Penang Free School
|Penang Free School|
Penang Free School logo
|Type||All-boys secondary school|
|Motto||Latin: Fortis Atque Fidelis|
(Strong and Faithful)
|Established||21 October 1816|
|Founder||Rev. Robert Sparke Hutchings|
|Principal||Omar bin Abdul Rashid|
|Grades||Forms 1 - 6|
Co-educational (Form 6)
|Number of students||2,000|
|Colour(s)||White and Azure|
Penang Free School, located at Green Lane in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, is the oldest English-medium school in Southeast Asia. Founded in 1816, it is notable for its academic achievements, leading to its inclusion in the Malaysian Ministry of Education's Cluster School and High Performance School systems.
This secondary school has been an all-boys school since its inception, although girls are now admitted for Form 6. In addition, the school is renowned for producing several notable Malaysian and Singaporean personalities, including Tunku Abdul Rahman, P. Ramlee, Wu Lien-teh and Wee Chong Jin; its alumni are known as the 'Old Frees'.
To this day, Penang Free School maintains its historical rivalry with St. Xavier's Institution, another premier school in George Town which also claims the honour of being Malaysia's oldest school.
The establishment of a 'free school' that was open to all ethnicities was first mooted by a committee led by Rev. Robert Sparke Hutchings in 1816. It was initially proposed that a boarding school would be built to provide education and daily care for orphans and the poor, and that the boarding school would consist of two blocks, one for male students and another for girls. Local Asian children would be taught in their mother tongues, while English would only be taught for those who desired it.
Penang Free School came into being on 21 October that year, with William Cox as its first principal, and was originally housed at Love Lane. This was a temporary arrangement, as the new school building at the adjoining Farquhar Street was still under construction. The building, situated next to St. George's Church, was completed in 1821.
By the 1890s, as the school building became overcrowded, a tender was called for the construction of a new wing. The new wing, funded mainly by Chinese philanthropists such as Chung Keng Quee, was completed in 1896. Another wing was also built in 1906. In addition, English was made the standard medium of instruction within the school.
By the 1920s, the building was also reaching its maximum capacity. Therefore, plans were drawn up for the relocation of Penang Free School to a suburban site further inland, while the school premises at Farquhar Street was to be turned into a primary school. In 1928, Penang Free School was officially moved to a 30-acre (12 ha) site at Green Lane, where it remains to this day. The old school building was turned into Hutchings School; today, this particular building houses the Penang State Museum.
In 1958, the then Prime Minister of Malaya and an alumnus of Penang Free School, Tunku Abdul Rahman, opened the school's Form 6 block, making it the first school in northern Malaya to offer secondary education up to Form 6. More school blocks were added over the years, enabling it to switch to a single-session school system by 1992.
List of principals
|1828–1843||John Colson Smith|
|1904–1925||Ralph H. Pinhorn|
|1927–1928||D. R. Swaine|
|1929–1931||D. W. McLeod|
|1931||E. D. l. M. Stowell|
|1931–1933||M. R. Holgate|
|1934–1941||L. W. Arnold|
|1945||Koay Kye Teong|
|1945–1946||N. R. Miller|
|1946–1947||J. N. Davies|
|1950–1951||P. F. Howitt|
|1951–1957||J. E. Tod|
|1957–1963||J. M. B. Hughes|
|1963||Mr. Brian Smith|
|1963–1968||Tan Boon Lin|
|1969–1971||Poon Poh Kong|
|1972–1974||K. G. Yogam|
|1975||Lim Boon Hor|
|1974–1979||Goon Fatt Chee|
|1979||Lim Chin Kee|
|1983–1988||G. Krishna Iyer|
|1988–1993||Goh Hooi Beng|
|1993–2000||Hj. Mohd. Ismail bin Ibramsa|
|2000||Hj. Abdul Rahman bin Salim|
|2001–2004||Arabi bin Sulaiman|
|2005–2006||Hj. Muhammad Yusof bin Omar|
|2006–2012||Hj. Ramli bin Din|
|2012–2016||Jalil bin Saad|
|2016||Omar bin Abdul Rashid|
- Ahmad bin Ibrahim
- Cheah Cheng Hye
- Danny Quah
- Dennis Lee
- Eusoff Abdoolcadeer
- G. Rama Iyer
- Secretary-General of Malaysia's Primary Industries Ministry
- Ismail Merican
- Jomo Kwame Sundaram
- Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
- Lim Chong Eu
- Second Chief Minister of Penang
- Lim Chong Keat
- P. Ramlee
- Film actor, director, singer, songwriter, composer and producer
- King Sirajuddin
- Subramaniam Sathasivam
- Minister of Health (Malaysia), Member of Parliament
- Tan Boon Teik
- Tan Hock Eng
- President & CEO, Broadcom Ltd
- Tan Seang Beng
- Director of Spine Service, Singapore General Hospital
- Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Ismail
- Former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister (Malaysia)
- Tunku Abdul Rahman
- Wee Chong Jin
- Wu Lien-teh
- Medical doctor and nominee for the Nobel Prize in Medicine 1935
- Yeoh Ghim Seng
- Longest-serving Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore (1970–1989)
- "School History" (PDF). Penang Free School.
- "Penang Free School retains its name, officially". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Mixed reaction to flexible dress code for Sixth Formers - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Penang Free School celebrates 200 years". 22 October 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "The Old Frees' Association Website". ofa.my. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Penang Free School has a long history with St Xavier's Institution - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Penang Free School and producing the Anglophile". NST Online. 27 September 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Principals and Prominent Teachers" (PDF). Penang Free School.
- Langdon, Marcus (2014). A Guide to George Town's Historic Commercial and Civic Precincts. George Town: George Town World Heritage incorporated.
- "History of PFS". Historical Society Penang Free School. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- Hughes, J.M.B. '"The White Crocodile's Tale: My Memoirs", George Town, Penang: Areca Books. (2014). ISBN 9789675719127
- "Our Chairman's Message|Value Partners". Value Partners. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- "QUAH, Danny 柯成兴". lkyspp.nus.edu.sg. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- hermes (16 October 2016). "Penang Free School marks 200th anniversary". The Straits Times. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- "Sorry no cure for '88 crisis". Malaysian Bar.
- "Leaving a legacy - Health | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- "The case for English-medium schools - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 4 May 2017.