The Perak State Council was first established by Sir Hugh Low, the then Resident to Perak, to encourage the ruling class to take more interest in the running of the Perak state government. Its members comprised the Sultan, the Resident to Perak and his assistant, two Malay chiefs and two chinese representatives. The council was involved in the administration of state revenue and expenses, as well as pensions of the Malay chiefs. It was also involved in the appointments of officials, and management of their salaries. The Perak State Council eventually evolved as a bonafide State Government as it took on the role of passing laws.
This was described about one of the council members: “The wealthiest Malays in the Peninsula are the Perak Malays. It is for them that the richest silks of Trengganu and Batu Bara are woven, it is they who vie with each other in the building of expensive houses and the possession of horses and carriages, while many of them own residences in the Sacred City of Mecca. The richest man in Malaya is a member of the Perak State Council and made all his fortune in this State.”
1. Minutes of Council meetings have been documented and published. One such book containing these minutes is R.J. Wilkinson’s Papers on Malay Subjects, part I-V, which describes meetings held between 1877-1879.
1. Khoo, Salma Nasution & Abdul-Razzaq Lubis. Kinta Valley: Pioneering Malaysia’s Modern Development.
2. The Residential System. Perak State Council.