| Share


Perak (pāˈrăk) [key], state (1991 pop. 1,880,016), 8,030 sq mi (20,798 sq km), Malaysia, central Malay Peninsula, on the Strait of Malacca. Perak is bordered on the N by Thailand. The capital is Ipoh; Taiping is also important. The state is drained by the Perak River (c.200 mi/320 km long), which empties into the Strait of Malacca. In Perak, one of the most populous states of the federation, is the Kinta valley, an important tin-mining district. Chinese, originally employed in the mines, constitute nearly half the population of the state; Malays, including the aboriginal Sakai, and Indians constitute the remainder. Rubber, coconut, and rice are the chief products. Fishing is a major industry.

Before the 16th cent., Perak was the vassal state of the powers that in turn dominated the Malay Peninsula. After the fall of Malacca (1511), it was for a time dominated by the sultan of Aceh in Sumatra; in the 19th cent. it was invaded by Kedah at Siam's instigation. Civil war, augmented by disorders among the Chinese tin miners, plunged Perak in the 19th cent. into anarchy, and it became a British protectorate (1874). In 1896, Perak became one of the Federated Malay States, and in 1948 it became part of the Federation of Malaya. See Malaysia.

See J. F. McNair, Perak and the Malays (1878, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Perak from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Malaysia and Singapore Political Geography

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring