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—  State  —
Perak Darul Ridzuan


Coat of arms
Anthem: Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan
Location of Perak
Coordinates: 4°45′N 101°0′E / 4.75°N 101°E / 4.75; 101Coordinates: 4°45′N 101°0′E / 4.75°N 101°E / 4.75; 101
Capital Ipoh
Royal capital Kuala Kangsar
 - Ruling party Barisan Nasional
 - Sultan Sultan Azlan Shah
 - Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir
 - Total 21,006 km2 (8,110.5 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.)
 - Total 2,393,000
 Density 113.9/km2 (295.1/sq mi)
Human Development Index
 - HDI (2003) 0.790 (medium)
Postal code 30xxx to 36xxx
Calling code 05
Vehicle registration A
Pangkor treaty 1874
Federated into FMS 1895
Japanese occupation 1942
Accession into Federation of Malaya 1948

Perak is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. It is the second largest state in Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor southward and to the west by the Strait of Malacca.

Perak means silver in Malay. The name comes most probably from the silvery colour of tin. In the 1890s, Perak, with the richest alluvial deposits of tin in the world was one of the jewels in the crown of the British Empire. However, some say the name comes from the "glimmer of fish in the water" that sparkled like silver. The Arab honorific of the State is Darul Ridzuan, the Land of Grace.

Ipoh, the state capital of Perak, is known historically for its tin-mining activities until the drop of tin price, which has severely affected the state economy. The royal capital, however, is set in Kuala Kangsar, where the palace of the Sultan of Perak is located.



Legends tell of a Hindu-Malay kingdom called Gangga Negara in the northwest of Perak. Archaeological discoveries indicate that Perak has been inhabited since prehistoric times.

The modern history of Perak began with the fall of the Malacca Sultanate. The eldest son of the last Sultan of Melaka (Sultan Mahmud Shah), Raja Muzaffar Shah, fleeing the Portuguese conquest of 1511, established his own dynasty on the banks of the Sungai Perak (Perak River) in 1528. As the Perak area was extremely rich in tin, it was under almost continuous threat from outsiders.

Dutch colonialism

The ruins of the Dutch Fort on Pangkor Island

The Dutch unsuccessfully attempted to monopolize the tin trade in the 17th century, and built forts at the mouth of the Perak River and on Pulau Pangkor.

Early history of the Dutch arrival in Perak began in 1641, when they captured the Straits of Malacca by taking control of tin-ore and spice trading. The Dutch attempted to monopolise the tin-ore tradings in Perak by influencing Sultan Muzaffar Syah, the Sultak, but did not succeed. They then turned to Sultanah Tajul Alam Safiatuddin, the Sultan of Aceh, to seek permission to trade in Perak. The event compelled the Sultan of Perak to sign the treaty, allowing the Dutch to build their plant in Kuala Perak on August 15, 1650, which caused dissatisfaction among the aristocracy of Perak.

In 1651, Temenggung and the people of Perak attacked and destroyed the Dutch plant. The Dutch were forced to leave their base in Perak.

In 1655, the Dutch sent a representative to Perak to renew the agreement made earlier and to seek compensation for the loss of their plant. Perak however did not honour the treaty and was thus surrounded by the Dutch. In retaliation, the people of Perak with Aceh, Ujung Salang, launched a surprise attack on the Dutch.

In 1670, the Dutch returned to Perak to build Kota Kayu, now known as Kota Belanda ("Dutch Fortress"), on Pangkor Island.

Perak agreed to the construction because of news that the Kingdom of Siam would be attacking the state. Nevertheless, in 1685, once again Perak attacked the Dutch on Pangkor Island and forced them to retreat and shut down their headquarters. The Dutch attempted to negotiate for a new treaty but failed.

British colonialism

Sultan Abdullah of Perak

In the 19th century, the Bugis, Acehnese, and the Thai all attempted to invade Perak. Only British intervention in 1820 prevented Siam from annexing Perak. Although the British were initially reluctant to establish a colonial presence in Malaya, increasing investment in the tin mines brought a great influx of Chinese immigrants, who formed rival clan groups allied with Malay chiefs and local gangsters, all of whom battled to control the mines. The Perak sultanate, involved in a protracted succession struggle, was unable to maintain order.

In her book The Golden Chersonese and The Way Thither (published 1892 G.P. Putnam's Sons) Victorian traveller and adventuress Isabella Lucy Bird (1831-1904) describes how Raja Muda Abdullah (as he then was) turned to his friend in Singapore, Tan Kim Ching. Tan, together with an English merchant in Singapore drafted a letter to Governor Sir Andrew Clarke which Abdullah signed. The letter expressed Abdullah's desire to place Perak under British protection, and "to have a man of sufficient abilities to show (him) a good system of government." In 1874, the Straits Settlements governor Sir Andrew Clarke convened a meeting on Pulau Pangkor, at which Sultan Abdullah was installed on the throne of Perak in preference to his rival, Sultan Ismail. This Pangkor Treaty also required that the sultan accept a British Resident, who would control all administrative issues other than those pertaining to religion or Malay custom. In 1875, various Perak chiefs assassinated the British Resident James W.W. Birch, resulting in the short-lived Perak War of 1876. Sultan Abdullah was exiled to the Seychelles, and the British installed a new ruler. The new resident, Sir Hugh Low, was well versed in the Malay language and customs, and proved to be a more capable administrator. He also introduced the first rubber trees to Malaya.

In 1896, Perak joined Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang to form the Federated Malay States. However, the British Resident system lasted until Perak became part of the Federation of Malaya in 1948.

Perak gained independence from the British on August 31, 1957 along with 10 other states in the Federation of Malaya. The federation was enlarged to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963 following the admission of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965.


Constitutional monarchy

Royal throne of Perak

Under the laws of the Constitution of Perak, Perak is a constitutional monarchy, with a ceremonial hereditary ruler. The current Sultan of Perak is Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-Lahu, who was the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and formerly the Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia.

Constitution of Perak

Standing Order of the Legislative Assembly (Sabah) - as reference

State Government

Following the opposition coalition winning Perak in the 2008 general election, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) was appointed as the new Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of the state eventually[1], although the Democratic Action Party (DAP) won the most seats compared to other opposition parties. The Menteri Besar did not come from the Chinese-based party as the State Constitution states that the Chief Minister must be a Muslim, unless the Sultan specially appoints a non-Muslim Chief Minister. As DAP does not have any Muslim assemblymen, if the Sultan insists that the Chief Minister must be a Muslim, then the assemblymen would have to come from either Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or PAS, which formed the coalition state government with DAP. On February 3, 2009, Barisan Nasional, the national ruling party, gained control over the state government, after the defections of three Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen.[2] However, several cases have been filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court challenging the validity of the new Barisan Nasional government, causing a constitutional crisis. Adding to this crisis is the fact that the Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar has refused to resign and states that he is still the legal Menteri Besar until he is removed through vote of no confidence or snap election.

Districts of Perak

State Anthem

Malay English translation
Dilanjutkan Allah usianya Sultan

Adil dan murah memerintah watan
Ditaati rakyat kiri dan kanan
Iman yang soleh Allah kurniakan
Allah berkati Perak Darul Ridzuan
Allah selamatkan Negeri dan Sultan

Allah, grant the Sultan a long life
Just and gracious, ruling the homeland
Obeyed by the people left and right
Allah endow the righteous faith
Sanctify Perak Darul Ridzuan, O Allah
Salvage the State and Sultan, O Allah

Administrative divisions

Modern Perak is divided into 9 administrative districts or "daerah" in Malay. These 9 districts, are further divided into administrative Municipal councils (Majlis Bandaraya/Perbandaran and Daerah):

  • Kinta- Population: 751,826; Area: 1,958 km².:
  1. Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh
  2. Majlis Daerah Kinta Selatan
  3. Majlid Daerah Kinta Barat
  1. Majlis Perbandaran Taiping (administrate central and south-west part of district)
  2. Majlis Daerah Selama (administrate north part of district)
  1. Majlis Perbandaran Teluk Intan (Majlis Daerah Hilir Perak)
  • Manjung- Population: 191,004; Area: 1,168 km².
  1. Majlis Perbandaran Manjung (Majlis Daerah Manjung)
  1. Majlis Daerah Tapah
  2. Majlis Daerah Tanjong Malim
  • Kerian- Population: 52,651; Area: 938 km².
  1. Majlis Daerah Kerian
  1. Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Kangsar (Majlis Daerah Kuala Kangsar)
The town of Lenggong, in Hulu Perak District.
  • Hulu Perak- Population: 82,195; Area: 6,558 km².
  1. Majlis Daerah Gerik
  2. Majlis Daerah Pengkalan Hulu
  3. Malis Daerah Lenggong
  1. Majlis Daerah Perak Tengah

Please note that the districts of Kerian and Larut, Matang dan Selama have been wrongly labelled in the map on the right. Both districts are in the northwest corner of the state. Kerian district is in the west and Larut, Matang dan Selama is in the east.

Ranking Population Perak.

Rank Districts Population 2009
1 Kinta 846,300
2 Larut & Matang 320,100
3 Manjung 247,200
4 Hilir Perak 220,400
5 Kerian 184,500
6 Batang Padang 183,200
7 Kuala Kangsar 169,800
8 Perak Tengah 111,900
9 Hulu Perak 109,700

These districts eventually are divided into several Mukims or Counties which are more politically significant.The main cities and towns in Perak are:

  1. Ipoh
  2. Taiping
  3. Teluk Intan
  4. Sungai Siput
  5. Kuala Kangsar
  6. Lumut
  7. Batu Gajah
  8. Tanjung Malim

Perak constitutional crisis

In February 2009, Barisan Nasional retook Perak State Assembly from the Pakatan Rakyat government, after the defections of Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), Jamaluddin Mohd. Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd. Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) to Barisan Nasional as independent assemblymen. The Sultan of Perak dismissed the Pakatan Rakyat government but refused to dissolve the state assembly and thus trigger new elections. Amid multiple protests, lawsuits and arrests, a new Barisan Nasional-led State Assembly was sworn in on May 7, but the takeover was ruled illegal by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on on May 11, 2009, restoring power to the Pakatan Rakyat.[3] However on May 22, 2009, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's decision and returned power back to the Barisan Nasional.


Perak's population is now approximately 2 million. Once Malaysia's most populous state, Perak has yet to recover from an economic slowdown caused by the decline in the tin mining industry. The weak economy has led to a massive drain in manpower to higher-growth states such as Penang, Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

The ethnic composition of the population was estimated in 2001 to be:

  • Malay (1,101,105 or 53.68%)
  • Chinese (643,129 or 31.35%)
  • Indian (262,121 or 12.78%)
  • Other (6,536 or 0.32% haveThai 2,080)
  • Non-Citizen (38,345 or 1.87%)[4].


Perak covers an area of 21,006 km², making up 6.4 percent of total land banks in Malaysia.[5] It is the second largest Malaysian state in the Malay Peninsula, and the fourth in the whole of Malaysia.

Perak's days are warm and sunny, while its nights are cool the whole year through, with occasional rains in the evenings. Temperature is fairly constant, that is, from 23°C to 33°C, with humidity often more than 82.3 percent. Annual rainfall measures at 3,218 mm.[5]


Perak became prominent when Long Jaafar discovered tin in Larut, Taiping, which became a boost for the state's economy.[5]

Before recession hit the economies of countries and states world wide, Perak was one of Malaysia's wealthiest. But the 1980s saw the collapse of the tin industry, crippling Perak’s economy. Prices plummeted and once lucrative mines were forced to close.

This, in turn, forced the Perak State Government to make a firm decision to diversify the economy's base towards the more value added, resource-linked manufacturing. The mid-1980s saw a large influx of electronics SMEs from Taiwan to Silibin and Jelapang industrial estates, but by 1990s, they have relocated to lower cost China. A new car manufacturing hub called Proton City at Tanjung Malim has been developed with the establishment of state-of-the-art car manufacturing facilities. The Proton City at Tanjung Malim has become the largest manufacturer of Proton cars (Malaysia's national car maker).

Agriculture is also one of Perak’s main industries, especially those concerning rubber, coconut and palm oil. Tourism is fast catching on as more and more people discover Perak’s hidden gems in the form of natural attractions and cultural sights.

While the economy is growing through the industrial sector, Perak's sound infrastructure and world class facilities make it an ideal environment for businesses.[5]



The railway service is undergoing major upgrading with the advent of electrified trains running on double tracks from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Ipoh Railway Station is an imposing structure in the city centre. Built in the Moorish style, this white structure, nicknamed the Taj Mahal of Ipoh, was completed in 1935 to replace the original railway platform shed built in 1917. The Ipoh Railway Station is said to be the second most beautiful railway station in Malaysia after the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. It is located on Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab.


There are several places of interests in Perak, such as its state capital, Ipoh, legendary for their silky noodles in soup called 'Sar Hor Fun' and Hainanese chicken rice. Tambun pomelos are another attraction to locals from other states.

Kuala Kangsar, just 48 km north of Ipoh on the Perak River, is the royal town of Perak. It is dominated by three buildings: Istana Iskandariah, Istana Kenangan and the Ubudiah Mosque. The Istana Iskandariah, located on a hill overlooking the river, is the palace of the Sultan of Perak. Istana Kenangan, which was constructed as a temporary residence during the Iskandariah's construction is known for its beautiful architecture. The Ubudiah Mosque is an impressive structure topped with a constellation of bright golden domes.

Kellie's Castle is located in Batu Gajah. It was built in 1915 and was never completed as the owner William Kellie Smith returned to England and died there. Many believe the castle is haunted, having many secret rooms and even a hidden tunnel. Today, it is opened as a tourist attraction.

Accessible from Lumut, the Pangkor Island holds a mix of quaint fishing settlements and white beaches decked with rich vegetation. The warm waters are perfect for swimming and diving while the atmosphere is simply relaxing. Many resorts are available for accommodation on this popular island.

A beautiful white water rafting location in Perak is at My Gopeng Resort (Gopeng). Many are here to do white water rafting (Grade 3), waterfall abseiling, rafflesia's flower trekking, jungle trekking and many others adventurous packages in Perak.


Lemang, a Malay delicacy made from glutinous rice cooked in a bamboo tube over slow fire is a must-have during the festivities such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji, especially along with some rendang (Malay for meat curry in coconut milk and spices). Some say lemang originated from the indigenous people who cook their rice using bamboo.

Tempoyak is another popular Malay delicacy. It is durian extract which is preserved and kept in an urn. Commonly eaten with chillies and other dishes, it is well known due to the popularity of its key ingredient, durian, among the locals.

See also: Ipoh cuisine.

Image gallery


  • Isabella Lucy Bird. The Golden Chersonese and The Way Thither. (1892). G.P. Putnam's Sons.
  • Barbara Watson Andaya. Perak, the Abode of Grace. (1979). East Asian Historical Monographs. ISBN 978-0195803853
  • John Frederick Adolphus McNair. Perak and the Malays. (1878). Cornell University Library. ISBN 978-1429743129
  • Raja Bilah and the Mandailings in Perak: 1875-1911. MBRAS Monograph Series, No. 35. (2003). ISBN 9679948315


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Perak [1], the fourth largest of Malaysia's thirteen states after Sarawak, Sabah and Pahang, is situated on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Its capital is the town of Ipoh (population: half a million).

There are several tourist destinations of moderate interest within the state, but the main tourist destination would probably be Pangkor Island, about 85km from Ipoh, and Ipoh itself because of its great food.

Map of Perak in Malaysia
Map of Perak in Malaysia
  • Ipoh - the capital city of the Perak state, known for its great food, tin mines and limestone mountains and caves.
  • Kampar
  • Teluk Intan - a town famous for its pagoda-style leaning tower and unique steamed Chinese rice rolls (Chu-cheong-fun). It is home to a derelict palace that used to house the Raja Dihilir of Perak. Rumours abound about the palace being haunted, especially since it is in the vicinity of Muslim and Chinese cemeteries and is located right next to a Christian burial ground. Trespassing the palace grounds is prohibited and it is unknown whether ghost hunters have successfully been there.
  • Taiping - a quiet pensioner's paradise with century-old trees lining its roads. Attractions include a large park around the famous Taiping lake and the nearby Taiping Zoo.
  • Kuala Kangsar - the official royal town of Perak, it is home to the Raja Muda and Sultan of Perak (as of 2006).
  • Pasir Salak - a small but historic town in Perak which houses a museum detailing the struggle against colonialists in Perak.
  • Langkap
  • Lumut - a town by the sea home to the famous Outward Bound School. It is close to the town of Sitiawan, famous for its fresh and cheap seafood and Chinese-Foochow cuisine and also Teluk Batik, a beach on the coast of the Malacca Strait. Ferries to Pangkor Island depart from Lumut.
  • Pangkor - a popular west coast island. Beautiful beaches, small fishing villages.
  • Bukit Merah - an eco-tourism destination that houses a theme park, eco park and the country's only orang-utan island.
  • Kellie's Castle, Batu Gajah - Known as the 'Taj Mahal' of Perak, the castle, located a short drive from Ipoh, was built by the Scottish planter William Kellie Smith as a sign of love for his wife. The construction of the castle was never completed and it has since been shrouded in mystery and romantic stories of love and tragedy.


There are many limestone hills in the central part of the state (such as between Ipoh and Chemor to the north, and Ipoh to Gopeng in the south), and most of them contain caves. Many of these hills have Chinese temples (called tong) or Hindu temples, many are built into the caves. Drive through the state and look at this beautiful scenery, and visit one or more of the caves. If you're staying in Ipoh, you can take a medium-distance bus to a cave.

If you have occasion to travel to the east coast from Perak, make sure to take the East-West Highway from Grik to Tanah Merah, Kelantan. The scenery of mountains topped by virgin jungle is gorgeous.


Most people would choose to hang out at the beaches like in Lumut, visit the Menara Condong in Teluk Intan or just go to the museums, or even go visit the guas. The best place to 'lepak' that I recommend would be IPOH PARADE on Friday afternoons and JUSCO during the weekends.

What is cool about Ipoh is that the clubs keep increasing and keep making it more of a place of entertainment. It is almost like a replica of Kuala Lumpur but more culture.


there's another place famous for its fresh seafood, in Tanjung Tualang, an hour drive from Ipoh town. Fresh water prawns are a speciality, the price is reasonable. And a must try drink is ice blended Sarsi with wheatgrass! It goes very well with seafood during a sunny day especially. Another local drink is ais lengkong kuning which is a mix of yellow jelly, lime, sugar and water.

Another famous food would be 'kai shi hor fun', which is located in Old Town, Ipoh. Has been through many generations of that family.

If you're looking for amazing seafood dishes, you should probably drive to Sitiawan for fresh seafood.

If you're looking for amazing and classy Chinese food, there is restaurant called Restaurant Overseas. It is pretty costly but it is worth it. The best investment for your tummy and your satisfaction.


Accommodation varies from cheap old hotels through to five-star hotels and exclusive villas.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also perak


Proper noun




  1. State in western Malaysia which has Ipoh as its capital.

Simple English

The Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort Clubhouse in Batu Gajah, Perak.

Perak is a state in Malaysia that is located on the western part of Peninsular Malaysia. The capital city of Perak is Ipoh.[1]


Other websites

States and Federal Territories of Malaysia
States: Johor | Kedah | Kelantan | Malacca | Negeri Sembilan | Pahang | Perak | Perlis | Penang | Sabah | Sarawak | Selangor | Terengganu
Federal Territories: Kuala Lumpur | Labuan | Putrajaya

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