Malay College Kuala Kangsar

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The Malay College Kuala Kangsar
(Malay) Kolej Melayu Kuala Kangsar
(Jawi)كوليج ملايو كوالا كڠسر
The Malay College Emblem.png
Fiat Sapientia Virtus (Let Manliness Come Through Wisdom)
Kuala Kangsar, Perak
Type Public all-boys boarding school
Established (1905-01-02) January 2, 1905 (age 110)
Founder Sultan Idris (Perak)
Sultan Sulaiman (Selangor)
Sultan Ahmad (Pahang)
Yang di-Pertuan Besar Mohd Shah (Negeri Sembilan)
School district Kuala Kangsar
Principal Mr. Anand bin Baharuddin
Grades Form 1–Form 5
Number of students 650
Classes (Lower form) Cemerlang, Unggul , Bijaksana, Sejahtera - (Upper form) Science 1-5,Social Science
Medium of language Malay, English
Colour(s)                  Yellow, red, black, white
Yearbook The Malay College Magazine
Affiliations Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, Ministry of Education (Malaysia)
The Overfloor with the Big Tree on its left

The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (Malay: Kolej Melayu Kuala Kangsar, abbreviated as Malay College, MCKK,MC or Kolet, Koleq and sometimes dubbed "the Eton of the East",[1] other than Mayo College) is a premier residential school in Malaysia. It is an all-boys and all-Malay school in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak.The school is one of the only two boarding school in Malaysia (the other is SAS) that are under the royal patronage. Its royal patronage is the Conference of Rulers. It was awarded Cluster School of Excellence title by the Ministry of Education (Malaysia). In 2010,the school was awarded with the Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi or High Performance School[2] title, a title awarded to the 20 schools in Malaysia that have met stringent criteria including academic achievement, strength of alumni, international recognition, network and linkages. The school is specialized in rugby and basketball.[3]


Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) is the first fully residential school in Malaysia. Established on 2 January 1905, it was originally known as the Malay Residential School of Kuala Kangsar.

The school was the brainchild of R J Wilkinson, inspector of schools for the Federated Malay States. In a letter to the resident-general dated 24 February 1904 he wrote about "establishing at a suitable locality in the F.M.S., a special residential school for the education of Malays of good family and for the training of Malay boys for admission to certain branches of Government service".

Its formation was supported by the rulers of the Federated Malay States: Sultan Idris Murshidul ‘Adzam Shah I of Perak, Sultan Alaiddin Sulaiman Shah of Selangor, Yam Tuan Tuanku Muhammad Shah of Negeri Sembilan and Sultan Ahmad Mu’adzam Shah of Pahang.

W Hargreaves, headmaster of Penang Free School, was appointed as the first headmaster to lead the establishment of the school with 40 pioneering students. Since 1965, the Malay College has been led by Malay headmasters.

As it was founded to educate the Malay elite, being royal children and the sons of Malay nobility, few of its early students were from commoner families. However, during Tun Abdul Razak Hussein tenure as Minister of Education in 1947,as a result of rising Malay nationalism, he democratized the intake. This is mainly because of his experience as an alumni there, where he found out the aristocrats that gained admittance to this college were mainly below par compared to their less-privileged peers in Victoria Institution and Raffles Institution. Their status as aristocrats had caused them to not be independent and to have no willingness to strive for a better future.[4] Today, only selected Malay boys aged 12 to 17 from around Malaysia are educated there.

Some of the notable teachers there were Pendeta Za'Ba and Anthony Burgess.[5]

The Straits Echo on 15 April 1905 reported that a few boys were placed in cozy dormitories in Hargreaves’ rented house, while the others were stabled in small houses formerly occupied by the Malayan Railway clerks. The second half of the school, conducted by Mr Vanrenen was held in a fowl house. There were 40 boys in the first intake.

The sanction for the building of a permanent school became official on 23 December 1905; by 1 May 1909, the Big School was first brought into use. On Saturday, 11 December 1909, the Big School was officially opened by the Sultan of Perak, and the auspicious date also marked the change in the name of the school from the Malay Residential School of Kuala Kangsar to the Malay College of Kuala Kangsar.[6]

The change seems to have seen greater emphasis on the original aim of MCKK. A report from 1910 said: "From this school the Government have great hopes that the sons of Malays of the Raja and higher class will be educated and trained on the lines of an English Public School and be fitted to take a share in the Government of their Country".

Since its inception, more than 5,000 boys (and 2 girls) have entered the gates of MCKK. The first Malay College Magazine was published in 1939. The compulsory white uniforms were introduced in 1949, before that, the students wore Malay dress.The Kolet samping designed and woven in Terengganu consisting of black, yellow and red (with resultant overlapping colours) was introduced in 1939 to be worn with white Malay baju & seluar and black kopiah was made the optional Malay uniform. It was only made compulsory in 1959 by the last British Headmaster, NJ Ryan. With the introduction of Squash in 1938, Eton Fives began to lose popularity.

The Headmaster changed the names of the 3 Houses (Rookies, Heads and Wheelies) to the four names of FMS Rulers in 1905. He was the same Headmaster who personally raised the UMNO flag on Federation Day, 01,02,1948, when the Kolet boys assembled to celebrate the demise of the Malayan Union and to sing the "new Malay National Anthem" as described by Hashim Sam Latiff. Kolet adopt (& perhaps adapt) that tune to be the MCKK Anthem using the words in the Ode to the MCKK penned by teacher-cum-poet/writer/composer Anthony Burgess. His words, turned into lyrics for the anthem, manifests the meaning of Fiat Sapientia Virtus.

In October 1989, the Queen and Prince Phillip visited the school.[7]

In 2004, the college was made under purview of the rulers with Raja Dr Nazrin Shah was appointed as board chairman.[8]

The college celebrated its centenary on 26 March 2005, attended by dignitaries, old boys, and townspeople. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia attended the event, along with the royal rulers of the states of Perak, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan as well as the governor of Malacca.The college were also proclaimed as the Heritage Institution of Culture and Country.[9]

On 10 June 2006, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan visited the school. The monarchs had promised to visit the school in the 1990s.[10]

Since 30 May 2007, the Malaysian Ministry of Education has recognized MCKK as a cluster school.[11][12]

In 2010, the school have been selected to be among the first High Performing Schools (Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi) while in 2013, the Prep School celebrated its centenary.[13]

MCKK has also hosted 2 international events, which are The Malay College Youth Development Summit[14] since 2008 until now, and The Malay College Rugby Premier Sevens since 2011.[15] Both events consist of international schools across the globe such as India, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.


The Clock Tower. The tower and the administration block was opened by the High Commissioner for the Federation of Malaya, Donald MacGillivray, in 1955.

The most recognizable feature of the school is the Big School (built in 1909), a building with pseudo Greco-Roman architecture fronted by a rugby field. The school is built to accommodate 100 students initially, but in 1910, there were 139 boys in the School Register, 124 of them boarders. Thus, the planning for the construction of the Preparatory School was considered and it was referred to as the Sekolah Kechil.The block was completed by 1913 when it took in its first boarders. It was then referred to as the Prep school.It admitted boys who had completed Standard 4 and were being "prepared" for secondary school boarding experience by completing their Standard 5 and Form Remove at the Prep School.[16] In 1955, the West and East Wing, as well as the Administration Block and Clocktower were added. The Administrative Block was opened by High Commissioner for the Federation of Malaya, Donald MacGillivray, in 1955. The West and the East Wing, with the Overfloor, make up what is now called the Big School. Two more hostel blocks, the Pavilion and New Hostel were built in 1963 and 1972 respectively; the latter houses second formers. Another prominent feature of the school is the Big Tree, a raintree (Samanea saman) in front of the East Wing that is said to be as old as the school itself.

Tuesday Activities[edit]

Usually every Tuesday,co-curricular activities are held. There are two types of co-curricular activities which are club & societies and uniformed bodies. It doesn't matter what activities are on that day, every student has to wear their uniformed body uniforms. The uniformed bodies that are present in the school is Malay College Band, Persatuan Kadet Bersatu Malaysia, Malaysian Red Crescent Society (PBSM), Scout, Malaysian Fire Brigade Cadet and Kadet Remaja Sekolah Malaysia.


The school has three fields. One is in front of the Big School, reserved for rugby, soccer and cricket. The second field is southeast of the Big School and it hosts field hockey games. The third open space is in the Administration Block and it is used for various purposes.

The college ground is the only place in Malaysia where an Eton Fives court is found. The students neither use the court nor do they play the game nowadays, however.

The school excels in sports and debate. It became a powerhouse in rugby during the 1960s and still has one of the best rugby school teams in the nation.[17] Nicknamed "All-Blacks" after the New Zealand national team for its all black strip, they perform the haka before matches. It has held a match series against the Vajiravudh College of Thailand since 1960. In odd-numbered years, the match is held in Kuala Kangsar. In even-numbered years, it is held in Bangkok. In addition to this, MCKK competes with rival Royal Military College and King Edward VII School, Taiping every year in a multi-games carnival.

The school basketball team is called as CG CAGERS.[18][19]

Coat of arms[edit]

The shield is quartered, coloured white (argent) in the first quarter, red (gules) in the second, black (sable) in the third and yellow (or) in the fourth.

The colors represent the four houses into which the students are grouped: Idris (white), Sulaiman (red), Mohd Shah (yellow) and Ahmad (black).

From a time gap between 1947 till 2012, Mohd Shah have the most wins for Best House with winning rate of 32%, followed with Sulaiman (26%), Ahmad (24%) and Idris (18%).[20]

In the middle of the shield is a red kris, a traditional Malay dagger. On top of the crest is a head of a tiger which is the symbol of the Federation of Malaya. Surrounding the left and right side of the shield are laurel wreaths symbolizing excellence. The school motto is Fiat Sapientia Virtus, which is Latin for "Power Through Wisdom".


MCKK have a long held rivalry with other premier school which are Royal Military College, King Edward VII School, English College Johore Bahru, Victoria Institution and its neighbor, Clifford Secondary School. However, its most prominent rival is Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman.[21][22][23]


In 2003, 8 students were expelled from school on account of the notable "Kes Parang". The students had reputedly been threatening three wardens using parang. The seriousness of this case prompted the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohammad to address the Parliament regarding the matter.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36] This was not the first emergence of a culture of gangsterism in the college. In 1992, 17 students were expelled on similar grounds.[37]

Notable alumni[edit]

Old Boys Association logo.

The alumni association of MCKK is known as the Malay College Old Boys' Association (MCOBA) and it was established in 1929. In 2009, the association enroll its first non-Malay member, Liew Yong Choon.[38]

To this date, seven Yang di-Pertuan Agong out of thirteen that have resided the throne were its alumnus (including a Lord President of the Supreme Court) and a Sultan of Brunei. Out of the four states that have Yang di-Pertua Negeri, two states have had at least one alumnus reside in office.The father of Malay nationalism and the founder of Malaysia's largest party is also an alumni. A Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister (who later on become Leader of the Opposition) received their education in the college. The college also have produced two Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat. The college's Old Boys also gain their presence in economy, education, law, armed forces and art.[39]

The novelist and composer Anthony Burgess (1917–93), author of The Long Day Wanes: A Malayan Trilogy, was a master at MCKK. He taught English and history and was housemaster at King's Pavilion, between 1956 and 1957, during the headmastership of J.D.R. "Jimmy" Howell.[40] According to Burgess' This Man & Music, he wrote some music there under the influence of the country, notably Sinfoni Melayu for orchestra and brass band, which included cries of Merdeka (independence) from the audience. No score of any, however, has been delivered to posterity.[41] The "Ode: Celebration for a Malay College", Burgess had written for the college's 50th anniversary in 1955, "was swiftly expunged from the school's choral repertoire", when "within months ... he had to leave the school after falling out with the headmaster, JD Howell. The following year Burgess published his first novel, Time for a Tiger. A thinly veiled account of his time at Kuala Kangsar, it so cruelly caricatured Howell and his colleagues that, as Burgess recalled in his autobiography, some of those who deemed themselves traduced 'sought advice about libel' from a local lawyer. The verses of the Ode have survived but not Burgess' original melody.[42]

The alumni association is based in the Penthouse of the MCOBA building in Kuala Lumpur.


  • 1905–1918: William Hargreaves
  • 1918–1919: J.O. May
  • 1919–1923: L.A.S. Jermyn
  • 1923–1938: C. Bazell
  • 1938–1949: H.R. Carey
  • 1949–1953: K.D. Luke
  • 1953–1958: J.D.R. Howell
  • 1958–1959: P.G. Haig
  • 1959–1965: N.J. Ryan
  • 1965–1969: Dato' Abdul Aziz Ismail
  • 1970–1971: Syed Abu Bakar Barakbah
  • 1971–1972: Dato' Mohd. Ghazali Hj. Hanafiah
  • 1973–1975: Nordin Nasir
  • 1975–1977: Dato' Abdul Rahman Mohd. Ali
  • 1977–1982: Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Hamzah
  • 1982–1983: Syed Alwi Syed Aljunid
  • 1983–1987: Zainal Abidin Hj. Ahmad
  • 1988–1992: Dato' Rashdi Ramlan
  • 1992–1995: Dato' Hj. Hassan Hashim
  • 1995–1999: Datuk Hj. Baharom Kamari
  • 1999–2003: Tan Sri Dato' Hj. Alimuddin Hj. Mohd. Dom
  • 2004–2010: Dato' Mohd Rauhi Mohd Isa
  • 2010–present: Anand bin Baharuddin


  1. ^ "MyNewsHub | RPK: What Happened In Those 100 Years?". 29 June 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Chapman, Karen (26 January 2010). "Archives | The Star Online". Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
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  6. ^ Oleh Mohd. Azli Adlan. "Kosmo! Online - Rencana Utama". Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
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  10. ^ "Malaysian National News Agency". Bernama. 10 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Catatan Hazmir: MCKK antara 30 sekolah kluster". 29 March 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Hassan, Sharifah (7 March 2010). "Secangkir Kopi: ARKIB : 08/07/2007 : Lonjak MCKK lebih cemerlang". Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
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  15. ^ "Regaining MCKK's lost glories not an easy task - Other - New Straits Times". 23 February 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "I was a student at MCKK Prep School - General - New Straits Times". 23 June 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
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  18. ^ "MCKK Johan Pertandingan Bola Keranjang HKSBP 2012". 14 June 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "The all-Malay basketball team was a crowd favourite". Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Foto's van Sarly Adre Sarkum - Sarly Adre Sarkum". Facebook. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
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  40. ^ sakmongkol AK47 (15 June 2009). "SAKMONGKOL AK47: The Life and Times of Dato Mokhtar bin Dato Sir Mahmud". Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  41. ^ [2][dead link]
  42. ^ "Unveiled: Work by Anthony Burgess suppressed for years; The exclusive Malaysian school where the author taught finally allows his ode to be performed," by Sholto Byrnes, Independent (London), 5 December 2010
  • Johan, Khasnor. Educating The Malay Elite: The Malay College Kuala Kangsar, 1905-1941. Pustaka Antara. Malay College Old Boys Association. The Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. ISBN 967-937-356-8
  • Johan, Khasnor. Leadership But What's Next? ISBN 983-3318-52-5
  • Paridah Abd. Samad (2009). Datuk Seri Najib: A Long Political Journey. From The Golden Boy of Malaysian Politics to Malaysia's Sixth Prime Minister. Partisan Publication & Distribution. ISBN 978-983-99417-4-6

Further reading[edit]

  • Neil J Ryan. The Last Expatriate: Reminiscences of an educationalist in Malaysia. Utusan Publications & Distributors Sdn. Bhd. ISBN 967-61-1730-7
  • Nik Ismail Nik Daud. Arbain Kadri. Prosiding Simposium MCOBA 1. 3 December 1989.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 4°46′34.04″N 100°56′17.41″E / 4.7761222°N 100.9381694°E / 4.7761222; 100.9381694