The state of Perak has been in existence since the pre historic days. Kota Tampan in Lenggong is the one and only proof that the Palaeolithic Age existed in Malaya. Perak had gone through several evolutions between 400 000 BC and 8000 BC. Hoabinhian Era and the Neolithic Age as well as the Metal Age were experienced by Perak. This was proved with the findings of relevant historical facts. Just like the rest of Malaysia, Perak also experienced the Hindu/Buddhist era soon after.
The history of the state of Perak advanced a step further soon after this period. Territories such as Manjung in the Dinding District came into existence. Beruas was formed soon after Manjung ceased to exist. This process was applicable to a few other territories in the in the Perak Tengah and Hulu Perak. Islam also began to make its presence felt firmly in the state during this time.
The history of Perak can actually be traced when Sultan Muzaffar Shah I, who was a descendent of Sultan Mahmud Shah of Malacca in 1538. However, the Perak Sultanate formed territorial powers were still intact during this time. The administrative method was an extension of the democratic feudal system of Malacca.
The discovery of Tin in Larut, Taiping led to the prominence of Perak. The economy of Perak also boomed with this discovery. More mining areas came in to existence soon after and in addition to tin ore; natural rubber also played an important role and is still being since the rule of the Sultans. This development was significant and resulted in the birth of a multiracial society and the Chinese being interested in tin mining.
The British were interested in Perak for long and invaded Perak through Pangkor Treaty in 1874 after a riot in Larut. The residential system was soon introduced as a result with James W.W Birch as its first Resident. The residential system was supposed to yield positive results. But the residential system deviated from its original cause which led to an uprising under the leadership of Datuk Maharaja Lela. This led to the assassination of James W.W. Birch in 1875. The residential system continued until the arrival of the Japanese in 1941. Perak like most states suffered under Japanese occupation till 1945. Even after the Japanese surrendered, the British still colonized Malaya until the year 1948. Violence was rampant then in Perak, due to Communist terrorism.
Malay states were not stable after Japanese occupation. The British tried their best to maintain their position by introducing new administrative reforms such as the Malayan Union in 1946 despite the people's nationalistic spirit to seek independence. The people of Malay left no stone unturned in their fight for independence against the British. The British finally granted independence in 1957.
Independence of Malaya meant freedom for all its Federal states including Perak. And ever since then, there has been no looking back for Perak. The state has grown by leaps and bounds since then. Rapid development has taken place ever since and the state has grown to become one of the leading tourism destinations in Malaysia.
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