From Tin Mines to Modernity

The Fascinating Growth of Ipoh Before Independence

By: Rosli Mansor Ahmad Razali

Revealing the development of Ipoh by paying attention to the development of industry and its township, since it became a tin mining town in the Kinta Valley until now, is something interesting to know.

The development of industry and townships in Ipoh is very important to people today because the city is the centre of people’s focus to obtain various necessities of life.

The city of Ipoh is located in the middle of the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia between George Town in the North and Kuala Lumpur in the South. This is the reason why it is a city that is always visited.

Its position in the Kinta Valley, which was quite famous for its tin ore area once upon a time, made this area grow rapidly from a village to a town and then a city.

Ipoh is located in the Kinta District which covers part of Ulu Kinta Mukim, and part of Sg Mukim. Ria and part of Mukim Sg. Applied in Kinta district in the state of Perak.

Ipoh is the state capital of Perak Darul Ridzuan. It is the administrative centre and there are various branches of financial and commercial institutions. Ipoh has experienced rapid development in the past decade.

The state of the city’s climate and atmosphere is also influenced by its topography. Accordingly, an understanding of the topography is an important study area.

Ipoh is surrounded by the Kledang-Saiong range in the southwest with a height of 600 metres. This range separates the Ipoh area from the Kuala Kangsar District in the west. The southern part of Ipoh is surrounded by small limestone hills about 160 metres high.

The Kinta River is the largest river and receives water discharge from the Pari, Pinji and Raia Rivers. The main rivers and tributaries get their sources from the Kledang Highlands and also from the main range in Ulu Kinta.

Ipoh developed in the Kinta district when it became the 2nd largest city in the Kinta district after Gopeng in 1888.

The rapid development of Ipoh from 1895 until the first world war has made Ipoh the largest city in Perak and second in Malaya at that time.

This is evidenced by the opening of the first English school in Ipoh becoming the starting point for the development of new education in Perak.

Ipoh is known as a city developed by tin but there is little connection to tin mining activities in Ipoh.

Ipoh is not an actual mining town but a strategic location in relation to the Kinta River.

The tin mining activities carried out in the Kinta Valley involving Gopeng, Papan and other surrounding towns influenced it to thrive in terms of financial activity and the effects of tin mining activities.

The initial pace of municipal activity was supported by a sudden change in mining activities with the arrival of Chinese miners who took over mining activities in 1884.

In the early era of the Ipoh township along with progress in 1890, Kinta became the main tin-producing district not only for Perak but for the entire Peninsular Malaysia in 1890.

The development of urbanisation and industrialization in Ipoh has happened rapidly since before independence.

Ipoh has gone through the process of settlement development, the influence of urbanisation, industrialization and the development of the transport system and the development of good infrastructure and utilities.

Be grateful and proud as you are born in Ipoh because we are blessed with the harmony of life in the environment of various races and cultures.

Ipoh as a calm and peaceful city still steals the attention of local and international tourists to stop by and enjoy the uniqueness of the city surrounded by limestone caves that preserve its authenticity and distinguish it from other states in Malaysia!

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