Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman

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Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman
Ilmu Panduan Hidup
Knowledge Guidance of Life
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,

31400 Ipoh,
Ipoh, Perak, MalaysiaMalaysia

Type Secondary school,
Boarding school An elite SBP Sekolah Berasrama Penuh All-boys school
Established January 13, 1957
School district North Kinta (Kinta Utara)
Principal Tuan Haji Abdul Hashim bin Abdul Karim (AMP, PPG)
Grades Form 1-Form 5
Number of students Approx. 600
Color(s)          Red, white
Yearbook Perintis
Affiliations Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Ministry of Education (Malaysia)
First Principal Tun Hamdan bin Sheikh Tahir (1957-1960)
Previous Principal En. Guffri bin Hj. Alpiah (2008-2010)
Sports House Blue, black, red, white, green, yellow

Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (or STAR) is a premier, all-boys fully residential school in Malaysia funded by the Government of Malaysia. Named after the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of the Federation of Malaya, Almarhum Seri Paduka Baginda Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad, it is located in Ipoh, Perak. The school started at an army camp in Baeza Avenue (now known as Jalan Hospital). Formerly known as Malay Secondary School, the school was built by the Malayan government in 1957. In 2011,the school was awarded with the Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi or High Performance School [1] title, a title awarded to schools in Malaysia that have met stringent criteria including academic achievement, strength of alumni, international recognition, network and linkages. In the recent PMR examination (2013), the school managed to produce 86 straight A's students out of 107 with GPS 1.05 to be the third best among schools in Perak.[2] while for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, the school obtained GPS of 1.73 with 36 students obtaining straight A's and 2 students gain straight A+.[3]

The beginning[edit]

In 1956, a few hundred promising rural children who had completed their Malay primary level education, and their placement in a few selected schools in Ipoh, Pulau Pinang, Kuala Lipis, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bharu were chosen to be the pioneer students of the first three Malay residential secondary schools for rural children. They were planned in Ipoh, Tg. Malim, and Melaka. These schools were later known as Sekolah Tuanku Abd Rahman (STAR), Ipoh; Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak (SDAR), Tg. Malim; and Sekolah Tun Fatimah (STF), Melaka.

In 1957, 360 of these 13–15-year-old children were placed in five old wooden military barracks vacated by the Malay Regiments, at what was then known as Baeza Avenue, Ashby Road, Ipoh (the site where Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Kinta, Jalan Hospital, Ipoh, now stands).

For these children, the military barracks, with twelve wooden classrooms, became their school, known as the Malay Secondary School (MSS), Ipoh. Classrooms, sleeping quarters (dormitories), dining hall etc. were all cramped in the barracks within barbed wire fences surrounding the 4-acre site. There was no space for the school to have a hall, or a playing field.


The school started on January 13, 1957, with the admission of 200 of these children into Form One. In March, another 160 joined the school to join the Remove Class. A year in what was called “Remove Class” was deemed necessary for every intake of students at the start. The purpose was to equip the students with sufficient command of English language that would enable them to commence their secondary education with English as the medium of instruction. Hence around 60-70% of the time in Remove Class was devoted to the teaching and learning of English Language. The Remove Class ceased to exist when Bahasa Malaysia was made the sole medium of instruction in secondary schools in the country in the early 1970s.

Teaching was done by a group of 15 teachers led by En Hamdan b Sheikh Tahir (Allahyarham Tun Hamdan b Sheikh Tahir) as the first principal. Classes were conducted following the standard curriculum offered in the English medium secondary schools of the day. Associations such as the English and Malay Literary and Debating societies were set up A Boy Scout group, a Red Cross Society and a St. John Ambulance Association group were also formed. The lack of a school hall did not deter the boys from staging a school play for the town folks using another school hall at ACS Ipoh. The absence of a school field of their own did not prevent the boys from playing soccer, hockey and rugby two days a week on “borrowed” ground at the Anderson School new field. The tradition of having Annual School Sports Day was also started in the first year when on 12 July 1957, using the Anderson School field, the school held its first School Sports Day.

The official opening[edit]

On May 14, 1958, the name Malay Secondary School (MSS) gave way to the name “STAR” after the school was officially opened and renamed “Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman” Ipoh, by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Allahyarham Tunku Abd Rahman Putra.

The hope and the aspiration the government placed on the school in helping the Malays were reflected by some of the words of the Yang Dipertuan Agong, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Education in their messages commemorating the day:

“The main object of your school is to impart knowledge more particularly in English and to mold character, and it is imperative that there should be schools of this kind in Malaya, if the Malays, as a race, are to be able to climb the educational ladder and to enter technical colleges and universities.” [4]

Yang Dipertuan Agong, Istana Negara, KL. 26 April 1958.

“The official opening of this residential secondary school is an event of vital importance for all young Malay boys. Coming from kampongs all over the country they will find here every facility for training under the best conditions, providing a firm foundation for their work and study in the years to come……….As Tuanku Abdul Rahman School is the first of its kind, it can be both a spur to the ambitions of the people and an inspiration to all Malays..” [5]

Tunku Abd Rahman, Prime Minister, Fed. Of Malaya. 8 May 1958

“The ceremony today marks a new chapter in the history of Malay education, a milestone for the Malay secondary education, since the first primary Malay residential school was started about fifty years ago (MCKK)……The school, as well as the other Malay Secondary Schools and classes, have been established with the purpose of meeting the wishes and resolution of the Government and the people of independent Federation of Malaya towards raising the standard of Malay education, and through it, to attain further development of the Malay language and the improvement of the living standards of the Malays.” [6]

Mohd Khir Johari, Minister of Education, Federation of Malaya. 10th. May 1958

The opening and renaming of the school was symbolized by the Prime Minister unveiling a brass plaque with the inscription of the school name mounted on a granite boulder placed in the roundabout in front of the main school block. The ceremony was witnessed by the whole school in the presence of many dignitaries including the Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Dato Abd Razak Hussain, Federal Ministers and the Menteri Besar of Perak YAB En Ghazali Jawi. The occasion was celebrated with an exhibition of handiwork put up by the boys, a mass drill and a display by a military band, a soccer match between the young school team and the junior team of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar, and a variety concert.


The motto is "Ilmu Panduan Hidup”, the school colours are red and white, and the school song is “Ilmu Panduan Hidup”.

Hostel and houses[edit]

The boys were accommodated in six hostel blocks. Each hostel is supervised by a teacher-warden who lives in the warden’s flat in the same building. To look after the discipline and the well being of the boys in the hostels, the warden is helped by prefects appointed from the more senior boys.

Each hostel is identified as a “House” named after a colour: Green, Blue, Black, Red, White and Yellow. The house system promotes cooperation and esprit de corp among the boys in the same house and provides competition in games, athletics, and debates.


STAR was Perak state rugby champion for many years, culminating in winning the Mori Trophy in 1968. Many of the players went on to don state and national colors. The rugby's team battlecry of "Cobra tasha, Cobra tasha, shina shina STAR" is the embodiment of the school's spirit.



  • 2 January 1957 - MSS operated from a temporary site (a former British Army Barrack) at Baeza Avenue, Off Ashby Road, Ipoh, Perak with 360 students. The first headmaster of the school was Tuan Hj. Hamdan Bin Sheikh Tahir.
  • 6 January 1958 - the school moved to its present site along Tiger Lane, Ipoh (now Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah).
  • 14 May 1958 - the official opening and renaming of the school by the first Prime Minister of Federation Of Malaya YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
  • The school is now known as Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, named after the first Yang Di Pertuan Agong of the Federation, His Majesty Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
  • 23 September 1958 - royal Visit by the His Majesty Yang Di Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
  • November 1959 - the first batch of students sat the Lower Certificate of Education examination.
  • January 1960 - Form Four classes started.
  • November 1961 - STAR’s first batch of candidates (155) sat for the combined Cambridge Overseas School Certificate/Federation of Malaya Certificate examinations.
  • January 1962 - Form Six Classes started.
  • November 1963 - STAR’s first batch of Upper Six Classes (Arts and Science) sat for the Overseas Higher School Certificate examination.
  • January 1964 - female students were admitted (STAR is a boys’ residential school) to the school joining Lower Six Science class.
  • January 1965 - 13 girls were admitted to the school entering Lower Six classes.


  • 1975 - school stopped the enrolment of pupils into Remove Classes


  • January 1981 - enrolment of first 2nd generation Starian. Alimin Ismadi, the son of Ismail Salleh (second batch) joined Form One.
  • June 1981 - official launch of Kelas Matrikulasi Sains with Universiti Sains Malaysia.
  • 1982 - Silver Jubilee.
  • 15 August 1982 - Hussein Salleh (first batch) returned to the school as Principal.


In 2003, 20 Form Five students were expelled for reviving a negative culture(gangsterism) in the school. The culture is known as The High Council where the group, consisting of seniors (who are active in sports and excel academically, but lack spiritually) would intimidate and force the juniors to obey their rules. It is a structured and organised crime where there were even rituals to appoint their leaders. They even claimed themselves to be the most "powerful organisation in the school" and neglected the power of its school's prefects and teachers. It gained huge criticism throughout the nation and even caused the formation of a specific committee at national-level in combatting this problem.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Notable alumni[edit]

Old Boys Association logo.

The alumni of the school are affiliated to STAROBA, the Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman Old Boys Association. The society is involved in activities like Old Boys Weekend and other sporting events involving alumni of other schools. The President of the association is Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, CEO of PUNB Bhd.

Notable alumni include:


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