Port Weld was named after Sir Frederick Weld, and is now known as Kuala Sepetang.
In 1880, Sir Frederick Weld arrived in the Straits Settlements and he began to take personal interest in the development of the Malay States. In the middle of 1881, Weld visited the town of Taiping, Perak. He found “the revenue increasing and everything going on excellent well…” but “labour for public works and roads and to develop other industries and sources of revenue besides tin-mining,” he lamented, “is the great want”.
He also reported that: “Water supply for Taiping from the hill (Maxwell Hill), the roads to Krian, which will connect Taiping town centre with Province Wellesley, and a rail and tramway from Taiping to the port are amongst the next most necessary works to be undertaken. The town of Taiping has been much improved since the fire, which took place rather more than a year ago; new streets have been laid out to considerable width, and a better class of houses has been built.”
The construction of the Taiping – Port Weld railway was the beginning of a major transformation altering radically the landscape of the Malay Peninsula. It also brought the first influx of Indians (mainly Tamils) and the Ceylonese to Perak. Sir Frederick Weld was in Taiping again in 1883 when he “inspected everything”. He spent time going down the Port Weld railway line, then in the course of construction, “on a truck behind the Engine”. He also put into effect plans to build a telegraph line along the road linking Taiping with Province Wellesley. It was nearing completion after which a railway along the same route would be constructed.