The Perak Museum is the first museum in the country and among the earliest built in Southeast Asia. The Perak Museum is directly administrated by the Federal Government under the Department of Museums Malaysia, unlike other museums, which are administered by state governments.
Daily from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Final admission is at 4.30. p.m.
The museum is closed on:
- The first Monday of each month
- The first and second day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri
- The first day of Hari Raya Aidiladha
Citizens Non-Citizens Adults,
Children aged 12 years and above
RM2 RM5 Children 6-12 years old Free RM2 Senior Citizens
RM1 Free Students (in uniform) Free Free Members of the International Council of Museums Free Free
- Gallery A – Display temporary and special exhibitions.
- Gallery B – Natural History Gallery, displays paleontology, entomology, and botanical exhibits.
- Gallery C – Cultural Gallery, displays the cultural heritage of Perak.
- Gallery D – Aboriginal Culture and Pottery Gallery, displays a socio-cultural collection featuring the Orang Asli and a collection of local pottery.
History of the Perak Museum
The Perak Museum, built in 1883, is the first and the oldest museum in Malaysia. It was the brainchild of Sir Hugh Low, the fourth British Resident of Perak. The first curator of the museum was Leonard Wray Jr., who served from 1883 to 1903. The museum was important as a center for the collection and research of local culture, traditions, and practices where the British could better understand the people of this country.
The design of the building is said to be a combination of Moorish, Neo-Classical, and Victorian styles. The museum was designed and constructed in several phases, over a long period of time, which would explain the different architectural styles from one building to the other.
The first phase of construction was from the years 1883 to 1886, where the Neo-Classical design main building was constructed. Construction took a long time due to funding issues. The museum’s collection was housed in other government offices at this time. Upon completion, the main building consisted of an office, a library, and an exhibition hall (which is Gallery A today).
The second phase of construction was in 1889, where a verandah was attached to both the front and rear of the main building.
The third phase of construction was from 1891 and 1893, where the west wing of the museum was constructed. This building today is Gallery B.
A fourth phase of construction began in 1900 and ended in 1903, where an additional two-storey building was added to the rear of the main building. This was due to an increase in the number of collections held by the museum. This building houses what is known today as Galleries C and D.
Major restoration works were carried out on the museum complex from November 20017 till January 2009 by the National Heritage Department, carried out in three phases, at a cost of more than RM3 million.
In 2009, the building was designated a National Heritage Building by the National Heritage Department.
The Perak Museum is stop number 35 on the Taiping Heritage Trail.
Salleh, Nurul Hamiruddin. “Mixed Methods Approach for the Study of Fire Safety Management in Malaysian Heritage Buildings.” 2015
Harrison, Cuthbert Woodville. “An Illustrated Guide to the Federated Malay States.” The Malay States Development Agency, 1923.
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