Several versions do exist detailing the origins of Perak. According to some historians, the name Perak actually came from the Malacca’s Bendahara Tun Perak while others argue that it was derived from the glimmering of fish in water, which had a sliver like sparkling. However, whatever the case, the truth of the matter is that the mentioning of the name Perak is a reflection of the many treasures that are hidden in this place. Perak has a very rich history that everyone would be thrilled to learn and know about it.
In actual fact, the Perak State existed since the times of prehistoric age. The Kota Tampan of Lenggong seems to be the only proof showing the existence of Palaeolithic age in Malaya. Between 400 000 BC to 8000BC, there were numerous evolutions in the Perak state. Historians say that Perak is a state that has gone through the Metal age, the Neolithic Age and the Hoabinhian Era as relevant ancient artifacts seem to prove. And then Perak witnessed the Buddha/ Hindu era which is believed to have simultaneously occurred with the rest places of the Malaya.
After the period had elapsed, the history of Perak became relatively more advanced as some minor territories were formed like the Beruas and the Dinding District that came to prominence after Manjung existed no more. This ideally reflects also to various other Perak territories like Hulu Perak and Perak Tengah. It was during this time that Islam religion began to deeply plant its roots quite firmly in Perak. Perak’s history historically started when Muzaffar Shah 1 was installed as the state’s sultan in 1528. When tin was discovered in Larut, the prominence of Perak was even highly advanced as this came with the booming of local economy and the discovery of even more mining areas.
Besides the tin ore which was the heart of Perak’s economy, natural rubber played a major role as well and is even being planted today after about 22 or 34 sultans have reigned Perak consecutively. The significant economic development enjoyed by Perak came along with the birth of multiracial society, particularly after Chinese was introduced in the mining areas. For a long time, the British were greatly interested in Perak and intervened via the Pangkor Treaty that was signed in 1874. Introduction of the Residential system saw James W.W Birch become the first president.
The deviation of the Residential System from its intended cause led to negative results in Perak. The natives were not ready to be colonized and this led to Datul Maharaja Lela lead an uprising revolt which ended up with president Birch being assassinated in 1875. The occupation of Malaya by the Japanese led to a lot of sufferings in Perak and even it came to an end, most of the states in Malay were left not stable. Malaya was granted independence by the British in 1957 which in short means that Perak now earned its freedom, which sparked economic development.