Malacca High School

Happy Teachers' Day Friday 16 May 2014

Malacca High School was founded on December 7, 1826. The school emblem is a stylized version of the gateway to A Famosa, the old Portuguese fortress which surrounded a hill near the harbor. Malacca High School is the second oldest school and one of the premier schools in Malaysia. Nowadays, Malacca High School was announced as one of the cluster schools in Malaysia. It is also the birthplace of the Ossydian Bull.

Date and background of establishment

On December 7, 1826, Malacca High School (MHS) was officially established; just after Malacca was made an English colony on March 17, 1824, when the Dutch ceded Malacca to the English after the Bencoolen Treaty in 1824.

Malacca High School is the second oldest government English school in Malaysia.

The establishment of the school was initiated by Mr. Thomas H. Moor who came to Malacca in 1825 on orders by Milne who was one of the educators at the Anglo Chinese College. In his letter dated 4th. January 1825, he stated his wishes to Arundel in London to establish a school. The establishment of the school was also supported by some influential people including James Humphrey, a Superintendent in the London Society’s Mission. The startup of Malacca High School was directly related to the closing of the Dutch-Malay school which was established in January 1819 by Christian missionary during the Dutch reign. The school was closed when Malacca was handed over to the English by the Dutch.

Malacca High School began with the name ‘Malacca Free School’. On 1 August 1878, the name of ‘Malacca Free School’ was changed to ‘Malacca High School’ when the government took over the school from the Christian Mission. The Christian Mission had to hand over ‘Malacca Free School’ to the government because of financial and administrative problems.

Malacca High School was open to all races and religious groups and education was free to all students – the reason why it was named ‘Free’. However, Malacca High School was different from Penang Free School (1816) and Singapore Free School (1823) because these two schools only allow free selection of students but collected fees from the students. On the other hand, Malacca High School’s main objectives was to provide free education to students irrespective of their race, religious backgrounds, colour or creed.

After the establishment of Malacca High School on 7 December 1826, the school was located at Personage House – The current Youth Museum of Malacca. In the history of the school, it moved twice, in 1884 and 1931. The move was caused by the increase in students population.

In 1884, the school shifted to a new building at the former High Court building as the old building was unsuitable for the growing student population. This building was built under the leadership of F.C. Shepberd since 1882 d but can only accommodate 200 students.

The idea of building Malacca High School at the Kubu field was cancelled when the late Tuan Haji Bachee bin Ahmad offered to sell a plot of land to the authorities.

In 1928, the new school premises at Jalan Chan Koon Cheng (the current location) was built, which included the cost of land. The building was equipped with a teachers’ house.

The 2-storey school was constructed by an engineer in the form of the letter E, which symbolises an English School. In 1934, additions were made to the building. The government constructing the quarters of the Boarding Master, car parks and an armoury for weapons storage and a cadet room.

MHS began its history with 18 male students and was open to all races in Malacca. It was also open to all students in the then Malaya.

In 1826, MHS admitted girls for the first time, when 65 girls were registered. However, in 1834, the admission of girls’ students had to be halted when Miss Wallaca who replaced Maria Newell left the school for Canton, China. Since that date, the school did not admit girls because of lack of teaching facilities.

Most of the students originated from Malacca Town and her surrounding areas such as Klebang, Limbongan, Bukit Rambai, Ujong Pasir, Masjid Tanah, Alor Gajah and other districts. Since 1826 until World War II, students’ intake seldom reached 500 students except in 1907 when the student population reached 505. After the war, the school expanded. Today, MHS has a student enrolment of 2000 students.

The hostel of MHS were built in 1924 and the Principal was Mr. C.G. Coleman. It could only accommodate 60 students. In 1972, the Ministry of Education introduced the Student’s Special Programme (Pelajar Rancangan Khas). Students in Malacca who achieved good results in the Standard Five Evaluation Test (Penilaian Darjah Lima) were placed in MHS. There were 80 students who were placed in this programme.

In 1975, the old hostel was demolished to make way for the building of the school’s hall. The new hostel was built at the back of the school compound and named Special Programme Hostel (Asrama Rancangan Khas). The hostel’s population was 118 students. Another hostel building was built in 1983. The students who enrolled in the hostel at that time numbered 300. The hostel facilities include the mosque, a restroom, a clinic, an air-conditioned library, an AV room, a cyber cafe, a dining hall and a VIP hall.

The hostel was named the MHS Boys’ Hostel (Asrama Putera Sekolah Tinggi Melaka) in 1985 and was renamed Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad Hostel, after the former Director – General of Education, who was an MHS student from 1948 until 1956.

In 1974, the school hall project was approved by the Ministry of Education. It was cancelled, then the school authorities appealed for extra budget because the school needed a larger hall to accommodate the increasing amount of students.

With the initiative taken by the school’s Board of Governors, teachers and the Parents – Teachers Association (PTA), the school organized a “Walkathon” in September 1977 to get donations from the public. From the donations, the PTA, the Board of Governors as well as Malacca High School Old Boys’ Association (MAHSOBA), launched the Malacca High School Hall Building Fund. The school hall was built, and opened by the former Governor of Malacca, Tun Syed Zahiruddin bin Syed Hassan al – Haj on 7 March 1981. The hall has four badminton courts.

About The Principals
1826 – Mr. T.H. Moor
1843 – Mr. John Overee
1862 – Mr. T. Smith
1878 – Mr. A. Armstrong
1893 – Mr. J. Howell
1916 – Mr. C.F.C. Ayre
1921 – Mr. C. Beamish
1924 – Mr. C.G. Coleman
1930 – Mr. T.A.O. Sullivan
1931 – Mr. L.W. Arnold
1934 – Mr. L.A.S. Jermyn
1941 – Mr. C.A. Scott, Mr. Lee Chin Lin
1945 – Mr. Goh Tiow Chong
1946 – Mr. C. Foster, Mr. C.J. Gurney
1950 – Mr. G.P. Dartford
1952 – Mr. F.T. Laidlaw, Mr. E.H. Bromley
1956 – Mr. A. Atkinson
1957 – Mr. W. Gibson
1958 – Mr. K. Kandiah, Mr. Ee Tiang Hong
1960 – Mr. C.T. Wade, Mr. Goh Keat Seng
1965 – Mr. Tan Teik Hock
1969 – Mr. Lim Leng Lee
1970 – Mr. K. Anandarajan
1972 – Mr. Chan Ying Tat
1985 – Tn. Haji Abdul Rafie bin Haji Mahat
1991 – Tn. Haji Mohammad bin Ismail
1994 – Tn. Haji Hussin bin Abdul Hamid
1996 – En. Mohd Zin bin Abdul Hamid
1998 – Tn. Haji Othman bin Ibrahim
2000 – Tn. Haji Noh bin Haji Ahmad
2001 – Tn. Haji Ya’amah bin Mohd Dris
2003 – En. Mohd Ali bin Saed
2006 – En. Yusof bin Haji Ahmad
1 November 2006 – Tn. Haji Abd. Razak bin Che Ngah

About The Pupils
Arguably one of the oldest educational institution in Malaysia, Malacca High School has produced graduates who excel in many fields. Many prominent politicians, royal family members, activists, educators and so on are Malacca High School alumni. Following is a brief list of some of the notable alumni taken from the book Our Story, Malacca High School 1826-2006 published by MHS Anniversary. Its alumni body is also no short of history makers like the first Malayan Chief Police Officer, the late Talif Lisut, the first Chinese commando pioneer in the Malaysian Armed Forces, Lt.-Col Chua Hong Kang, the oldest player to score hole-in-one, hotelier Datuk H.M. Shah, and recently the first from an ethnic minority to become the fourth woman High Sheriff in Britain, Lady Monjulee Webb.

Politics and Civil Service

Lim Guan Eng (who also went to Batu Pahat High School)
Datuk Wira Mohd Ali Rustam (Malacca Chief Minister)
M.K. Rajakumar
Tun Tan Cheng Lock (one of the founding fathers of Malaysia)
Datuk Tan Cheng Swee (Chairman, MCA Malacca State Liaison Committee, 1963-76; Treasurer-General, MCA headquarters 1968-1976; and
Vice-president, MCA, 1970-76; former chief minister of Malacca)

Tun Tan Siew Sin(former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Finance Minister and former president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA)
Tun Abdullah Salleh (Former Chief Secretary to the Government)
Yong Poh Chye (Executive director of Tax Advisory and Management Services Sdn Bhd and an adjunct professor of Universiti Putra Malaysia


Tan Sri Hasmy Agam (chairman of SUHAKAM and executive chairman of the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), which is under the Foreign Ministry.)
John Koh Seng Siew (secretary of Malacca High School Geographical Society, president of the Art Club (1964) and secretary
of the Prefects Board in 1965/66, A King Scout and Troop Leader in 1964, vice-president of Friends of Heritage of Malaysia Society (1987/90 and 1993/95) and a honorary council member of Badan Warisan Malaysia Trust (1995 to 1997). He is also on the Board of Trustees Malaysian Nature Society.

Economy and Business

Datuk Rastam Hadi (former Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and former managing director of Petronas)
Ong Sek Pek (School captain and editor of The Optimist in 1948, President of the HSOBA (1959-66) and chairman of the Board of Governors (1969-82))
Tan Sri Geh Ik Cheong (The editor of The Optimist 1941, trustee of the Kuok Foundation and Chairman of Development and Commercial Bank Bhd)
Datuk Mohd Said Ali (former Chief Executive Officer of Telekom Malaysia)


Tan Sri Lal Chand Vohrah (ad litem judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Judge of the High Court of Malaya, Chairman of the Special Commissioners of Income Tax and Co-editor of Man’s Inhumanity to Man)


Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (UCLA Professor of English who chairs the School of Education of UCLA, winner of Commonwealth Poetry Prize and National Book Award)


Professor Datuk Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah (Universiti Teknologi Mara Vice-Chancellor)
Professor Emeritus Tan Wang Seng (University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; currently dean of School of Science and Technology, Wawasan Open University, Penang)
Leo Ann Mean (Senior Consultant with the Institute of Training and Development, Honorary Associate Professor at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia)


Professor Anthony S.Y. Leong (Chairman of the Discipline of Anatomical Pathology at the University of Newcastle, Australia; Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Pathologists of Australasia and the United Kingdom, the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology.)


Major General (Rtd) Datuk Shaharuddin Mohd Ali
Robert Choe
Ismail Ali
Ong Cheng Watt (gold medal in the 1954 Malaysian AAA championships in Long Jump)


Julian Chee, Ben Chiew and Peter Eu (co-authors of World Polymer Banknotes — A Standard Reference)

Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad
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