There have been many opinions as to how Perak got its name. Some people say it was named after Bendahara Tun Perak from Melaka while some others say that it was named after flashing silver coloured fish in the water. Hence, the origin of the name illustrates the rich treasures available in its soil. Perak has been around since the prehistoric era. Kota Tampan in Lenggong is the only source of evidence of its existence since the Palaeolithic Age in Tanah Melayu. 

Starting from 400,000 to 8,000 years B.C, Perak has gone through a series of evolutions. The finding of tools made from stone and a human fossil known as the ‚ÄúPerak Man ” are evidence of the stone age existence in Perak.Perak has gone through the Hoabinhian Era followed by the Neolithic and Metal Age, which can be proven by some specific findings.This is followed by the Hindu/Buddha era which was expected to have happened at the same time as with the other states in Tanah Melayu.

Editor : Professor Zuraina Majid

By 1528, a Muslim sultanate began to emerge in Perak, out of the remnants of the Malacca Sultanate. Although able to resist Siamese occupation for more than two hundred years, the Sultanate was partly controlled by the Sumatra-based Aceh Sultanate. This was particularly the case after the Aceh lineage took over the royal succession. With the arrival of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), and the VOC’s increasing conflicts with Aceh, Perak began to distance itself from Acehnese control. The presence of the English East India Company (EIC) in the nearby Straits Settlements of Penang provided additional protection for the state, with further Siamese attempts to conquer Perak thwarted by British expeditionary forces.

The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 was signed to prevent further conflict between the British and the Dutch. It enabled the British to expand their control in the Malay Peninsula without interference from other foreign powers. The 1874 Pangkor Treaty provided for direct British intervention, with Perak appointing a British Resident. Following Perak’s subsequent absorption into the Federated Malay States (FMS), the British reformed administration of the sultanate through a new style of government, actively promoting a market-driven economy and maintaining law and order while combating the slavery widely practiced across Perak at the time. The three-year Japanese occupation in World War II halted further progress. After the war, Perak became part of the temporary Malayan Union, before being absorbed into the Federation of Malaya. It gained full independence through the Federation, which subsequently became Malaysia on 16 September 1963.

Perak has land borders with Kedah to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, and Selangor to the south. Thailand’s Yala and Narathiwat provinces both lie to the northeast. Perak’s capital city, Ipoh, was known historically for its tin-mining activities until the price of the metal dropped, severely affecting the state’s economy. The royal capital remains Kuala Kangsar, where the palace of the Sultan of Perak is located.

Source :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *