Subdivisions of Malaysia
native_name=ڨيرق دار الرّضوان
conventional_long_name=Perak Darul Ridzuan

state_anthem="Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan"

royal_capital=Kuala Kangsar
ruling_party=Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact)
leader_name1=Sultan Azlan Muhibuddin Shah
leader_title2=Menteri Besar
leader_name2=Datuk Seri Ir. Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin
established_event1=Pangkor treaty
established_event2=Federated into FMS
established_event3=Japanese occupation
established_event4=Accession into Federation of Malaya
HDI_category= medium
national_postal_code=30xxx to 36xxx

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 rich 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 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 Sultan of Perak, 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

In the 18th 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

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 Malaysia's Supreme Court.

State Government

* See Also:Breakdown of State Seats Representatives elected 2008"

Following the opposition coalition winning Perak in the General Election in 2008, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of PAS was appointed as the new Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of the state eventually [ [ State PAS secretary made Perak Mentri Besar ] ] , although 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 KeADILan or PAS, which formed the coalition state government with DAP.

tate Anthem

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: 751,825; Area: 1,958 km².
# Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh
# Majlis Daerah Kinta Selatan
# Majlid Daerah Kinta Barat
*Larut, Matang dan Selama (LMS)- Population: 273,321; Area: 2,103 km².
# Majlis Perbandaran Taiping ("administrate central and south-west part of district")
# Majlis Daerah Selama ("administrate north part of district")
*Hilir Perak- Population: 191,098; Area: 1,727 km².
# Majlis Perbandaran Teluk Intan (Majlis Daerah Hilir Perak)
*Manjung- Population: 191,004; Area: 1,168 km².
# Majlis Perbandaran Manjung (Majlis Daerah Manjung)

*Batang Padang- Population:152,137; Area: 2,730 km².
# Majlis Daerah Tapah
# Majlis Daerah Tanjong Malim

*Kerian- Population: 52,651; Area: 938 km².
# Majlis Daerah Kerian
*Kuala Kangsar- Population: 154,048; Area: 2,541 km².
# Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Kangsar (Majlis Daerah Kuala Kangsar)
*Hulu Perak- Population: 82,195; Area: 6,558 km².
# Majlis Daerah Gerik
# Majlis Daerah Pengkalan Hulu
# Malis Daerah Lenggong
*Perak Tengah- Population: 82,103; Area: 1,282 km².
# 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.

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

#Teluk Intan
#Sungai Siput
#Kuala Kangsar
#Batu Gajah
#Tanjung Malim


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%), Non-Citizen (38,345 or 1.87%) [ [ New Page 1 ] ] .


Perak covers an area of 21,006 km², making up 6.4 percent of total land banks in Malaysia. [ Perak Darul Ridzuan in Malaysia : Town & Districts, Geography & Climate, Economy ] ] 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.


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

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 of make it an ideal environment for businesses.



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 48km 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.


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."


* 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

* [ Department of His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak] in handling and managing all the activities of Perak's State Ruler
* [ Perak page on the official portal of the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia]
* [ Collection of Map of Perak]
* [ Wiki Perak in Chinese version]

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