free School is known for its achievements in cricket. They have players who have played for Malaysia and internationally.
- 1816-1821: Mr. J. Cox
- 1821-1822: Mr. Churcher
- 1822-1826: Mr. Porter
- 1826-1828: Mr. Anchant
- 1828-1843: Mr. J. C. Smith
- 1843-1846: Mr. Bruton
- 1846-1853: Mr. Fitzgerald
- 1853-1871: Mr. J. Clark
- 1871-1891: Mr. George Griffin
- 1891-1904: Mr. William Hargreaves
- 1904-1925: Mr. Ralph H. Pinhorn
- 1925-1926: Mr. William Hamilton
- 1927-1928: Mr. D. R. Swaine
- 1928-1929: Mr. L. W. Arnold
- 1929-1931: Mr. D. W. McLeod
- 1931-1933: Mr. M. R. Holgate
- 1934-1946: Mr. L. W. Arnold
- 1947-1949: Mr. D. Roper
- 1949-1950: Mr. M. F. Crocopile
- 1950-1951: Mr. P. F. Howitt
- 1951-1957: Mr. J. E. Todd
- 1957-1963: Mr. J. M. B. Hughes
- 1963-1969: Dato' Tan Boon Lin
- 1969-1971: Mr. Poon Poh Kong
- 1972-1974: Mr. K. G. Yogam
- 1974-1979: Dr. Goon Fatt Chee
- 1979-1983: Mr. R. Visvanathan, P.J.K.
- 1983-1988: Mr. G. Krishna Iyer
- 1988-1993: Mr. Goh Hooi Beng
- 1993-2000: Mr. Hj. Ismail bin Ibramsa
- Jan 2000-Dec 2000: Mr. Abdul Rahman
- 2001-2006: Mr. Arabi Sulaiman, P.K.T.
- 2006-2006: Mr. Mohd Yusof bin Omar
- 2006-2012: Mr Hj. Ramli bin Din
- 2012 – present: Mr Jalil Bin Saad.
Board Of Prefects
The Board of Prefects was established in 1865. It is the oldest Board of Prefects in South East Asia. Prefectship is the highest position of trust the school bestows upon a student. Prefects are selected based on their contributions to the school, personality, character, leadership qualities and academic consistency. This board supplements the tasks of the School Administration under the leadership of the School Captain and his deputy. Among the duties bestowed on a prefect are overseeing the smooth running of the School Assembly and disciplining those who break the school rules. The board maintains school discipline and acts as a liaison body between the School Administration and the students. About 18 prefects are selected each year out of a population of 1800 students.
The School Captain accompanies the Principal to the hall during assemblies. The Deputy School Captain calls the school to attention. Complete silence ensues as the Principal enters the hall. After the assembly, prefects conduct spot-checks on students.
Every year, the School Captain, Deputy School Captain, Permanent and Temporary Prefects are installed in front of the entire school population during assembly.
All prefects attend the annual prefects' dinner. Here, the new temporary prefects get to mingle with their peers and foster relationships with the senior prefect. This is also the place for them to meet the prefect of yesteryear.
The School Captain is the highest position bestowed upon a student. The School Captain generally must serve the Board Of Prefects for two years, before being elected when he returns as a Form 6 Student. His election usually goes through an official meeting between the Principal, the Prefect's Master, the outgoing School Captain and his deputies under the constitution of The Board Of Prefects.
In 2009, headmaster Ramli bin Din created three new sports houses (Tunku Syed Sirajuddin,P. Ramlee and Real Madrid), adding to the pre-existing six sport houses. Penang Free School is the only school in Malaysia to have nine sport houses. The sports houses are:
- Hargreaves (Alvin Andrew was the Hargreaves captain in 2009 and led the whole team victoriously during the cross country run.)
- Wu Lien Teh
- Tunku Putra
- Tunku Syed Sirajuddin
A student pursuing his secondary education in the Free School is commonly known as a Free, once the individual leaves the Free School, he is an Old Free. Alumni are entitled membership to the Old Frees' Association (OFA).
- Tunku Abdul Rahman, First Prime Minister of Malaysia.
- Datuk Dr. Anwar Fazal, influential figure in the worldwide social movement. Father of Malaysian NGO Movement
- Dr. Wu Lien-teh, plague fighter and pioneer in the modernization of China's public health system.
- Dato' Eddy Choong, former All-England Badminton champion.
- Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen, President of the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM)
- Chung Thye Siong, son of Kapitan Chung Keng Quee of Penang and Perak and brother of Kapitan Chung Thye Phin, last Kapitan of Perak and Malaya.
- Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr.Eusoffe Abdoolcader FCJ Former Federal Court Judge of Malaysia
- Wee Chong Jin (Dr), first Chief Justice of Singapore
- Tan Sri Azizan Zainul Abidin, former Petronas corporate figure.
- Tan Sri G. Rama Iyer, Secretary-General of the Primary Industries Ministry and noted civil servant.
- Danny Quah, economist and Head of Department of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
- Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
- Tan Sri Elyas Omar, first Datuk Bandar of Kuala Lumpur
- Datuk Dr Ismail Merican, former Director General of Health. Now Pro-Chancellor MAHSA University
- Dennis Lee, pianist.
- Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Tahir, Managing Director, Proton Holdings, ms:Syed Zainal Abidin Tahir.
- Datuk Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, former Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Group President & CEO, .
- Tun Lim Chong Eu, 2nd Chief Minister of Penang
- P Ramlee, film actor, director, singer, songwriter, composer, and producer.
- Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr. Haji Yahaya Bin Ibrahim, Pro Chancellor, Sultan Idris University of Education
- Encik Ahmad Ibrahim, Former Minister of Health and Labor for Singapore
- Dato' Ahmad Bin Ibnihajar (class of 1970), Managing Director of Penang Port Sdn. Bhd (PPSB)
- Datuk Abu Huraira, Chairman, SOCSO
- Tan Sri Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, Group Managing Director, DRB-HICOM
- Dato Meer Sadik, Managing Director, Habib Jewels
- Dato' Sri Eric Lim Ewe Chye, Chairman, GAMA Holdings
- Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, Health Minister of Malaysia
- Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd. Sheriff Mohd. Kassim, Chairman, PLUS Malaysia Berhad
- Dato’ Anwarruddin Ahamad Osman, Non Executive Director, Fraser & Neave Berhad
- Dato’ Kamil Khalid Ariff, Chairman of Uni.Asia Bhd, Non Executive Director of Bank Muamalat,President of Persatuan Anak Melayu Pulau Pinang
- Tan Sri Saw Huat Lye, former Chairman of Guiness Anchor Bhd, 1st CEO of Malaysian Airlines (Head a team to set up MAS)
- Dr. Lee Kum Tatt, leading scientist, creator of the RISIS orchid, founder chairman and CEO of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research
- Darius Shaft, Board of Directors, Marshall Cavendish
- Dato' Dr. Zainul Azizan - Managing Director of Nagasteel Group of Companies
- Harris Beh, Director of Francorp Asia Sdn Bhd, & Boh Plantations Group
- Dato Loy Teik Ngan, Group CEO, Taylors Education Group
- Kum King-Ip, founder of Thau Yien Group, Royal Hotel
- Official website
- Alumni website
- 7th Georgetown Scout Group
- 8th Georgetown South Sea Scout Group
- Famous benefactor: Kapitan Chung Keng Quee
- Penang Free School Historical Society