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Malay College, Kuala Kangsar (1909)

The first (non religion-affiliated) Residential School for the Malays, exclusive for boys of noble births was built on land bestowed by Sultan Idris of Perak. The school was the brainchild of F.M.S School Inspector Richard James Wilkinson upon earlier insistence by Sultan Idris. Its first headmaster was William Hargreaves, the former headmaster of Penang Free School. The school was briefly referred to as Malay Residential School before it opened.

Hubback’s Official Post/Role: Federal P.W.D Assistant Architect A.B Hubback A.R.I.B.A

Year Designed: 1906.

Official Opening: 11 December 1909 (with a group of 71 students).

Sir William Treacher referred to a new era in the history of the progress of the Malays in the F.M.S and wrote ‘the keystone is the Malay boarding school’.

Architectural Style: Neo Classical inspired by Graeco-Roman architecture of columned porticos

Brief Architectural Description: Pleasing façade of white plaster and face brick treatment. Described as the handsomest and roomiest school in the FMS, with an extensive playground and the largest building in Kuala Kangsar when built.


Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah, Sultan Perak

Sultan Alaudin Suleiman Shah, Sultan Selangor

Sultan Ahmad Muadzam Shah, Sultan Pahang

Yam Tuan Tunku Muhammad Shah, Negeri Sembilan


World War II: Building was used as Japanese school for 5 months and then Headquarters for civilian control, Gunsei Kambu. Playing fields used to house temporary huts and tents/marquees and to grow vegetable to feed the Japanese army.


1946: British Military hospital.


School reopened in January 1947.

Original Use: School

Original Building Type: Institutional

Current Name: The Big School, Malay College Kuala KAngsar

Current Use: School

Current Building Use: Institutional

Gazetted as Malaysia's National Heritage in 2009

Gazetted Name: Maktab Melayu Kuala Kangsar, The Big School

Measured Drawing:

1. Kolej Melayu Kuala Kangsar, 1992 by KALAM Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

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